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First Macedonian War

(215-206 BCE)

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Philip V, who began to look for a chance to finally oust the Romans from the peninsula, found the perfect ally, Carthage. The situation was additionally aggravated by the chain of defeats of the Roman army in the Second Punic War and its helplessness to Hannibal’s tactics. As a result, Philip V directly joined the war with Rome.

The ruler of Macedonia was well aware of the weakness of his own fleet, which was inferior to the Romans primarily by training, experience and numbers. To this end, he began building 100 lembi, light and manoeuvrable ships used by Illyrian pirates in the war against Rome. Philip’s plan was primarily to capture the coast of Illyria, which would serve as a base for his troops to attack Italy.

The Roman Senate on the news that Macedonia declared war on them in 215 BCE began to gather additional forces to fight the enemy, which was a huge material and population effort. Rome engaged in the fight in Italy against Carthage had to transport the appropriate forces to Greece and Illyria and start a new war campaign.

However, the war was not full of the great clashes that usually accompanied such campaigns. Both rivals confined themselves to raids, ambushes and the capture of cities. The greatest fights were fought primarily by the allies of Rome (the League of the Ethols, Pergamon) and the Macedonians. In 206 BCE virtually all of Rome’s allies made peace with Macedonia. However, the main reason for ceasing the fighting was the truce between Macedonia and the League of Aetolians, Rome’s main ally. Tired of fighting, the Romans decided to sign a peace treaty in Fenike.

Greek type phalanx was made up of hoplites in 8-16 ranks one after the other. When a hoplite from the first row was killed, a soldier from the second row took his place. The phalanx most often joined the battle in a closed formation, where each of the hoplites covered the left half of their shield (the so-called hoplon) of their companion. During the clash, only the first two ranks fought, while the others gave impetus to the attack by pushing their predecessors forward and prevented them from escaping.
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Under it, Philip V could not fight against Rome’s allies in Illyria, and at the same time he received many cities captured during the war. Rome, being disgraced by the provisions of such a treaty, was slowly planning its next actions, which were to turn into a new war.

Second Macedonian War

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