Philip V The Final Years

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Philip spent the rest of his life rebuilding his kingdom and trying to avoid conflict with Rome. He brought large amounts of non Macedonians into the country and settled them in under populated areas. He decreed that all Macedonians were to beget and raise children. As Macedon enjoyed 18 years of relative peace its population increased rapidly.

Being confined to the north of Greece, Philip directed Macedon’s expansion to the north and to the east until ultimately he controlled as much of Thrace as had Philip II and Alexander. His success once again drew the attention of a suspicious Rome.

Rome had decided during the second punic war that Philip was an enemy and that opinion would not alter no matter what he did. There were, over the years, a series of charges against him in the senate from which he escaped action only by the good offices of his son, Demetrius, who in his years as a hostage in Rome had made many powerful friends there

Demetrius was favored in Rome to succeed to the throne of Macedon though Philip clearly favored his elder son, Perseus. He demonstrated this in 183 when he when he founded a new city in Pelagonia and named it Perseis. The court was perilously divided into two camps over the succession until the sudden death of young Demetrius in 180. Though Demetrius had been in Paeonia when he died, it was generally believed in Rome that he had been poisoned over the succession either by Perseus or Philip, or both in collusion.

Philip was planning an invasion of the territory of the Dardanians who were allies of Rome when he fell suddenly ill and died in 179. He had lived for 50 years. He had been called the darling of Greece and the butcher of Greece. He was twice defeated by Rome and twice rebuilt his empire. He was most certainly a king of his times.

Postscript

The enmity of Rome was not satisfied by Philip’s death. In 171 Rome declared the third Macedonian war. Macedon, like Carthage, was simply to be finished off . ……..and it was. The small backward country in the north of Greece which Philip II had inherited had come to rule most of the world. It was removed from the map and replaced with a new entity which would be called, ” The Roman Province Of Macedon.” A great tale came to an end; another was only beginning.