The first Macedonian War between Philip V of Macedon and the Roman Republic took place between 214 – 205 BC. This war was one of three that led to the division and the eventual end of Macedonia. Prior to the beginning of any known physical conflict between the nations of Rome and Macedonia, an alliance was struck during the Second Punic war between Rome and Carthage. In 215 BC, this alliance was between Philip V and the feared Carthaginian general, Hannibal. If this alliance was completely solidified, it would have changed history immensely as well as the outcome of the Punic and Macedonian Wars for the Roman Republic. However, Philip V and the Macedonian army never fully entered into the Italian peninsula to aid Hannibal's invasion, likewise Hannibal and Bomilcar never sent the Carthaginian navy to assist the Macedonians during the Roman invasion.
Nonetheless, if such critical mistakes did not occur on both sides and each of these respective militaries were able to link up, the second Punic War might have swayed in favor of the Carthaginians, and the Macedonian Wars might have never existed. On the other hand, if Philip V never decided to enter into a treaty with Hannibal and the Carthaginians, the Roman Republic might have never turned its sights towards the kingdom of Macedon. In the end, the alliance between Hannibal and Philip was a useless piece of paper that did not provide military aid for either side, the treaty only led to the inevitable targeting of Macedon by the Roman army out of vengeance against their decision to side with Hannibal.
[...] Fleeing from Sasona after the first whim of a Roman fleet and later burning his entire navy in the bay of Aulon cost Philip the entirety of the war. The alliance between the Romans and the Aetolians did not help matters much for Philip as well. All of these mistakes together caused the end of Macedonia, so was the alliance with Carthage worth it for Philip? It would have been much wiser for Philip to either side with the Romans or stay out of the war completely. [...]
[...] For Hannibal the treaty opened up a new war front against the Romans, but he clearly did not envisage their total destruction” (Austin “Treaty between Hannibal and Philip 159). Either way, this alliance was meant to open up two fronts in the Italian peninsula and take back the Illyrian province for the Macedonian kingdom. The origin and reasons for this treaty are substantially numerous. Philip decided an alliance was necessary between Macedonia and Carthage only at the height of Hannibal's invasion of the Italian peninsula. [...]
[...] The efforts made by Carthage and Macedonia against the Romans were haunted with mistakes and upsets. This treaty goes on further to state, shall be our allies in the war we are fighting with the Romans until the gods give us and you victory; you shall give us such assistance as is necessary and as we mutually agree upon” (Austin “Treaty between Hannibal and Philip 160). This alliance went further to include a declaration of war upon either side's enemies besides the Romans. [...]
[...] This ambiguous nature of the treaty caused Philip to strike a separate peace with Rome once the first Macedonian War concluded, causing Rome to later exact its revenge on Philip for siding with Carthage and Hannibal during Rome's weakest moment. Through all of these events, Philip suffered immensely at the hands of his own mistakes; however there are some things Philip could have done differently. Of course Philip could have simply prevented all of these mistakes and the downfall of his kingdom by either siding with Rome or at least not with Carthage. [...]
[...] Nonetheless, the treaty was only profitable at the time, but since the Carthaginian victory slipped farther and farther away, Philip was soon left to fend for himself. Although the positives were few and far between, the vagueness of the treaty itself hurt Macedonia as well. Since Carthage was not required to immediately assist Philip until a Carthaginian victory over Rome was final, the farther the Romans pushed Carthage out of Italy, the farther Macedonia was separated from its ally. This lack of assistance from Carthage had been Walbank states, “worse than any of these blows had been the failure of Bomilcar or the Bithynians to send those ships which alone could enable Philip to meet the Romans on equal terms” (Walbank 93). [...]
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