The Major Factors That Led Rome and the Hellenistic Kingdom to Clash

Topics: Roman Republic, Alexander the Great, Carthage Pages: 6 (2319 words) Published: February 20, 2013
6. What were the major factors that led to clashes between Rome and the Hellenistic kingdoms, down to 146 B.C.? Can one decide what proportion of the responsibility for these clashes belongs to Rome, to the Hellenistic "great powers" (the Antigonids, Seleucids and Ptolemies) and to the minor players?  

This essay will what were the major factors that led to clashes between Rome and the Hellenistic kingdom, down to 146 B.C. A brief history of Rome’s increasing involvement in the Hellenistic area starting with its wars with Hannibal of Carthage and how the Hellenistic Kingdoms of Antigonids, the Seleucids and the Ptolemies and several other minor powers in the area came to be after the death of Alexander. The essay will focus on the factors that the writer believes contributed to the clashes. These being, Philips alliance with Hannibal and the Carthaginian empire, the results of ambassadors from Rhodes and Pergamum being received in Rome and telling of an appending alliance between Philip of Macedon and Antiochus of the Seleucids Kingdom, the third factor is that Rome was simply coming to the aid of its ‘friends’, various smaller powers in the area with which it had formed alliances. The essay will then focus on to whom the responsibility for the clashes between Rome and the Hellenistic Kingdoms lies with and what proportion of responsibility can apportioned to each party. This will focus on the major players of the Hellenistic Kingdoms, the Antigonids, Seleucids and Ptolemies and other smaller players. After the death of Alexander in 323B.C. the empire which he had created began to be broken up into different kingdoms and satraps amid bitter infighting by his generals, including Ptolemy, Cassander, Antigonus, Parmenion and Seleucus. “the ultimate fragmentation of Alexander’s empire was likelihood from the start, and the history of the following generation was to see the emergence of several separate kingdoms and dynasties out of his once unified empire.” Out of these generals three emerged to take control of large pieces of Alexander’s empire, these were, Ptolemy, Antigonus and Seleucus. Ptolemy Soter had campaigned with Alexander from the beginning and had gained Alexanders trust, and had become one of his personal bodyguards as well as one of Alexander’s generals. After Alexanders death Ptolemy was given the satrapy of Egypt and soon used his new found authority to start claiming some of the surrounding areas, including, the region around Cyrene. His first challenge to the authority of the other satrapies and kingdoms was the claiming of Alexanders remains as his funeral procession toured through his empire. Ptolemy later won the lands of Palestine and Cyprus to further secure Egypt’s borders. The Ptolemy dynasty lasted many centuries until it also came under Roman rule. Antigonus was another one of Alexander’s successors and created the Antigonid dynasty which was to rule Macedonia and parts of Greece. Antigonus had ambitions to recreate Alexanders empire and this was recognized by the other successors who formed an alliance against him, that was fought over many battle but reached no real conclusion, but prevented him from expanding his kingdom any further. Antigonus was constantly under attack from all sides and finally fell in battle and his kingdom now came under the control of his son. Seleucus was another of Alexanders general and after his death was given the satrapy of Babylonia and after first being ousted by Antigonus, he fled to Egypt to seek refuge with Ptolemy, after a number of years in Egypt, Seleucus returned to take over much of Persia. The lands that he had gained were ethnically diverse and used different parts of each culture to administer his lands. Seleucus managed to gain back much of Alexander’s former empire until he was assassinated and his son took over his leadership. These three successors of Alexander along with the more minor satrap of Lysimachus and Cassander inherited an empire but...

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[ 1 ]. M.M. Austin The Hellenistic World: From Alexander to the Roman Conquest 2nd Ed Cambridge University Press Cambridge. 2006 pp. 63
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[ 3 ]. Billows. R.A. Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenistic State. University of California Press, Berkley. 1990
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