Peace of Phoenice, 205 BC

The peace of Phoenice of 205 ended the fighting in the First Macedonian War (215-205 BC). The war had broken out in 215 BC when in the aftermath of the battle of Cannae Philip V of Macedonia had decided to ally himself with Hannibal. At first the Romans had responded by sending a naval expedition to the Illyrian coast, in an attempt to prevent Philip from crossing to Italy. They had then found allies on mainland Greece, making a treaty with the Aetolian League.

This alliance had achieved the main Roman aims, keeping Philip pinned down in Greece, but by 207 BC the Roman involvement in the war was winding down. Hannibal was still active in Italy, but the wider Second Punic War had clearly turned in Rome’s favour. This left the Aetolian League vulnerable, and in 206 BC they had made peace with Philip.

The Romans responded by sending P. Sempronius Tuditanus with 10,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry to Illyria, in an attempt to revive the war, but when this failed they accepted an offer from the Epirote federation to help negotiate a peace treaty.

The negotiations took place in the Epirote city of Phoenice, and focused on the fate of Rome’s friends and allies in Illyria. Early in the war Philip had conquered the city of Dimallum and the Parthini and Atintanes tribes. In the final campaign of the war the Romans had pushed Philip out of Parthini territory. He also agreed to pull out of Dimallum, but was allowed to keep the Atintanes.

The peace would be short lived. The Romans had not forgiven Philip for attacking them when they were at their weakest, and only five years later fighting broke out once again (Second Macedonian War).

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 November 2008), Peace of Phoenice, 205 BC , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/peace_phoenice.html

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