Course: Introduction to Roman History Instructor: Michel Cottier
7. Roman Imperialism in the East and West
Cf. CHAPTER IX
REMEMBER THAT THE FIRST PART OF THIS SESSION WILL BE DEVOTED TO OUR FIRST IN-CLASS
TEST (20% OF THE FINAL MARK) WHICH WILL OCCUPY US FROM 5:10 PM UNTIL 6:00
PLACE NAMES AND OTHER GEOGRAPHICAL DETAILS TO BE ABLE TO LOCALIZE ON A MAP:
On map, p. 89 = IMAGE 1: Macedon (kingdom of); Pydna (city of Macedon); Athens, Corinth and Sparta (Greek
cities); Byzantium (Greek city on the Bosphorus); Ephesus, Pergamum and Magnesia-by-Sipylum (cities of Asia
Minor); island of Rhodes; Apamea (city of northern Syria); Mediolanum (modern Milan) and Pisa (cities of northern
Italy); Numantia, New Carthage and Gades (Spaniard cities).
CHRONOLOGY (*DATES TO REMEMBER):
*225-220 BC: Gallic Wars and conquest of northern Italy.
*218-201: Second Punic War.
*215-205 BC: First Macedonian War. The Romans with the help of the Aetolian League fight against the
- 206 BC: The Aetolians conclude a separate peace with Philip V.
- 205 BC: The Romans are therefore forced to do the same (Peace of Phoenice [a town in Epirus]).
202-201 BC: Philip V's campaign in the Aegean Sea.
200 BC: The Romans and Attalus I of Pergamum defend Athens and the Piraeus against Philip V.
*200-196 BC: Second Macedonian War, Philip V against a coalition composed of Rome, Egypt, Pergamum (Attalus
I), Rhodes, Byzantium and the Aetolian League.
- *197 BC: Battle of Cynoscephalae ('Dog's Heads', in Thessaly), Titus Quinctius Flamininus defeats Philip V.
- *196 BC: A severe treaty is imposed by Rome on Philip V who is confined within Macedonia, loses its fleet and his
possessions in Greece and Asia Minor, and is asked to pay important war indemnity. Flamininus proclaims the
freedom and independence of the Greek states at the Isthmian Games (near Corinth).
197-175: Colonization of northern Italy, i.e. the region called by the Romans Cisalpine Gaul.
197 BC: Creation of the two Iberian provinces: 'Hispania Citerior' (Nearer Spain = the eastern coastal strip) and
'Hispania Ulterior' (Farther Spain = the south-east coast and the Guadalquivir valley).
195 BC: Rome's war against Nabis, king of Sparta.
194 BC: (Summer) The last Roman troops led by Flamininus leave Greece.
192 BC: Disappointed for not having received no other Greek territory than the city of Phocis and the western part of
Thessaly after Cynoscephalae, the Aetolians call upon Antiochus III to 'liberate' Greece.
*191-188 BC: War of the Romans against Antiochus III.
- 191 BC: Antiochus III is defeated at Thermopylae. The war then moves to the east under the joint command of
Lucius Cornelius Scipio and his older brother Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus.
- *190 BC: Battle of Magnesia-by-Sipylum (Magnesia ad Sipylum), the Romans defeat Antiochus III.
- *188 BC: Peace of Apameia/Apamea, Asia Minor is divided between Rhodes and Pergamum. Rhodes replaces
Egypt as the naval power in the Aegean. 187 BC: Death of Antiochus III.
183 BC: Death of both Publius Scipio Africanus and Hannibal.
179 BC: Death of Philip V and accession of his son, Perseus.
*171-168 BC: Third Macedonian War.
- *168 BC: Battle of Pydna, Lucius Aemilius Paullus defeats king Perseus (who will die in captivity in Italy in 165 or
- 167 BC: The Macedonian kingship is abolished and Macedon is split into four republics.
The Achaean League is punished for its lukewarm attitude during the war and 1,000 Achaean hostages (including
Polybius) are taken to Rome.
Seventy towns of Epirus are destroyed and about 150,000 people are sold as slaves.
Not only do the Romans deprive Rhodes of its possession on the coast of Asia Minor (in Caria and Lycia), but they
also make Delos a tax-free port that they give to Athens.
169-168 BC: Sixth Syrian War. Failed attempt by Ptolemy VI Philometor ('Mother-loving') to recapture Phoenicia.
Antiochus IV captures Cyprus and invades the whole of Egypt apart from Alexandria. However, the king is forced to
abandon his invasion and to give up Cyprus because of the threats of the delegate of the Roman Senate (Gaius
155-139 BC: Lusitanian War against Viriathus/Viriatus.
155-133 BC: Celtiberian War.
- 134-133 BC: Scipio Aemilianus starves, captures and destroys by fire the city of Numantia. For this action he gains
the title 'Numantinus'.
*149-148 BC: Fourth Macedonian War. Macedon becomes the Roman province of Macedonia.
*149-146 BC: Third Punic War. The city is captured by P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus in the spring of 146 (as a
consequence of this success Scipio received the title 'Africanus'). Creation of the Roman province of Africa (north
and central Tunisia).
*146 BC: Rebellion of the Achaean League against Rome. Lucius Mummius sacks and razes the city of Corinth. The
Achaen League is dissolved.
*133 BC: Death of Attalus III, king of Pergamum. Having no direct heirs, the king bequeaths his kingdom to the
Roman people. A few years later it will be turned into the Roman province of Asia.
ROMAN IMPERIALISM IN THE EAST (points to keep in mind):
- The three major Hellenistic kingdoms in the third and second century BC were:
a. The Antigonid kingdom (= Macedon, Thrace and different parts of Greece).
b. The Seleucid kingdom (= Asia Minor, northern Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia and the eastern part of Alexander the
c. The Ptolemaic/Lagid kingdom (= Egypt, Cyrenaica, Phoenicia, several islands in the Aegean and some cities along
the coast of Asia Minor).
- During that same period there were also two minor powers:
1. The Attalid kingdom (the northwest corner of Asia Minor, centered around Pergamum).
2. The island of Rhodes.
- In Greece the three major city-states of the past, Athens, Sparta and Thebes, still maintain part of their previous
power. However, two leagues played major roles in mainland Greece at that time: in central Greece the Aetolian
League and in the Peloponnesus the Achean League. ROMAN IMPERIALISM IN THE WEST (points to keep in mind:
- Straight Roman territorial imperialism in northern Italy and Spain. How to explain this?
a. Fear to lose control over territories vital for the security of Rome.
b. No possibility of indirect control through city-states, monarchies or simply political élite sharing the same set of
cultural and political values.
Therefore, outright conquest was the only possible solution from the Roman point of view.
- In northern Italy, in the region called by the Romans Cisalpine Gaul (= 'Gaul lying this side of the Alpes', i.e., south
of the Alps), military action which had been interrupted by the Second Punic War restarted on a larger scale and was
completed by the creation of a series of Roman and Latin colonies (see map on the inside cover of your textbook =
IMAGE 2): Mediolanum (already captured in 222 BC; refounded in 196 BC), Placentia and Cremona (both in 190
BC), Bononia (modern Bologna; 189 BC), Parma [between Placentia and Mutina but not on the map] and Mutina
(both in 183 BC), Aquileia and Pisa (both in 181 BC), Luca (178 BC) and Lun