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Origin of the Last Macedonian War

At this time were sowed the seeds of fatal evils to the
B. C. 186. The origin of the last Macedonian war.
royal house of Macedonia. I am aware that some historians of the war between Rome and Perseus, when they wish to set forth the causes of the quarrel for our information, assign as the primary one the expulsion of Abrupolis from his principality, on the ground of having made a raid upon the mines at Pangaeum after the death of Philip, which Perseus repulsed, finally expelling him entirely out of his own dominions.
Abrupolis, a Thracian prince and friend of the Romans. See Livy, 42, 13, 40. Death of Philip V. B. C. 179.
Next they mention the invasion of Dolopia, and the visit of Perseus to Delphi, the plot against Eumenes at Delphi, and the murder of the ambassadors in Boeotia; and from these they say sprang the war between Perseus and the Romans.
B. C. 176-172.
But my contention is that it is of most decisive advantage, both to historians and their readers, to know the causes from which the several events are born and spring. Most historians confound these, because they do not keep a firm hold upon the distinction between a pretext and a cause, or again between a pretext and a beginning of a war. And since events at the present time recall this distinction I feel compelled to renew my discussion of this subject.
See bk. 3, ch. 6.
For instance, of the events just referred to, the first three are pretexts; the last two—the plot against Eumenes, the murder of the ambassadors, and other similar things that happened during the same period—are clear beginnings of the war between Rome and Perseus, and of the final overthrow of the Macedonian kingdom; but not one of them is a cause of these things. I will illustrate by examples. Just as we say that Philip son of Amyntas contemplated and determined upon accomplishing the war with Persia, while Alexander put into execution what he had projected, so in the present instance we say that Philip son of Demetrius first projected the last war against Rome, and had all his preparations ready for the execution of his design, but that after his death Perseus became the agent in carrying out the undertaking itself. If this be true, the following also is clear: it is impossible that the causes of the war should have been subsequent to the death of him who resolved upon and projected it; which would be the case if we accepted the account of these historians; for the events alleged by them as its causes were subsequent to the death of Philip. . . .

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