Page 0680



assisted by Attalus, king of Pergamus, sent out a fleet against Philip,

and the Romans, also interfering, compelled him to return to his own


For a year or two, however, he continued to press the war in Asia Minor,

and, among other successes, gained a decisive victory over the AEtolian

general Scopas, in a battle at the foot of Mount Panius. His

justification for all these proceedings was that as the heir of Seleucus

Nicator he was the rightful ruler of all the countries of the Lesser

Asia. In B. C. 197, he besieged the fortresses of Mysia and Caria, and

presently afterwards invested Smyrna and Lampsacus. He then overran

Thrace, and began to rebuild the ruined city of Lysimachia. All these

measures indicated that the Macedonian ruler was about to lay a strong

hand on the greater part of the Alexandrine Empire in the West. But a

stronger Hand now reached out of the shadows. The outlines of the

fingers of Rome were seen on the wall of destiny.

In B. C. 196 the Isthmian games were in progress at Corinth. The states

were assembled to witness the time-honored celebration. Suddenly the

Roman proconsul, Titus Quinctius Flaminius, appeared in the midst and

announced that the great Republic of the West assumed thenceforth the

protectorate of the commonwealths of Greece. He, as arbiter, would hear

the ambassadors of the several states at war, and settle without

prejudice all the points in controversy! The announcement was equivalent

to saying that the empire of the world had been suddenly transferred

from the banks of the Euphrates to the banks of the Tiber, from Babylon

to Rome!

We have now pursued the course of events from the death of Alexander the

Great through the turmoil of revolution and bloodshed down to the time

when the fragments of the colossal empire established by the son of

Philip began to be absorbed by the Roman Republic. The period occupied

by the contentions of the successors of Alexander B. C. 326-196 is one

of the darkest and most difficult passages in history. These times were

the Middle Ages of Antiquity. They stood chaotic between the unity of

Persia and Macedonia on the one hand, and the greater unity of Rome on

the other. Not without a certain sense of relief may the reader turn

from the heterogeneous jumble of events presented by the annals of the

Graeco-Syrian, Graeco-Egyptian, and Macedonian kingdoms to the unique

and singular grandeur of Rome. To that great power of the West our

attention will now be directed.