Attalus I - Macedonian Hostilities of 201 BC

Macedonian Hostilities of 201 BC

Prevented by the treaty of Phoenice from expansion in the east, Philip set out to extend his power in the Aegean and in Asia Minor. In the spring of 201 BC he took Samos and the Egyptian fleet stationed there. He then besieged Chios to the north. These events caused Attalus, allied with Rhodes, Byzantium and Cyzicus, to enter the war. A large naval battle occurred in the strait between Chios and the mainland, just southwest of Erythrae. According to Polybius, fifty-three decked warships and over one hundred and fifty smaller warships, took part on the Macedonian side, with sixty-five decked warships and a number of smaller warships on the allied side. During the battle Attalus, having become isolated from his fleet and pursued by Philip, was forced to run his three ships ashore, narrowly escaping by spreading various royal treasures on the decks of the grounded ships, causing his pursuers to abandon the pursuit in favor of plunder.

The same year, Philip invaded Pergamon; although unable to take the easily defended city, in part due to precautions taken by Attalus to provide for additional fortifications, he demolished the surrounding temples and altars. Meanwhile, Attalus and Rhodes sent envoys to Rome, to register their complaints against Philip.

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