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Macedon, Illyria, and Rome, 220-219 B.C.

Author(s): John Van Antwerp Fine

Source: The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 26, Part 1 (1936), pp. 24-39
Published by: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/296702 .
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One of the most interesting problems in the political history of

the last three decades of the third century B.C. is the appearance of
the Romans east of the Adriatic. Whether Rome in the First and
Second Illyrian Wars was inaugurating a definite imperialistic policy
with the conscious aim of gaining control in the Balkan peninsula,
or whether at this time she was acting purely on the defensive against
Illyrian piracy, are questions with which I am not concerned at
present. 1 The fact of primary importance is that, by establishing
herself in Illyria, Rome came into contact with Macedon, and this
contact was bound to lead to hostilities ; for the Antigonids could
not fail to resent the intrusion of a stranger in what they considered
their own sphere of influence. In this paper I propose to consider
the attitude of Philip V to the Roman protectorate in Illyria at the
beginning of his reign. Since his whole life was one long struggle
with Rome, the importance of understanding his policy in regard
to this question is obvious. Before entering upon the subject,
however, it will be necessary to try to determine how far westward
Macedonian authority extended. A knowledge of this western
frontier will not only inform us on the proximity of Macedonian
possessionsto the Roman protectorate, but will also reveal some of the
problems which the barbaric Illyrian and Dardanian tribes presented
to Philip in this quarter. Once we have these matters clearly in
mind, we shall be in a much better position to form an unbiased
estimate of Philip's attitude to what may be called his Illyrian






The northern and north-western boundaries of Macedon were

constantly menaced by the Dardanians, barbarians who apparently
were closely related to the Illyrians.2 The northernmost district
Since the time when
of the Macedonian kingdom was Paeonia.
Philip II had subdued them, 4 the Paeonians, who also were of
1 For a discussion of this Roman 'imperialism'
Drilo river was navigable as far as Dardania, that on
see M. Holleaux, Rome, la Grece, et les s;onarchies the south the Dardanians bordered on Macedonian
and Paeonian tribes, and that on the east, through
hellenistiques au iije siecle avant 7.C. (Paris,
the Galabrii and the Thunatae who belonged to
Cl. also Walek's not too successful replies,
them, they extended as far as the Maedi, a Thracian
Rev. Phil. xlix (1925),
Holleaux's retorts to these criticisms, Rev. Phil. 1
(1926), 46-66, 194-218.
3 Strabo vii, 4, I, 3I3 and vii, frag. 4, roughly
2Strabo vii, 5, 6-7, 315 f., says the Dardanians
defines the boundaries of Paeonia.
were an Illyrian tribe, and describes the boundaries
4 Diod. xvi, 4.
of their territory by saying that on the west the

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AND ROME, 220-219



Illyrian stock, 5 had been sometimes subject to Macedon, sometimes

independent, and sometimes overrun by the Dardanians.6 Shortly
after his accession early in 229, 7 Antigonus Doson succeeded in
driving back the Dardanians, who in the latter part of the reign of
Demetrius II had invaded the Macedonian realm.-8 Immediately
after the battle of Sellasia, Doson had to return hurriedly to Macedon
to oppose another invasion of barbarians. According to our sources
these were Illyrians. 9 Certainly they did not belong to the party
of Demetrius of Pharos, then an ally of Antigonus, 1 0 or to that of
Scerdilaidas, whose cause at this time seems to have been identical
with that of the Pharian. 11 More probably the reference is to those
Illyrians who lived further inland, and therefore were more closely
associated with the Dardanians, the perpetual enemies of the
Doson was victorious, but we are not told what
were the actual results of his victory. All we know is that Philip V
in the first years of his reign was threatened by Dardanian invasions, 13
and when he made an expedition against them in the early summer
of 217 Bylazora, the chief city of the Paeonians, was in their hands. 14
Hence it is probable that at Philip's accession the Dardanians controlled territory in Paeonia along the Axius as far south as Bylazora.
Concerning western Paeonia we derive some information from a
passage in Livy (xxvi, 25, 2-6). Here we are told that in 2II Philip,
after he had ravaged the parts of Illyria near Oricum and Apollonia,
marched into Pelagonia and took Sintia, a city of the Dardanians,
which afforded them a passage into Macedon. Then he descended
through Pelagonia, Lyncus, and Bottiaea into Thessaly and from
there he led his army into Thrace. From this it appears that Sintia
must have been on the northern boundary of Pelagonia. Geyer15
very reasonably suggests that it lay in the north of the plain of
Monastir at the entrance of one of the passes into the Vardar (Axius)
valley. 16 Philip's taking of this city in 2 I I would lead one to
suppose that he had not held it previously and, therefore, it is probably
legitimate to assume that at his accession the Dardanians, by holding
Sintia, controlled the northern part of the plain of Monastir.
Directly to the west of Macedon and extending indefinitely
northward was the region of Illyria. The boundary line between
Macedon proper and Illyria proper ran through a place called Pylon,
I Kazarow, ' Die ethnographische Stellung der
Paonen,' Klio XViii (1922), 20-26.
6 See Geyer in P-W, s.v. 'Makedonia,' coll. 720750.

Holleaux, REG xliii (1930), 254 ff., has definitely

shown that Demetrius II died before May 229.
8 Jtustin xxviii, 3, I4 ;
Trogus Prolog. xxviii;
Livy xxxi, 28, 2.
9 Polyb. ii, 70; Plut. Cleoi,n.27; 30.
1 0 Demetrius aided Doson at Sellasia; Polyb.
ii, 6, 5; iii, i6, 3-

least in their piratical expedition in 220
they were acting in concert; Polyb. iv, i6, 6.
Cl. note 2. Also see p. 28.
13 Polyb. iv, 29, I ; 66, I and 6-7; Justin xxix, I,

Polyb. v, 97,


3a Op. Cit. p. 748.

16 Kiepert, FOA, xvi, p. 4a, places Sintia on the
Strymon river, but this is incompatible with the
passage in Livy just cited.

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a little to the east of the city of Lychnidus.1 1 It will be rememberedthat the Illyrian kingdom,which was consolidatedabout the middle
of the third century B.C. through the efforts of the powerfultribe of
the Ardiaeans,18 entered into friendly relations with Macedon in
231 B.C.' 9
In 229 occurredthe first Roman war with Illyria.20 At
the end of that campaignthe Romanswere definitely establishedon
the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Their protectorate,thus formed,
extended on the north to the neighbourhoodof Lissus and on the
south to the vicinity of Phoenice in Epirus, including the district of
Atintania. This strip of land was about 120 miles long and from
20 to 40 miles broad.21
The question arises-how close was the territory under Macedonian control to the district now under Roman protection ?
Polybius' account of the revolt of Scerdilaidasfrom Philip in the
summer of 217 is of importance in deciding this point.22 We are
told that Scerdilaidaspillaged Pissaeum, a town of Pelagonia, won
over, through fear or promises, three cities of the Dassaretae,
Antipatreia, Chrysondyonand Gertus, and overran a large part of
Macedon bordering on these places. These towns unquestionably
belonged to Macedon; for Polybius expresslysays that they revolted
from Philip and that he recoveredthem.23 Pissaeumalmost surely
lay in the plain of Monastir in western Pelagonianear the source of
the Erigon.2 4 The location of Antipatreia on the Apsus is well
known (near the modern Berat). Chrysondyonand Gertus cannot
be identified definitely, but they must have been near Antipatreia.
After recoveringthese towns Philip proceededto take Creoniumand
Gerus in the land of the Dassaretae,Enchelanae,Cerax, Sation, and
Boei in the region of Lake Lychnis, Bantia in the district of the
Caloecini and Orgyssusin that of the Pisantini. Of these towns
Gerus and Orgyssusare undoubtedly the same as Gerrunium and
Orgessus,which according to Livy's account25 were situated near
Antipatreia. Both Leake26 and Geyer2 7 agree that Enchelanae,
Cerax, Sation, and Boei were on the west bank of Lake Lychnis..
Leake28suggeststhat Bantia probablylay on the site of the modern
Koritza, and Kiepert2 9 follows him in this hypothesis.

7, 4,

While describing the Egnatian Way, Strabo vii,

(fromPolyb.; cl. Polyb.xxxiv, 12, 6), says:


F7,uev obv 7ao-a




oe 7pwrTq
'E-yvariLa KaXe?Tacu,
Xfe',ye-rt, 6povs 'IXXVpLKo6,

7reXew9KacL IIvuXvos -r6rov bplovros eiv


7- 6&3 7-'v Te 'IJXXvpLa Kat 7'iv MaKe0ovLav.

'8 See Holleaux, CAH, vii, 826-827.
9 See p. 29.
20 Holleaux, REG xliii
definitely fixed the date of this wvar.
21 For the territory which the Romans took under
their protection,see Polyb. ii, II-I2;
Vii, 9, I3;
See Holleaux's treatments of
Appian, Illyr. 7-8.
this question, Rossseetc., pp. I04-II2,
p. I Io, n. i, and CAH vii, 836-837.
22 Polyb. v, io8, i-8.


Polyb. v, I08, 3 and 8 ; cl. Holleaux, Rome etc.,

n. 3-remark on contrast between dVEK-rsaO
(recovered) and KacTeXcif3e7o (took).
24 G. Zippel, Die r6miiische
Herrschalt in Illyrien
bis auf Augustus (Leipzig, 1877), p. 6i ; Geyer,
op. cit., p- 74725 Livy xxxi, 27, 2; cl. Zippel, op. cit., p. 6i, and
Holleaux, Romle etc., p. i67, n. 3. Creonium was
probably in the immediate vicinity.
26 W. M. Leake, Travels in Northernt Greece
p. 167,



iii, p. 328.

cit. p. 747. Kiepert, FOA xvi, however,

tentatively places Sation and Boei on the east bank.
28 op. cit. p. 329.
2 9 FOA xvi.
27 op_

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It is obvious, therefore, that the geographical situation of many

of these towns is very problematical. Of this much, however, we
can be certain. Before 217 Philip held only a few towns of the
Dassaretae, namely Antipatreia, Chrysondyon, and Gertus, and
possibly a few more. It was not until ScerdilaYdas'abortive attempt
at revolt that Philip, by bringing practically all the territory between
Lake Lychnis and the Apsus under his control, caused still more of
the western boundaries of Macedon to march with the eastern limits
of the Roman protectorate. At his accession to the throne Antipatreia was the furthermost Macedonian outpost (at least of any
importance), and it was at this point that Rome and Macedon confronted each other. 3 0
Regarding the various tribes of Illyrians residing between the
Roman protectorate and Macedon, north and east of Antipatreia,
we have no definite information. The Macedonians held a few
places, 31 but it was apparently not until Philip's expedition against
Scerdilaidas in 217 that the district around Lake Lychnis came
almost completely under MViacedoniancontrol. Very possibly these
people were closer to the Dardanians 3 2 than to the Ardiaean
Illyrians who had become so powerful under Agron and Teuta. In
the time of the latter, we hear that some of her Illyrian subjects
went over to the Dardanians. 3 3 The trouble which ScerdilaYdas
also had later with his subjects would suggest that the Illyrian princes
were not always able to control these tribes. 3 4











The following table shows the chronological order of the events



Demetrius II of Macedon makes alliance with Agron of

First Roman War in Illyria.
or 228. Antigonus Doson recovers Hestiaeotis and Thessaliotis
from Aetolians.
Demetrius of Pharos in alliance with Antigonus Doson.
(Autumn). Accession of Philip V.
(June). Battle of Caphyae.
(July-August). Piratical expedition of Demetrius of Pharos
and ScerdilaYdas.


3 0 It has generally been agreed that the districts

of Parauaea and Tymphaea belonged to Macedon
in 22I B.C. (cf. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte iv,
If this is correct, it would mean
2, pp. 378-379).
that in this direction also Macedonian territory
bordered on the Roman protectorate, for Atintania
was under Roman influence. In a recent paper,
Trans. of the AmiiericanPhilol. Assoc. lxiii (1932),

however, I think I have demonstrated
that all through Philip's reign Parauaea and
Tymphaea belonged to Epirus.
31 E.g. Antipatreia, Chrysondyon, and Gertus.
32 See p. 24; also n. z.
6, 4; cf. 8, 5.
34 Polyb. iv, 29, 3; v, 4, 3

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(Winter). Philip V makes alliance with ScerdilaYdas.

(June-August). Philip V besieges Ambracus and campaigns
along the Achelous.
219 (June-August).
Second Roman War in Illyria.
Philip V fails against Cephallenia.
Philip V regulates affairs of Zacynthus.
Romans defeated by Hannibal at Lake Trasimene.


Philip V fails against Apollonia.


Philip V makes alliance with Hannibal.

It was in 231 B.C. that Philip's father, Demetrius II, entered

into relations with Illyria. For the major part of his reign he had
been engaged in a war with the Aetolian and Achaean Leagues, and
in this particular year he was confronted with still more enemies.
The Dardanians were invading Paeonia in such numbers that he had
to direct all his energies to that quarter.
Consequently he was
unable to go to the aid of the Acarnanian city Medeon, which was
being besieged by the Aetolians. So as not to desert his ally, he
bribed Agron, the powerful Illyrian king, to raise the siege. This
Agron promptly did.36 In the following year Agron died and was
succeeded by his widow Teuta. She whole-heartedly encouraged
the piratical enterprises of her people in the Adriatic, with the
result that Rome was finally aroused. An embassy was sent to her
in 230, but she dismissed it with contempt. Such treatment naturally
angered the Romans, and in the following year they sent a large force
to Illyria. Despite the suggestions of Holleaux37 and De Sanctis, 38
it seems probable that Teuta was not reposing any confidence in her
alliance with Macedon ; for she must have realized that Demetrius
was too much occupied in struggling against the Aetolians, Achaeans,
and Dardanians to offer her any assistance. Nor was Antigonus
Doson3 9 able to go to her aid in 229 and, as we have seen, the result
of the First Illyrian War was that Rome established a protectorate
over the eastern shore of the Adriatic from Lissus southward to the
neighbourhood of Phoenice. According to the terms of the peace
treaty, the Illyrians were not to sail south of Lissus with more than
two unarmed vessels. Demetrius of Pharos as reward for his defection
to the Romans was put in charge of Pharos and the neighbouring
parts of the mainland.40 Appian informs us that the Romans in
n. 8.
knowledge of the relations between
Macedon, Illyria, and Rome from the time of Agron
down to the accession of Philip V is derived from
the following sources: Polyb. ii, 2-I2;
65, 4;
iii, i6, 3; Dio xii, 49 and 53; Zonaras 8, i-zo2;
Appian, Illyr. 7-8. The following give no additional
information: Orosius iv, I3, 2 ; Eutropius iii, 7;
Livy, Per. xx; Florus i, 2I (ii, 5). Whether the
Romans made a victorious campaign against the
Histrians in zzi does not concern us here.
36 Our

p. 25,

Zippel, op. cit., p. iOI, for the sources. Holleaux,

Rossseetc., p. I34, n. I, claims that the expedition
is apocryphal.
37 Rosse etc., p. IOO;
CAH vii, 833.
38 G.
De Sanctis, Storia dei Rosssani (Turin,
I9I6) iii, I, p. 296.

Doson was too busy with the Dardanians;

see p. 25, n. 8.
4 ? For the probable extent of Demetrius' realm,
see Holleaux, Rosneetc., p. IO5, n. 6.

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granting certain places to Demetrius expressly said that this was

only a temporaryarrangement. Because of his treachery to Teuta,
they naturally could not feel convinced that he would remain loyal
to them. The Romans were correct in suspecting Demetrius ; for
in the ensuing years, when they utterly neglected eastern affairs, the
Pharian came closer and closer to Macedon. We know definitely
that by the time of the battle of Sellasia he was an ally of Antigonus
Doson,41 and it is highly probable that the good relations between
the two men dated back as far as 225 when Demetrius, thinking that
the Romans were completely embroiled with the Gauls, felt that he
could with impunity act independently of their wishes.42
We now come to the period which I wish to examine in detail
in regard to the attitude of Macedon toward Illyria, and, therefore,
towards Rome. Philip V came to the throne in the autumn of
221 B.C.43
In the years immediately following, events occurred
which throw light upon our problem. Polybius44 tells us that in
the summer of 220 Scerdilaidas and Demetrius of Pharos broke their
treaty with Rome by sailing south of Lissus with a fleet of ninety
vessels. From the context it is possible to assign the beginning of this
expedition to the end of July or the early part of August.45 We
have further information concerning these events. Polybius 4 6
prefaces his account of the Second Illyrian War with the following
remarks, which are of such importance for our purpose that they
must be quoted in full.



CP lpxpovv,x6-t

7ovt -r

re Or ON rNov a'N



eov- o







KocpX6ov&xv y6opov 7epteCorot







Mocxavv otXo at r


'Av-rLy6vy,7topOzv ,uv xoa X0vr0F





xoc,& 7-v 'I1?upo8C

p. 25, n. I0.
CAH vii, 736). A careful reading of Polyb. iv,
For the methods which Doson probablyused 9-Iz, shows that the battle of Caphyae must have
to win over Demetrius,see Holleaux'sconjectures occurred in June. Shortly afterwards (Polyb. iv, I4)
in CAll vii, 815 and n. i ; cl. Holleaux,Romeetc., a meeting of the Achaean assembly was held. This


occurred at the end of the 13gth Olympiad (Polyb.

almost surely in July zzo. At the
iv, I4, 9)-hence
iv, 1x p. 7I9, iV, 2, p. II3, places the accession in
beginning of the I40th Olympiad the Achaeans
the summerof 22I. W. B. Dinsmoor,The Archons sent ambassadors to the various members of the
Hellenic League (Polyb. iv, I 5-I6) and immediately
of Athents(Cambridge,Mass. I931), p. 509, placesit
in September222. The precisedate is not of im- afterwards the Illyrians set out (i6, 6). Since
portanceto us. I am accepting the suggestionof Demetrius touched at Pylos, raided the Cyclades
W. W. Tarn as given in CAH vii, 763.
(i6, 7-8) and co-operated with Taurion (19, 7-9),
4 Polyb. iv, I6, 6.
and since after these events Philip spent considerable
45 As usual, it is impossible to set an exact date,
before Scopas
time in the Peloponnese (zz-z6)-all
but from an examination of the events of the year
was elected Aetolian strategos after the autumn
seems inevitable to
220 it is possible to arrive at a sufficiently approximequinox (Z7, I ; 37, z)-it
ate one. Aratus became strategos about the middle
assign the setting out of Scerdilaidas and Demetrius
of May (Polyb. iv, 7, I0; 37, 2; V, I, I. ct. Beloch
either to the end of July or to the beginning of
B. Niese, Geschichte der griechischen August.
iv, 2 p. 220;
46 Polyb. iii, I6, Z-4.
und miiakedonischen
Staaten ii, p. 433, n. 2; Tarn,
pp. I3I-I35.

This date is somewhat in doubt. Beloch,

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wocp& -z&






4 7toXX&4

auVOnXoG oV-xuOV-o
XociL Oecpo6v
tq & pXeov-q
Nv Maxeavcnv o`x%0v, 6tZuaov & poyoor.
TX tp6G
'I-tXLo, TC60VOL
'IxxupLcv ,yYv0LOV,
-qV /xypLaL[cv
vL[C0CvTe 8 XOL X0X&ZvT


npo-wcxv -rrv Al\ynp[ou (before the war with Hannibal

should break out).


Polybius, as we have just seen, says that Demetrius broke his

treaty with the Romans because he had all his hopes centred iv -g
Maxe8vC0v oxLxC (i.e. Philip).
Relying on this statement,
in his revolt received definite
Holleaux48 asserts
Philip, or,
express it more clearly, that
sail south of Lissus and devote
instigated by Philip
himself to marauding enterprises. It is this conception of Macedonian
policy which I wish to call in question. That Philip, surrounded by
the councillors of Doson,4 9 resented the presence of the Romans in
Illyria as much as his predecessor had done, is obvious. Possession of
Illyria, or at least access to it, was essential for the prosperity of
Macedon. The Antigonids wanted to have free access to the Adriatic,
and the Roman protectorate prevented this.50 The interference of
Rome in Illyrian affairs could not fail to make Macedon angry; for it
meant not only that her sphere of influence was being encroached
upon, but also that there was an ever present menace of further
Roman aggression. Granting then that Philip was anxious to have
the Romans ousted from Illyria, let us examine our evidence and see if
there are any reasons for assigning an active anti-Roman policy to
him thus early in his career.
In the first place Philip was undoubtedly kept well informed
concerning western affairs.5 He knew that the situation between
Rome and Carthage was becoming so critical that war would probably
be unavoidable, but in the summer of 220 hostilities had not yet
broken out. 52 He realized that if the two countries should take up
arms against one another it would be a severe struggle which would
tax the resources of Rome to the limit. Now, when Philip could be
47 The use of the present and perfect infinitives
makes it difficult to determine the exact order of
these events. Holleaux, Rome etc., p. I34, n. 4,
maintains (correctly, I believe) that Demetrius first
pillaged Roman Illyria, then raided the Cyclades,
and possibly on his return continued his plundering
of Illyria.
see particu48 Holleaux, Rome etc., pp. I41 i.
larly p. 141 n. 4.
49 For Philip's councillors see Polyb. iv, 87,
6-8. Cf. F. Granier, Die makedonischeHeeresverI32.
saninilung (Munich 1931), pp. 126-127;
Holleaux, CAH vii,
so Cl. Nicse, ii, p. 326;
Walek, op. cit. 49,
839; Rome etc., pp. I I9-I20.

n. 3, is correct in emphasizing the importance to

Macedon of maintaining her hegemony in Greece,
but is wrong in minimizing her interests in Illyria.
How vital control in that region was to Philip is
evident from his activity in the vicinity after the
Social War. See, for instance, Polyb. v, IOI,
8-IO; 108-I IO; vii, 9; viii, I3-I4;
Livy, xxiv, 40.
51 Demetrius of Pharos knew
beforehand of the
Romans' intention of punishing him (Polyb. iii,
i8, I). Philip, while at the Nemean festival in 2I7,
received news that H4annibal had defeated the
Romans at Lake Trasimene (Polyb. v, IOI, 5-6).

Polyb. ii, 36, 4-7;

cf. iii, I5, I2;

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I6, I.





almost certain that it was only a question of time before the Romans
would be so completely occupied with the Cathaginians that they
would have to neglect eastern affairs, are we to suppose that he
made the stupid blunder of inciting them to war in 220 at a time
when they were quite capable of sending a large army to Illyria ?
I think not, unless we wish to believe that already in the first year
of the new reign the cautious and discreet policies of Gonatas,
Demetrius II, and Doson were entirely discarded. Certainly the
best interests of Macedon would lead one to believe that Demetrius
of Pharos violated the treaty with the Romans before Philip thought
the proper moment had come.
Thus the setting of the political stage in 220 causes one to think
that Demetrius was acting independently of Macedonian influence.
It is true that he sailed south of Lissus relying 'v Tn Mome86oMv o'XLoc,
but such a statement need not mean that he was instigated by Philip.
All our information concerning Demetrius shows us that he was a
reckless, headstrong person. 53 His status of subservience to the
Romans was naturally distasteful to him, and very probably their
neglect of eastern affairs since 228 had lulled him into a false confidence. 54 He was a pirate by instinct and by race, and in his
depredations during the summer of 220 he was merely giving rein
to his own nature. If he looked into the future at all, he possibly
hoped that if he got into trouble with the Romans he would receive
aid from Philip or, at least, in case of defeat would find refuge with
him-as he actually did in 2I9.55
General considerations, therefore, point to the belief that Philip
had nothing to do with Demetrius' activities at this time. And there
is positive evidence to support this assumption. When Demetrius
and Scerdilaidas set out in 220, they first made an attack on Pylos
in Messenia. 56 Ncw at this time Pylos belonged to the Achaean
League, 57 and Polybius 58 tells us very clearly that in this enterprise
the Illyrians were co-operating with the Aetolians. Are we to believe
then that Demetrius, after being incited by Philip to this expedition,
immediately in conjunction with the Aetolians, enemies of Philip,
attacked a town which was a member of the Achaean League and hence
was allied to Macedon ? The answer must be in the negative.
Holleaux59 says that as yet there was no rupture nor any definite
menace of a rupture between Aetolia and Macedon, and consequently
implies that in working with the Aetolians Demetrius was doing
nothing against the wishes of Philip. This is a strange statement
for a great historian to make ; for a glance at the events of the years
Polyb. iii, i9, 9-I I; VI I2, 7, etc.
Ct. Holleaux, Ronie etc., pp. I32 ff.
55 See below, p. 36.
56Polyb. iv, s6, 7n. i, demonstratedthis very
57 Niese, ii, p. 4Ii,
clearly by pointing out that at the congress of
allies at Corinth it was the Achaeans and not the

Messenians who complained of the attack upon

Pylos (Polyb. iv, 25, 4).
58 Polyb. iV, 25, 4; ix, 38, 8.
Good relations
between Scerdilaldas and the Aetolians continued
until the winter of 220-219
; see Polyb. iv, I6, 9-Il


5 9 Ronmeetc., p. I 3 5, n- 4.

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ROME, 220-2I9



will demonstrateits falseness. For our present purposesa

few remarkswill suffice. That the Macedoniansand Aetolians were
bitter enemies all through the reigns of Demetrius II and Antigonus
Doson is well known. After Doson inflicted a severe defeat on the
Aetolians in 229 or 228 by recovering the Thessalian districts of
Hestiaeotis and Thessaliotis,60 they remained comparativelyquiet
until his death in the autumn of

Then, as Polybius61 puts it,


they proceeded to make war all at once on the Messenians,Epirots,

Achaeans, Acarnanians,and Macedonians. Among other exploits
they invaded the Peloponnesetwice in the early part of 220, each
time ravagingterritory belonging to the Achaean League.62 Early
in June Aratus led out the Achaean forces against them and was
badly defeated at Caphyae.63 Now inasmuchas the Achaeanswere
members of the Hellenic League of which Philip, as successorto
Doson, 64 was president,it is hard to see how one can fail to recognise
in the battle of Caphyaethe beginningof war between the Aetolians
and the Hellenic League. Certainly this was Polybius' opinion;
for after his account of the battle, he writes65:
T'v V~evoi6vociVtEoc
0 auVywCzx0q 7rt6XZVOq
'eaZv 'e
-r7v ckopv~O~v
t a A,, a , zv

Wo'py3tV 'x -,Oi Cti T'Zoocitroc ysvovvou

86yoCrTo4 OmcV(rcV
V oa Guve?O6vTs4 e'
o au61YC
CovTV KopLvO&v 7r6?&vCsxU6pCacV
pOaaGVcUG0V-Oq @=z0ou



Holleaux66 objects to this last statement ; he calls attention to

the fact that, when the Achaeans after the disaster at Caphyae
appealed to Philip for help, he decided to maintain peace with the
This evidence is not so strongly in support of
Holleaux's contention as it might seem at first glance. The
Achaeans had also requested that the Messenians be admitted to
the Hellenic League, and Philip readily agreed to this proposal.68
Now the Aetolians had voted to go to war with the Achaeans unless
the latter abandoned their alliance with the Messenians.69 Thus
we see that Philip, by agreeing to receive the Messenians into the
Hellenic League, was in reality pledging himself to a war with the
Aetolians; for when they should attack the Achaeans, he was bound
to go to the aid of his allies. Consequently Holleaux's remark that
there was no rupture nor any definite menace of a rupture between
the Aetolians and Philip in July 220 seems to me to be wholly misleading. To say that the battle of Caphyae was not war is nothing
more than quibbling. It is true that it was war between the


See my article, Trans. of Amer. Philol. Assoc.

61 Polyb. iv, 5, IO.
62 Polyb. iv, 6, 3-IO;
25, 463 See above, p. 3O, n. 45(i932),

For Doson as head of the Hellenic Leaguie,

see Polyb. ii, 54, 4 ; iv, 9, 4 ; cf. also Pluit. Arat.
38, 9: 'A7iryosovog e scar sKaia- YfV Kat KaTa

Oa'ia r-'a
aurOKpacLrwp ?flyelAwp aevcayopevUOEe.
For Philip as head of the Hellenic Leaguie, see
Polyb. iv, 24, 2 25, I ; ix, 37, 7, etc.
6 5 Polyb. iv, I3, 6-7.

Romiie etc., p. 149, n. 1.


Polyb. iv, I5, I-2;

See n. 67.
iv, 15, 9.



6 9Polyb.

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Aetolians and the Achaeans, but since Philip was the ally of the
latter, Macedonwas also involvedin the hostilities.
It is clear, therefore, that Macedon and Aetolia were enemies,
and consequently, when Demetrius attacked Pylos in collaboration
with the Aetolians, he was workingwith Philip's enemies against his
friends. Certainly this ought to be sufficient evidence that Philip
had not instigated the Pharianto the undertaking. The point can
be made clearer in an even simpler way. Granting for a moment
that relations between Macedon and Aetolia were not strained, we
have still to admit that Demetrius attacked a city belonging to the
AchaeanLeague, and hence an ally of Philip. This evidencein itself
ought to be adequateto demonstratethat Demetrius had not sailed
south of Lissus at Philip's suggestion.
So far our evidence seemsto prove that in his piraticalexpedition
in 220 Demetrius was acting on his own initiative. In attacking
Pylos he was not deliberately opposing Philip, but was merely
indulging the Illyrian habit of pillaging the coasts of Elis and
Messenia.7 0 That his relationswith Macedon were still friendly is
clear from the fact that in his hasty retreat from the Cycladeslater
in the same summerhe put in at Corinth. There, at the request of
Taurion, the Macedonian general in the Peloponnese,71 he agreed
to aid the Achaeans and proceeded to raid some places on the
Aetolian coast.72 This is the first testimony we have to any cooperation between Demetrius and the Hellenic League ; before
this he had been an independent adventurer, just as Scerdilaidas
continued to be. Some scholarsmight maintain that Macedon was
pursuing a definitely anti-Roman policy when Taurion entered into
negotiations with the man who had recently brokenhis treaty with
them. To considerthis episode as an instance of an aggressivepolicy
against the Romans is laying too much stress on an insignificant
matter. It was purely a businesstransaction. Since the Rhodians
were in pursuit of Demetrius, he was only too glad to assist Taurion
in return for having his ships hauled across the Isthmus. To
illustrate my point I might ask the following question. The
Aetolians had been co-operating with Demetrius shortly before he
agreed to work with Taurion; who is going to maintain that they
had a definite anti-Romanpolicy at this time ?
There is further and possibly more conclusive proof that Philip
had nothing to do with Demetrius'expeditionin 220 and, as a corollary
to this, that Philip's attitude toward Rome in the first years of his
reign was purely defensive, not offensive. In the summer of 2I9
the Romans sent an expedition to Illyria to chastiseDemetrius. At
this time the Social War was in full swing. As is well known, Philip
spent the campaigningseason,first in besieging Ambracus,and then
in his campaignalong the Achelous. I do not wish to discussany of
7 0 Polyb. ii, 5, v-2.
7 1 For Taurion's position, see Polyb. iv, 87, 8.


Polyb. iv, I 9, 7-9.

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ROME, 220-2I9



the details of these events in this paper, but thus much can be said.
with absolute certainty. While the Romans were in Illyria, Philip
was either at Ambracus or in Acarnania. 3 We know this because,
when the Romans captured Pharos by a ruse, Demetrius fled immediately to Philip and met him just as he was about to cross the
Ambracian Gulf from Acarnania to Epirus. 4 This situation in the
summer of 2z9 is extremely interesting and instructive for the light
it casts on Philip's attitude toward the Illyrian problem. As regards
the Romans his policy was purely a defensive one. His reason for
spending these months in western Greece may very well have been his
fear of Roman aggression.75 He wanted to be near home in case
the Romans, after subduing the Illyrians, should attempt to invade
Macedon. But he had no intention of undertaking an offensive
against them. Demetrius had incurred their wrath by his rash acts
in 220, and now he could pay the penalty alone. As far as military
forces on the scene of action were concerned, Philip was certainly a
match for the Romans. We have no information at all about the
fleet which Rome dispatched on this expedition. In regard to land
forces, Lucius Aemilius 76 probably had with him the normal consular
army of about 20,000 infantry and z,ooo cavalry. 7 7 Philip had with
him at the time about 20,000 men, 78 and these, if joined to the
7 3 As usual we can formulate only a general
chronological scheme, but, nevertheless, a sufficiently
accurate one for our purposes. From Polyb. iv, 37,
we learn that the following events all occuirred at
about the same time: the younger Aratuis assuimed
office as Achaean strategos (middle of May, see
above, p. 30, n. 45);
the Romans despatched
Lucius Aemilius to Illyria (cf. Polyb. iii, i6, 7ipa7ap.c.sd . . . .
,r6 1-H
M.aTa T6 7pSrov gTos 7Xs




fore, probably before July 219); Philip was marching from Macedon with his army. This would lead
one to suppose that Philip muist have set ouit toward
the end of May. Such an assuimption fits in with the
rest of our information. He spent forty days at
Ambracus (Polyb. iv, 63, 2). This brings us into
July. Since Philip returned home in time to let
his men gather in the harvest and since he spent
the remaining part of the summer in Larisa (Polyb.
iv, 66, 7), we must infer that the campaign along
the Achelous lasted about a month or a little longer.
Speaking roughly then, Philip spent June and part
of July at Ambracus, and the rest of July and part
of August in Acarnania. Since the Romans sailed
for Illyria before July and since Demetrius in his
flight met Philip as he was starting for home, we
can conclude that the Roman campaign in Illyria
must have lasted about two months. This coincides
with Polybius' statement (iii, 19, I2) that Aemilius
returned to Rome late in the summer (X-qsyo6vo
rTs Oepe'as).
If the above calculations are
approximately correct, it seems reasonable to conclude that the Romans arrived in Illyria while
Philip was engaged in his siege of Ambracus and
that they departed (after Aemilius had organised
Illyria, Polyb. iii, I9, I2) about the time Philip
reached Larisa (cf. Polyb. iv, 66, 7-8).

Polyb. iii, I9, 8; iv, 66, 4.

Cf. Holleauix, Ronmeetc., 146 ff.
76 Polybius, in his account of this war (iii, I6-I9
cl. iv, 37, 4.; 66, 8)-by far the best one we have,says that only one consul, Luicius Aemiliuis Paullus,.
was sent to Illyria. Niese, ii, p. 436 and n. 4, and.
Holleaux, Romiieetc., p. I38 and n. 2, follow him.
Beloch, iv, I, p. 732 and n. 3 (see for the sources)
prefers the later tradition that the other consul,.
M. Livius Salinator, wyas also sent. Holleaux,
CAH, vii 848, changes his opinion and follows.
Beloch (cf. Munzer in P-W s.v. ' Livius' coil. 892I do
893 and Gelzer, Hermiieslxviii (I933), 147).
not see how we can arrive at any certainty in the
matter. In my opinion none of the arguments
advanced is sufficient to warrant rejecting the
excellent testimony of Polybius in favour of the
later, notoriously faulty, annalistic tradition. Whatever may be the proper answer, I think that the
assumption that Philip's forces when joined to the
Illyrians would have been a match for the Romans.
is perfectly justified.
II This is Holleaux's suggestion, CAH vii, 849.
78 Macedonians-phalanx,
cavalry, 8oo (Polyb. iv, 37, 7). Achaeans5,000;
300; Cretans-500 (Polyb. iv. 6I, 2). Acarnanians
infantry and 200 cavalry (Polyb. iv, 63, 7).
Philip also had the complete levy of the Epirots.
with him (Polyb. iv, 6i, 2). Their numbers are not
given. Holleaux, Ronie etc., p. I46, n. 3, points.
out that at Sellasia the Epirots contributed i,000
infantry and 50 cavalry (Polyb. ii, 65, 4), and
reasonably suggests that on this occasion they
certainly put as many into the field-probably
more. The total forces, then, were just short of



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Illyrian forces,79 would have considerably outnumbered the Romans.

Nicolaus' suggestion8 0 that the Roman attack was so rapid that
Philip was unable to bring help to Demetrius is obviously absurd.
The Romans were certainly in Illyria for at least two months,81
and in this period Philip, having his army in readiness, had ample
time to advance into Illyria if he so desired. Also he must have
known beforehand that the Romans wvereplanning this expedition,82
and therefore could have sent reinforcements to Demetrius before
their arrival. As I have remarked above, however, although Philip
was anxious to have the Romans driven out of their protectorate
in Illyria, he was too wise to become embroiled with them before
their hands should be tied by a war with Carthage. He realized
perfectly that even a victory over the Romans at this time would
be dangerous to him; for they would probably have sufficient time
to send other legions across the Adriatic to punish him before the
storm from Carthage broke. Consequently he maintained strict
neutrality. The large army he had with him was intended purely
for defence against the Romans, if such should be necessary, and for
offence against the Aetolians.
The whole course of the Second Illyrian War proves that Philip
had nothing to do with causing Demetrius to break his treaty with
the Romans. It was Demetrius' activity in 220 which induced them to
cross the Adriatic in the following year; and, if Philip was responsible
for this Roman expedition, certainly he would have gone to the aid of
the Pharian. Or does one wish to believe that Philip abandoned
Demetrius to his fate ? But Demetrius fled immediately after his
defeat to Philip, and was kindly received. 83 Is this what one would
expect the Pharian to have done if, at the instigation of the
Macedonian king, he had become embroiled in a war with Rome and
then, when hard pressed, had received not the slightest help from
the man who really was responsible for his present plight ? One
will have to admit that in those circumstances Philip was the last
person to whom Demetrius would have been likely to turn. It is
much more probable that he would have gone to the Aetolians with
whom the Hellenic League was then at war, and would have done
his best to take vengeance on the man who had left him in the
lurch. We have already seen that Demetrius had been on good
terms with the Aetolians early in 220, and we can be sure that
they would have gladly welcomed any ally against the coalition
with which they were struggling.
7 9 Demetrius had 6,ooo men at Pharos anid had
garrisoned Dimale and other cities (Polyb. iii, iS,
It should be remembered that Scerdilaidas
also was now an ally of Philip (see below, p. 37).
As regards a fleet, we know that Demetrius
and Scerdilaidas together had at least 90 less,boi


iv, I6, 6).

80 M. Nicolaus, Zwei
Beitrdge zzur Geschichse
KDnig Pbilipps IV von AMakedonien(Diss. Berlin,
1909), 52-53.
81 See above, p. 35, n- 7382

See above, p. 3I, n- 5IPolyb. iv, 66, 4-5

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ROME, 220-2I9



There are two more pieces of evidence which Holleaux cites to

demonstratethat Philip in 220 and 2z9 was pursuingan active antiRoman policy. I cannot accept his interpretation in either case.
The first episode concernsPhilip and ScerdilaYdas.
84 In the winter
of 220-2I9,
while Philip was making preparationsfor his war with
Aetolia, he went to Illyria and succeeded in winning Scerdilaidas
over to the Hellenic League. While discussingthis event, Polybius
makesthe following remark:




'IXup[oc 7rpMyzt&-1&v,
troc s











29, 3).

To Holleaux8 5 this statement can only mean that Philip was

promisingto help Scerdilaidasto interferein Roman Illyria. He also
remarksthat by securingScerdilaYdas
as an ally for the SocialWar, he
was causingthe Illyrianonce again to breakhis treaty with Rome.
An analysisof the situation will show that Holleaux is using an
e silentio to support his theory that Philip was carrying
out an aggressive anti-Roman policy. In the summer of 220
Scerdilaidas had been working with the Aetolians against the
Achaeans.86 The Aetolians, however, failed to give him his proper
shareof the booty, and, ever since, ScerdilaYdas
had been harbouring
a grudge against them.

Philip had heard of this ill-will,



undoubtedly it was this knowledgewhich gave him hope of winning

over the Illyrian. He succeeded without any difficulty. Now
Scerdilaidas and Demetrius were princes of that part of Illyria
which was north of the Roman protectorate, and in this instance
there is absolutely no reason to assume that ScerdilaYdas
and, consequently, Philip, were trying to establish themselves south of
Lissus. I have already given numerous reasons for my conviction
that Philip at this period had no intention of undertakingany sort
of offensive operations against the Romans. How then are we to
interpret that passage of Polybius-xocL -oX pV

auyXoCaxaFvXCFet-rcov XocT& 7-V 'IXupL'8U 7pMypoC0V


explanation which seems obvious to me is that ScerdilaYdaswas

having trouble with the various Illyrian tribes and despots such as
we find to be the case in 2i8, 88 and that as a perfectly normal condition of alliance Philip agreed to help him in quieting these
disturbances provided that Scerdilaidasin return should aid him
againstthe Aetolians.
It seems almost certain, therefore, that in winning over Scerdilaidas Philip was thinking primarily of his approachingwar with
the Aetolians. In the Polybian account of this episode there is not




Holleaux, Rome etc., 142 and n. 3.

Polyb. iv, i6, 6-I I; see above, pp. 32 ff-


Polyb. iv, 29, 7See above, p. z8 and ns. 33 and 34.

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a hint that he had any other motive. To have the Illyrian as an ally
would be profitable to him in several ways. In the first place it would
put a certain number of ships at his disposal. This would be a great
asset, considering the bad state of the Macedonian fleet at that
time, 8 9 and also it would deprive the Aetolians of those same vessels.
In addition it meant that Philip would not have to worry about an
Illyrian invasion on his western frontier ; that a hostile Illyria could
cause considerable trouble for Macedon we learn from the events of
2I7 when Scerdilaidas turned against Philip. 9 0 It would be foolish,
however, to deny that in his Illyrian policy he was thinking of the
Romans. Naturally he wished to win allies for himself along the
eastern shore of the Adriatic, 91 and very possibly he was already
forming plans to drive the Romans out of Illyria. But these plans
were all for the future when a more fitting opportunity should offer.
As yet he had done nothing openly hostile to the Romans. Philip
had not instigated Demetrius of Pharos and Scerdilaidas to break
their treaty with the Romans in 220, and in procuring the latter as
an ally against the Aetolians and in promising to aid him in settling
some of the troubles in Illyria, he was in no way adopting a policy
which need be construed as aggressively anti-Roman. In conclusion,
to these remarks I might also add that by allying himself with
ScerdilaYdas Philip was indulging in offensive tactics against the
Romans no more than were the Aetolians when they were co-operating
Both Macedon and Aetolia wanted
with the Illyrian in 220.
ScerdilaYdasas an ally in the Social War, and on this particular
occasion Philip succeeded in outbidding his enemies.
There is one more point which should be discussed briefly. After
their defeat at Caphyae in June 220 the Achaeans, as we have seen
above, 92 sent ambassadors to the various members of the Hellenic
League requesting assistance. Regarding Philip's reception of these
envoys, Polybius (iv, i6, i) uses the following words: ox 3'



o 3O





Holleaux 9 3 interprets these remarks as indicating that Philip at

that time-that is, just before Demetrius of Pharos and ScerdilaYdas
sailed south of Lissus-was probably in Epirus, and he seems to
suggest that Philip's presence there had something to do with the
expedition of the Illyrians. Polybius' language may signify that
Philip was in Epirus, although I do not see how we can be dogmatic
on this subject. But, granting that he was, we are not by any means
compelled to assume that his presence there was connected with
Demetrius' expedition. There could have been many reasons for
a trip to Epirus. It was the native land of his mother Phthia ;94
8 9 Whether the decadence of the Macedonian
fleet should be assigned to the reign of Demetrius
II or of Doson does not concern us here. Cl.
Holleaux, Rev. Phil. 1 (i926), 56, n. i, and Beloch
That Philip had
practically no navy is evident from Polyb. v, I09,
where we learn that, before he could operate in

Illyria in zi6, he had to have IOO lemboi built in the

preceding winter.
9 o Polyb. v, io8.
91 See p. 39.
92 See above, p. 3393 Holleaux, Rome etc., I41 and n. 4.
94 See my article CQ xxviii (I934), 99-I04.

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ROME, 220-2I9


it was also a member of the Hellenic League and, because of its

situationon the Adriatic,it was especiallynecessaryfor Philip to keep
it loyal. Even if he did come into communicationwith Demetrius,
I think we can safely assume that he would have tried to restrain
the Pharian'sactivity for the present ratherthan to goad it on.
In conclusion, then, we can say that for the first years of his
reign Philip's attitude towards Rome was entirely a defensive one.
His programmeconsisted of strengthening his position as much as
possible in western Greece so that, in case Rome should cease to be
dangerousbecauseof her struggle with Carthage,he would be ready
to attempt to drive her out of Illyria when the proper moment
came. His interest in the territory along the eastern shore of the
Adriatic becomes clear from the most superficialexaminationof his
He had allianceswith the Illyrian
activity during the years 220-2I7.
princes, Demetrius of Pharos and Scerdilaidas. The summer of 2I9
he devoted to aiding the Epirots and Acarnanians against the
Aetolians, and he also fortified the strategic town of Oeniadae.95
In the following year he made an attempt upon Cephallenia96 and
in 217 he regulated the affairsof Zacynthus.97 When the news of
the Roman defeat at Lake Trasimene reached him, 98 Philip for the
first time began to plan an offensive campaign against the Romans.
The moment for which he had been waiting seemed to have come
at last ; he had every reasonto believe that the Romans were now
too much occupied with Hannibal to pay any attention to their
protectorate in Illyria. Philip immediately made peace with the
Aetolians and then began to concentrate on his great objective of
securing access to the Adriatic for Macedon. His first task was to
suppressthe revolt of Scerdilaidas-a revolt very possibly instigated
by Rome.99 Holleaux100 is certainly correct in emphasizing, in
oppositionto Walek,101 that after hearingof Lake TrasimenePhilip
lost no time in makingpreparationsagainst Rome. In the winter of
2I7-I6 he had a fleet of IOO lemboibuilt and in the summer of 2I6
he set out against Apollonia.1 02 But Holleaux underestimates
Philip's fear of the Romans. This fear had kept him wholly on the
defensiveuntil the news of their defeat in Etruriagave him reasonto
think that he could operate with impunity against them. And in
he was still in such dread of the Romans that a mere rumour
that their fleet was approaching caused him to flee precipitately
from Apollonia.1 03 He persevered, however, in his attempt to
overthrow the Roman protectorate and, as is well known, in 2I5 he
made an alliance with Hannibal.104 But that is beyond the scope
of this paper.
9 Polyb. iv, 6i-66.

I00 Rev. Phil. I (I926),



Polyb. v, 3-6.
97 Polyb. v, I02, IO.
98 Polyb. v, IOI, 6-iO.
9 9 Polyb. v, iO8.
Cl. Holleaux, Rome etc.,
i66 and CAH vii, 855.

Rev. Phil. xlix

102 Polyb. v, I09.




v, II0.
vii, 9.

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