This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

First Macedonian War

(215-206 BCE)

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

First Macedonian War was a clash between the ancient Romans and the Macedonians, led by King Philip V. The war resulted from the Macedonians’ support for Hannibal’s policy.

Background of events

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 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 the 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 preventing them from escaping.
Creative Commons Attribution license - On the same terms 3.0.


Under the peace treaty, 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, disgraced by the provisions of such a treaty, slowly planned its next actions, which were to turn into a new war.

Second Macedonian War

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: