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Second Macedonian War

(200-197 BCE)

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Second Macedonian War between the Roman Republic and the Macedonians in the Greek lands.

Background of events

Titus Quinctius Flaminius, commander of the Roman army. He became a consul at an extremely early age, at the age of 30. He gained his position and fame by fighting with Hannibal.
Creative Commons Attribution license - On the same terms 3.0.

In 200 BCE, less than a year after the heavy war with Carthage, which was paid for with great sacrifices, Rome received a request from Athens to help fight Philip V. The Romans knew that not to help was a moral defeat, and many of Rome’s allies could do so. take your weakness towards Macedonia and give up the alliance. At the same time, the Romans were waiting only for such an opportunity, dreaming of the definitive destruction of the state that had dared to act against them and which forced them to a truce.

That same year, Publius Sulpicius Galba, who had already fought Philip and who, according to Roman politicians, knew how to defeat the enemy, was elected consul. He was granted Macedonia as a region of action as if the conflict was already certain. However, at this point, the centurial commissions (comitia centuriata) rejected the application to declare war on Macedonians. However, Galba’s energetic speech, in which the Roman commander skillfully intimidated the people with the prospect of a new “Hannibal at the gates”, prompted the public to opt for the war.

The Senate, with the consent of the comotium, undertook another huge military effort, forcing many Punic war veterans and ordinary citizens to join the army. The Senate officially launched the Macedonian war, starting the Second Macedonian War.

Initially, the war looked like the first, limited to small-scale skirmishes. Philip V, realizing the impetus of the Romans’ strike, chose the perfect place for the battle, fortifying it earlier and creating an impassable valley. He himself commanded the defence as befits the traditions of Macedon and its legendary commander, Alexander the Great. The commander of the Roman army set up a camp 8 kilometres from the fortifications, without daring to attack enemy positions. A year later, Titus Quinctius Flaminius took command of the Romans. His courageous attempts to break through the fortifications were paid off with numerous victims. Then the ally of the Romans sent his guide, who led part of Flaminius’ army around the enemy fortifications and allowed them to attack the enemy from behind. Macedonians suffered a heavy defeat, but parts of the army managed to flee with the king. Another victory was the battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 BCE, which was the culmination of a successful campaign in enemy territory. Forced to make peace, Macedonia agreed to unfavourable conditions.

Major battles of the conflict

200 BCEBattle of Ottolobum

  • The Romans defeated Philip V, killing 300 Greek soldiers

198 BCEBattle of Aoos

  • The Romans of Flamininius defeated Philip V who lost 2,000 people

198 BCEBattle of Corinth

197 BCEBattle of Cynoscephalae

  • at least 33,400 Romans of Flaminius (2,000 killed) defeated Philip V’s 25,500 Macedonians who lost 8,000 soldiers


King of Macedonia had to give up any captured settlements of allies of Rome. In addition, he lost the right to wage wars outside his own territory without Rome’s consent. He was obliged to pay 1000 talents of silver as war reparations and to redeem all prisoners of war from the Romans and to surrender Roman prisoners.

The last decision was to reduce the Macedonian fleet to a few ships. Such a peace treaty fully satisfied Rome, giving it extensive powers in Greece.

Third Macedonian War

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