• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19
  20. 20
    20
  21. 21
    21
  22. 22
    22

Peloponnesian Politics: What can the events between the First Macedonian War and the Achaean War tell us about inconsistencies in Roman foreign policy in the Peloponnese and Peloponnesian reactions to it.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Peloponnesian Politics: What can the events between the First Macedonian War and the Achaean War tell us about inconsistencies in Roman foreign policy in the Peloponnese and Peloponnesian reactions to it. Introduction: The Roman world ventured into the Greek world in 229 BC during the First Illyrian War to stop Illyrian pirates sabotaging trading routes across the Adriatic, which led the Republic to establish a protectorate over Greek cities in southern Illyria and Epirus. Roughly eighty years and four Macedonian wars later, the Romans had established hegemony within Greece proper. From such humble beginnings, with a desire to protect Greek autonomy, the situation had turned itself on its head when L. Mummius Achaecus sacked the city of Corinth, defeating the Achaean League in the eponymous war of 146 BC. Over the course of those eighty or so years, the Roman Senate and its legates in the field embarked upon many diplomatic embassies within the Peloponnese, arbitrating between many disputes that arose from there, involving powers like Sparta as well as the Achaean League. I should like to explore Rome's aims behind its diplomatic interventions in the Peloponnese between the Achaean League and the rest of the Peloponnese, the aims of the Achaean League and the other Peloponnesian polities' response to Roman and analyse discrepancies in Polybius' account of the events. Rome's aims in the Peloponnese for the Achaean League: Contact between the Achaean League and the Roman Republic was first established after the demise of the Illyrian War in 228 BC. Roman envoys were sent to the Aetolian and Achaean Leagues respectively to announce this victory with another envoy sent to Athens after the swearing of the peace treaty (Polybius 2.12.4-8; Eckstein 2008: 41). However, these initial contacts were not followed up; no permanent treaties were signed (Eckstein 2008: 74). Presumably, the purpose of these envoys was to seek approval and recognition of their endeavours against the piratical Illyrians. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover, perhaps the disparity in treatment is explained by the fact that Rome simply thought that Nabis threatened stability in the Peloponnese (Eckstein 1987: 305). However, the peace settlement remarked that Sparta should remain independent (Eckstein 2006: 303). Antiochus II, the Seleucid king began the Roman-Syrian War of 192-188 BC by marching his army through Greece and forcing states to join his side. We are told that some states in the Peloponnese, like Elis switched sides to support Antiochus (Eckstein 2008: 325-6). Though helping Rome in the war, the Achaean League used the situation to conquer Sparta, Elis and Messene - despite Flamininus raising objections to this. Nothing was done to prevent the League from doing so bar ineffectual reasoning (Livy 36.31.4-6; Eckstein 2008: 332). Flamininus even supported the inclusion of Messene in the Achaean League (Errington 2008: 240). It would appear that Rome was tolerating their actions, despite having proclaimed 'freedom' for Greece in 196 (Polyb. 18.47.6-7), and thus was sending out the wrong message (Eckstein 2006: 302-3). In 191 BC, a Spartan delegation arrived in Rome asking for the return of hostages taken by Rome after Nabis' defeat in 195, as well as the restoration of perioikic towns to Sparta (Polyb. 21.1.1-2). This request was initially brushed off by the senate (Polyb. 21.1.1-4), who told them to seek satisfaction with the Achaean council, which clearly shows a Roman deference to the League in local politics at the time. However, acknowledging the appeal on behalf of the Spartans was effectively went against the League's constitution. It was supposed to be the League's remit to deal with its own constituents and the effect of this promoted fragility in the Peloponnese. Over the course of time, the continual pleading to Rome just made its hand more powerful (Derow 2003: 66). The senate did send back the hostages in 190, though keeping Nabis' son behind (Polyb. ...read more.

Conclusion

Callicrates, on his own, convinced the Achaean assembly to moderate their stance towards Sparta. He did not argue for them to both leave the League and he only had a letter from the senate backing his recommendation (Eckstein 2008: 369). Polybius was anti-Callicrates mostly due to the fact that he blames his deporting to Rome on Callicrates; he was his political opponent in the Achaean assembly for several years (Errington 2008: 240). He was not the most impartial observer when it came to Roman involvement in the region, thinking that they had acted nefariously after the Third Macedonian War. Polybius' position in Achaean and then Roman society later made him a 'well-placed observer' (Rich 1985: 95). Rome did try to intervene in Peloponnesian politics but most of the time, whatever the senate or legates tried to do, they were ignored; so even if they could act underhand in local politics, they were not listened to anyway (Rich 1985: 95)! Conclusion: As we have seen, Rome did try to maintain a stable relationship with the Achaean League. For the most part, Rome certainly did favour the Achaean League for quite some time due to its support in various wars. Though they were concerned with its expansionist policy before the Third Macedonian War, it was only until after the war that the Republic started to realise that if the League was not reigned in soon, it would start to dominate not just the Peloponnese, but then Greece itself! It was not just impatience with the League, but a dawning realisation that no matter what they did, the Achaean League would continue to follow its own interests. Other poleis in the Peloponnese suffered because of Rome's disposition towards the League and this only actually changed after the final defeat of the League at Corinth. For the League itself, an alliance with Rome was just a way to guarantee survival in an area where many kingdoms and states had vested interests. Rome's decision to go to war with them in 146 BC came totally out of the blue. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Ancient History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Ancient History essays

  1. Was the Fall of the Roman Republic inevitable?

    merely a common theme between the brothers not yet a 'coherent movement' (Ungern-Sternber, 2004, p. 94). However, the consulship of Marius was to test this theory and the power of the senate. Marius was to gain his support and power in an unorthodox method, adding to the feeling that the

  2. Free essay

    How did the use of Mercenaries contribute to the decline of the Greek citizen-soldier ...

    Fortunately for the less well off, this had changed by the end of the fourth century BC: the hoplite panoply had lightened somewhat compare to a century earlier; more hoplites were opting for basic equipment because it was all they could afford (Everson 2004: 139).

  1. To what extent was the elimination of heresy achieved at the expense of personal ...

    Such deterrents ensured that the majority of the Spanish people did not stray into the arms of protestant groups. It is evident that freedoms such as fair access to the law and fair employment were lost yet it must be remembered that we are not comparing freedoms that we have

  2. Attitudes to outsiders in Ancient Greece: Who is allowed into the household and why?

    However private the andron was supposed to be, the symposion and banqueting was held in it (Informally, mean did eat elsewhere, such as in the courtyard or upstairs - Antonaccio 2000: 526-7). The guests were invited into home where they were privileged to have eaten amongst their social equals (Cooper and Morris 1990: 79).

  1. From studying The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry and Birdsong by Sebastian ...

    Owens from his own bitter experiences saw neither honor nor glory to be found in the mud of France. He railed against those at home, particularly those in the press who offered worthless pity and sympathy to those dying needlessly.

  2. Discuss the contributing factors and progress of the fall of the Roman Republic

    He suggested that the surplus population of the towns, particularly of Rome should be forcibly moved back to their land therefore ending the stain on the riches patronage and qualifying the people for military service once more. Far more significant was the way in which he passed the issue, consulting

  1. This essay will examine the foundation myths of Rome as recorded by the historian, ...

    life of tending flocks, developing strength and courage through roaming the wilderness hunting.[5] Upon reaching adulthood, the twins, during the festival of Lupercalia,[6] were put in a position to encounter their grandfather, Numitor, who recognised them as his grandsons. With his assistance, Romulus and Remus, together with bands of the

  2. Why was war so fundamental to social and political organisation in ancient Rome? Was ...

    assessment This declaration is a summary of the University policy on plagiarism. For the policy in full, please refer to http://www.mq.edu.au/academichonesty or the Student Information in the Handbook. Assessment 1: Short Essay Question (B) Why was war so fundamental to social and political organisation in ancient Rome?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work