People - Ancient Greece: Perseus of Macedon
(ca. 212 BC - 166 BC) He was the last king of the
Antigonid dynasty, who ruled from 179–167 BC.
Perseus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
or Perses (Περσεύς). The last king of Macedonia, the eldest son of Philip V. He reigned eleven years, from B.C. 178 to 168. Before his accession he persuaded his father to put to death his younger brother Demetrius, whom he suspected that the Roman Senate intended to set up as a competitor for the throne on the death of Philip. Immediately after his accession he began to make preparations for war with the Romans, which he knew to be inevitable, though seven years elapsed before actual hostilities commenced. The war broke out in B.C. 171. The first year of the war was marked by no striking action. The consul P. Licinius Crassus first suffered a defeat in Thessaly in an engagement between the cavalry of the two armies, but subsequently gained a slight advantage over the king's troops. The second year of the war (B.C. 170), in which the consul A. Hostilius Mancinus commanded, also passed over without any important battle, but was, on the whole, favourable to Perseus. The third year (B.C. 169), in which the consul Q. Marcius Philippus commanded, again produced no important results. The length to which the war had been unexpectedly protracted, and the ill success of the Roman arms, had by this time excited a general feeling in favour of the Macedonian monarch; but the ill-timed avarice of Perseus, who refused to advance the sum of money which Eumenes, king of Pergamus, demanded, deprived him of this valuable ally; and the same unseasonable niggardliness likewise deprived him of the services of twenty thousand Gallic mercenaries, who had actually advanced into Macedonia to his support, but retired on failing to obtain their stipulated pay. He was left to carry on the contest against Rome single-handed.
The fourth year of the war (B.C. 168) was also the last. The new consul, L. Aemilius Paulus, defeated Perseus with great loss in a decisive battle fought near Pydna, on June 22, B.C. 168. Perseus took refuge in the island of Samothrace, where he shortly afterwards surrendered with his children to the praetor Cn. Octavius. When brought before Aemilius he is said to have degraded himself by the most abject supplications; but he was treated with kindness by the Roman general. The following year he was carried to Italy, where he was compelled to adorn the splendid triumph of his conqueror (November 30, B.C. 167), and afterwards cast into a dungeon, from whence, however, the intercession of Aemilius procured his release, and he was permitted to end his days in an honourable captivity at Alba. He survived his removal thither a few years, and died, according to some accounts, by voluntary starvation, while others, fortunately with less probability, represent him as falling a victim to the cruelty of his guards, who deprived him of sleep. Perseus had been twice married; the name of his first wife, whom he is said to have killed with his own hand in a fit of passion, is not recorded; his second, Laodicé, was the daughter of Seleucus IV. Philopator. He left two children —a son, Alexander, and a daughter, both apparently by his second marriage, as they were mere children when carried to Rome. Besides these, he had adopted his younger brother Philip, who appears to have been regarded by him as the heir to his throne, and who became the partner of his captivity. See Livy, bks. xl.-xliv.; and Polyb. bks. xxiv., xxvi., xxvii., xxix.
Perseus of Macedon in Wikipedia
Perseus (Greek: Περσεύς) (ca. 212 BC - 166 BC) was the last king (Basileus) of the Antigonid dynasty, who ruled the successor state in Macedon created upon the death of Alexander the Great. He also has the distinction of being the last of the line, after losing the Battle of Pydna on 22 June 168 BC; subsequently Macedon came under Roman rule.
In 179 BC Philip V of Macedon died. In the previous year Philip had his pro-Roman son Demetrius executed. Perseus had been jealous of Demetrius' success as ambassador to Rome and had convinced their father to have him poisoned as a potential usurper. The Romans favored Demetrius, and Perseus' role in killing Demetrius did not endear him to Rome when he took the throne.
One of his first acts on becoming king was to renew the treaty with Rome. Yet, Perseus' other actions troubled Rome. His interference in the affairs of his neighbors, his ousting of Roman ally Abrupolis from his territories, his armed visit to Delphi, his avoidance of the Roman ambassadors to Macedonia, and his dynastic marriages all gave Rome cause for concern. Soon Rome and Perseus went to war in the Third Macedonian War (171-168 BC). Although Perseus had some initial success, the war ended with the King's surrender to the Roman general Lucius Aemilius Paullus after his decisive defeat at the Battle of Pydna, and his eventual imprisonment in Rome with his half-brother Philippus and son Alexander. Blaise Pascal mentions in his Pensées (Lafuma 15) that Perseus was blamed for not committing suicide, supposedly after his defeat and capture at Pydna. The Antigonid kingdom was dissolved, and replaced with four republics. Andriscus of Macedon broke off the Roman rule for about a year, but was defeated in 148 BC by the Romans. In 146 BC, the four republics were dissolved, and Macedon officially became the Roman province of Macedonia.
On 178 BC he had married Laodice V, the daughter of Seleucus IV from Syria. One son of Perseus and Laodice, Alexander was still a child when Perseus was conquered by the Romans, and after the triumph of Aemilius Paullus in 167 BC, was kept in custody at Alba Fucens, together with his father. He became a skillful toreutes, learned the Latin language, and became a public notary.
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