Greece under Roman Rulers

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Greece under Roman Rulers

Postby Q. C. Locatus Barbatus on Fri Sep 20, 2002 1:29 pm

Salvete,


a humble question: The conquest of Greece by Rome has always been a dark spot in my memory. Not so much the invasion, but more the consequences it had on Greek and Roman society. Was Greece ransacked? Or did they get a more respectful threatment?


Valete,



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Postby Publius Dionysius Mus on Fri Sep 20, 2002 3:25 pm

Salvete!

A good question! And I think I might have an answer:

When Alexander the Great died, his mighty empire was divided by many of his adjudants ("Diadoches"). Most important: Ptolemaeus ruled Egypt, Seleucus ruled Asia and Antigonus ruled Macedonia. Macedonian kings also ruled the Greek city-states. Philippus V, king of the Macedonians at the time of the Second Punic War, made a deal with Hannibal of Carthago and the Romans didn't really this treaty... When the troubles with Hannibal were over, the Romans immediately embarked to the east to "save the world from the Macedonians". Philippus V was defeated by the Romans under consul Flaminius in 197BC at Cynoscephalae. At the Isthmian Games in 196BC Flaminius declared the Greek city-states officially free (Of course under Roman protectorate, so they were not as free as they thought...).

A few years later king Perseus, son of Philippus, rioted against the Roman occupation and the Romans reacted again very fast... in one month, and a battle of one hour, consul Lucius Aemilius Paulus defeated Perseus at Pydna (in Thessaly). A few years later the Greeks themselves realised they were not that free as they once thought, and they also rioted. This riot ended in the destruction of Corinth (146BC) and the creation of a Provincia (Macedonia and Greece formed this new provincia). Now they were completely ruled by the Romans. As in all provinces, local administration was incorporated in Rome's flexible system of ruling. But Rome ruled Greece as it later did with all other provinces (though the process of Romanisation did not come through in his Greece because of their cultural superiority).

But like all provinces Greece was put under the control of a Roman governor, and they payed taxes, and of course they could be abused by certain Roman magistrates. But unlike other provinces, Greece had an enormous influence on the Romans. The Roman elite started to speak Greek, Greek culture was admired and incorporated in Roman art and architecture. They also had more respect; when we look to the emperors Nero and Hadrianus, they both had much admiration for Greek culture; they were real greek-lovers. So there was of course much respect, more than there was respect towards the Gauls, or the Egyptians. But Greece was a part of the empire, and in that view there were little differences with other provinces.

I hope this answered some of your question...

Valete bene
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