Greetings Europa Barbarorum fans.
Here is the first new faction in EB2 revealed. We hope people will like the choice and this preview. While it is not as much as other faction previews, we thought it could be nice to reveal at least one faction. So from now on people can at least come with their "What 9 factions I'd want to see" lists.
Do remember though that all info herein is WIP, so expect the texts and the faction symbol to be polished up for the day EB2 is released.
And we are still looking for more unit artists, skinners & modellers, so if you want to help tell us here: Forums.totalwar.org
You aren’t King yet, but that may change.
We call the son of Seleukos Nikator our King, but does he deserve that honour? Terracotta elephants trumpet how Antiochos defeated the Galatai with his elephants three years ago. Our hoplitai have fought toe to toe with these barbarian invaders, yet all praise goes to our “King the saviour” who snatched a victory by using lumbering monsters of the east. Do the terracotta figurines trumpet how Antiochos has levied a “Galatian tax” to pay off the barbarians after his victory? Why would a “saviour” need to pay his defeated foes gold after a glorious victory? And now his father’s empire is crumbling. Other men are setting up their own kingdoms along the borderlands of his empire, while the “King of Kings” is too busy warring with the the king of Aigyptos to notice. Should we continue to acknowledge Antiochos “Soter”, while others do not? Instead of paying taxes and tribute to him, we should use our talents of silver to raise a larger army to defend ourselves and our fair city and when the time is right, join the “lesser Diadochoi” in freedom. You could proclaim yourself King and we could finally utter "Basileus" without getting a foul taste in our mouths. With the Aigyptian armies to his south and many breakaway kingdoms along his borders, Antiochos and his ilk won’t be in much of a position to act if you “reclaim” from them the lands west of the Tauros Mountains.
Our city and its people have served both Lysimachos and Seleukos so our soldiers fight as true Hellenes do. The army is modelled after the armies of Alexandros and his Diadochoi. Why change the horses of a winning chariot? Both pikemen and hoplites will serve as the backbone of your armies. However, neither should the non-Hellenes be forgotten. To the east our new neighbours the Galatai are fierce barbarian warriors and should they be reasoned with, can prove very fierce and capable soldiers to augment your armies. And the native Anatolian tribes can be levied to bolster your numbers in war. And should your treasury be brimming with gold, mercenaries can be hired from near and far. Should the borders of your kingdom expand, you might find it wise to imitate some of the military innovations by the Diadochoi such as the katoikiai, or military settlements, to provide a source of reliable professional troops, answerable to you alone. Heavier cavalry should also be considered that can prove crucial in your armies as the hammer to break the enemy upon your anvil, the phalangitai.
While our city is well fortified your position is not the best. You are surrounded by powers that would not look kindly on any ascension on our part. The local Mysians are constantly causing trouble and they should be dealt with if you wish to forge a strong kingdom. The King of Syria will be our nemesis should you revolt and decide to expand at his expense in Mikra Asia. If the nearby borders are secure, he will send armies across the Tauros Mountains to “teach you a lesson”. The son of Ptolemaios I Soter rules the lands along the southern coast and can prove to be an valuable ally against the King of Syria, however if you should be successful and carve yourself an empire, he might find you a threat and shift his allegiance to your enemies and plot against you, which his family are known to do. Never fully trust the “Aigyptioi” and their King. To your east are the Galatai, barbarian invaders from faraway Gallia who by Bithynian aid have settled in the lands now being called Galatia. They are strong warriors who ever since arriving have pillaged lands all around their new homelands and demanded tribute to leave others alone. If they are ever to be on amicable terms with us, they must be defeated. Barbarians only understand strength. Still even if they are barbarians, do not mistreat them, because they can provide fierce & disciplined troops for your armies. To their north is Bithynia another kingdom born after the death of Lysimachos and his kingdom, ruled by Thracian mongrels. They are too weak on their own so they ferried the Galatai over the straits to help them and are now using the barbarians to try and claim our lands. The Bithynians should be taught a harsh lesson and their lands and mines taken from them if you ever wish to be at peace. To the east of Bithynia though is another potential enemy, the Persian kingdom of Pontos. The King of Pontos will look upon Bithynia with covetous eyes and might find your kingdom an easier target than the lands of the Syrian King or Armenia to his east. But there are also states to the west across the Aegean Sea to worry about. Makedonia is fighting a desperate war with Pyrrhos King of Epeiros and a new alliance of city states is forming in the south. They will fight each other relentlessly trying to gain dominance of Hellas, which can be beneficial for you as long as no one gains the upper hand. Carving out a greater kingdom to the west might be another option if the armies of the King of Syria prove to be too strong in the east. Should you send your armies to Hellas, you should do so when the kingdoms and poleis are embroiled in war with each other so it will be easier to liberate the cities from weak foes and weak rulers and bring the peace that Hellas deserves.
The faction symbol represents Athena, the patron deity of Pergamon.
The motif of a seated Athena either holding laurels with one hand and shield with other, or Athena just sitting and holding a shield in front of her, appears very frequently on Pergamene coins making it an obvious choice as the Pergamene faction symbol. The use of silver is a homage to the large treasury of silver talents Philetairos controlled.
Reasons for choosing the faction
Pergamon was among the first factions to get selected. A look at their history should provide ample evidence. The faction would also be much easier to research than other factions and they filled our internal criteria really well compared to the other candidates. Unitwise, they will not require many extra unit slots for factional units compared to others (at least at the moment). The Kings of Pergamon were expansionistic, although their conquests were mostly taking advantage of a situation or allying with stronger powers, like Rome.
Pergamon did seize much of Asia Minor on two occasions. Thus we have included, most of Asia Minor, except the lands east of the Tauros Mountains. Pergamon did also interfere and influence events in Greece so we included Greece as well. The purple area is Mysia the only region Pergamon will start with.
Pergamon will most likely be a mix between Makedonia & Arche Seleukeia in terms of units, but with a more emphasis on mercenaries and nearby regionals from Greece & Asia Minor playing a more key role, notably Galatians & Thracians. Other possibilites are Seleukid units (pikemen,cataphracts) available from specific Seleukid lands, an elite thureophoroi unit, Aigosagai unit, Trallian mercenaries, Pergamene Hetairoi cavalry unit and a unit of eastern Celtic mercenaries recruitable from Mysia.
We might even fiddle with the guilds system to represent the Pergamene King giving lands to the Celtic Aigosagai tribe and the building will in return give access to a few Celtic units.
Some units Pergamon will get access to (note these are not Pergamene skins):
Akontistai by Martelus Flavius
Hoplitai by Megalos
Hoplitai shield emblems
Hoplitai helmet variants
Hoplitai Poses #1
Hoplitai Poses #2
History of Pergamon
The history of the city and kingdom of Pergamon is the history of the Attalid dynasty. The city itself gained autonomy in 282 or 281 BC during the last years of the Wars of the Diadochoi, the wars fought between the generals of Megas Alexandros after his death. The city of Pergamon was ruled by Lysimachos, the King of Thraikia and one of the Diadochoi, but its first Attalid ruler Philetairos served under Antigonos Monophtalmos at first. However, Philetairos switched his allegiance to Lysimachos at a later date and after Antigonos was killed at the battle of Ipsos in 301 BC, Philetairos was appointed commander of the city of Pergamon, where according to Strabo, Lysimachos kept a treasury of 9000 talents of silver, a treasury the future Attalids would gain much from. The fact Philetairos was given responsibility for such a large treasury shows he must have gained the trust of Lysimachos. And Philetairos kept that trust...for twenty years.
In 282 BC Philetairos for reasons not entirely clear to us shifted his loyalties to Seleukos I Nikator along with the walled city of Pergamon and its treasury. It was at this time the intrigues at Lysimachos' court escalated out of hand and destabilized the kingdom of Thraikia or the Lysimachian empire as some also call it. Lysimachos had a son Agathokles with his first wife Nikea, who had risen to become the successor and right-hand of his father. They had each married a daughter of Ptolemaios I Soter in 299 BC, Lysimachos with Arsinoe and Agathokles with Lysandra. This decision proved to be the end of Lysimachos, his line and empire. Arsinoe, seeing that she and her children would become the subjects of her stepson and sister, began to spread rumours of treachery and deceit about Agathokles at court, hoping to smear his reputation and get her own son appointed as successor. The tactic worked and Lysimachos himself had Agathokles killed, an action that outraged his subjects. This caused Lysandra, now a widow to flee to the court of Seleukos I Nikator and plead for his aid, giving Seleukos the excuse he needed to invade Lysimachos' empire and the treacherous murder also caused major revolts in Lysimachos' Asian cities and his own friends to desert him, including Philetairos. Some sources indicate Philetairos was a good friend of Agathokles and thus a supporter of his wife Lysandra.
It is very likely Philetairos, while not explicitly stated, was a cunning politician as he was an eunuch, something which was not seen in high regard in Hellenistic society and who were often humiliated, especially those in royal service. To have become commander of a strategically important fortress-city along with a large royal treasury shows Philetairos must have had good political acumen to obtain such a prestigious position. Which makes it more plausible to believe he recognized Seleukos as the likely candidate to come out of the coming war as victor and thus he could have conveniently used the murder of Agathokles as reason to defect.
The year 281 BC proved decisive, first at the battle of Korupedion, the last battle between two of Megas Alexandros' generals where Lysimachos was slain, according to Appian by Seleukos himself. Then, shortly after the battle Seleukos was assassinated by Ptolemaios Keraunos, a disowned son of Ptolemaios Soter. With Seleukos dead, Philetairos was able to build up his own powerbase at Pergamon, due to still controlling the treasury (sources say he had much wealth and used much of it. It is possible Seleukos was too busy trying to take control of Makedonia and did not get the time to properly take control over Pergamon). Another reason was that he new Seleukid king, Antiochos I had his hands full with putting down revolts in Syria, Kappadokia and Bithynia and thus did not have time to do anything about Pergamon, which still was nominally a Seleukid city, but clearly becoming more independent. Because there is no mention of Philetairos participating in the battle of Korupedion (although not much is know about the battle except its name and outcome) it is very plausible he still maintained his army, city and treasury intact along with the surrounding countryside and thus some historians refer to Pergamon as the rump state of the Kingdom of Thraikia.
Philetairos - The first ruler
Philetairos most likely started his career as a mercenary soldier, a profession not uncommon during the the wars of the Diadochoi. He was born in 340 BC in the small town of Tieion situated between Bithynia and Paphlagonia, to a Hellenic father named Attalos and a Paphlagonian mother named Boa and was one of three attested brothers, the other two were named Eumenes and Attalos. Nothing is known about his parents, except their lineage and that it was from Philetairos' father the Attalids claimed descent from. As previously mentioned, Philetairos was a eunuch, but why is unknown. Attalos I claimed that Philetairos when he was an infant was brought into a crowd during a burial, carried by a nurse and he was pressed upon by the crowd which crushed his testicles. This is most likely a fabrication by Attalos I to make the origins of his dynasty look better, because of the stigma attached to eunuchs. Philetairos' eunuchism is attested by both Strabo & Appian and coins minted with his portrait show him as overweight, a common aftereffect for eunuchs (although Philetairos never struck coins bearing his own portrait, his successors did as a tribute to him. Philetairos himself minted coins bearing the portrait of Seleukos I Nikator).
Philetairos ruled Pergamon for forty years and by all accounts seemed to be a benevolent ruler, although he had to fight invaders and revolts by the native Mysians. Within the city itself he strengthened its fortifications, constructed the famous akropolis of Pergamon, the city's first palace, a temple to Demeter and a temple to Athena, the city's patron deity.
Outside Pergamon he used his wealth to build up prestige and goodwill, which is attested by Strabo and numerous records. He donated money to neighbouring cities and temples, most notably the oracles at Delphi and Demos. He also contributed troops, money and food to the city of Kyzikos in defense of the invading Galatians.
Philetairos never married and obviously fathered no children, so he adopted his nephew Eumenes, the son of his brother also named Eumenes. Philetairos died in 263 BC and Eumenes I succeeded him without major incident.
Eumenes I - King in all but name
Eumenes I was the second ruler of Pergamon, who took control of the city in 263 BC. He was the son of Eumenes (brother of Philetairos) and a Satyra. Eumenes I did not declare himself King, but he had all the powers of one. Shortly after coming to power Eumenes, probably with encouragement from Ptolemaios II Philadelphos, revolted against the Seleukid king Antiochos I and defeated him at the battle of Sardis the same year, securing Pergamon's independence and giving the new state control over large territories in western Asia Minor. It also helped that Antiochos I died shortly after the battle of Sardis and the next Seleukid king Antiochos II was occupied with the Second Syrian War and restless city-states and rulers in Seleukid Asia Minor, in addition to the coming revolts in far away Parthia and Baktria.
After his victory Eumenes began to fortify Pergamon's borders. In the north Eumenes established a garrison at the foot of Mount Ida called Philetaireia after his adoptive father. To the east he founded a garrison northeast of the town of Thyatira which he called Attaleia and he also extended the Pergamene borders south of the river Kaikos to the Gulf of Cyme. He also minted coins with Philetairos' portrait to mark his independence from the Seleukid kingdom.
There are no mention of major battles or conflicts involving Pergamon for the remainder of Eumenes' reign. It is very likely Eumenes like most rulers in Asia Minor paid tribute to the Galatians to keep them from pillaging their lands. Also, Eumenes might have stayed clear of the Seleukid-Ptolemaic conflict, although it seems he was supporting the Ptolemaioi.
There is though, an inscription from his early years as ruler regarding a mercenary revolt which was settled between Eumenes and mercenaries under his pay, with Eumenes giving concessions to end the troubles. The inscription with the treaty made between Eumenes and the mercenary commanders, shows that the mercenaries in revolt were the garrisons of the aforementioned new border garrisons established by Eumenes, which is probably the reason Eumenes did give concessions as it would seriously threaten his kingdom should he not have control over the border forts, especially with the newly arrived Galatians rampaging throughout Asia Minor.
Eumenes died without a son, although there is mention of a «Philetairos, son of Eumenes» from an inscription and some historians consider him Eumenes' son who must have died before 241 BC, the year Eumenes I passed away. Eumenes had adopted his secound cousin Attalos, who would become the most famous Attalid ruler and Pergamon's first King. After his death, festival games called the Eumeneia were instituted in his honor.
Attalos I Soter - The First King
Attalos I was born in 269 BC and was the great-grandson of Attalos, the father of Philetairos. Both his father and grandfather were named Attalos as well. His grandfather was the brother of Philetairos, while his natural father was the cousin of his adoptive father Eumenes I. Attalos' mother Antiochis was likely a Seleukid princess, probably the granddaughter of Seleukos I Nikator.
Attalos was adopted as a young child by Eumenes I when his father died. Not much known about his early life, except being mentioned as a benefactor of Delphi and that he won fame as a charioteer and winning at Olympia, for which a statue was erected in his honour in Pergamon.
Attalos' most famous deed was probably his victory over the Galatians in 237 BC four years after becoming the ruler of Pergamon. The Galatians were Keltoi who had moved into Asia Minor at the behest of the Bithynian King Nikomedes I in 278-277 BC to help him with a dynastic dispute. After this they had settled in central Asia Minor which soon was named Galatia and according to ancient historians their numbers grew quickly due to more Keltoi immigrating from Thraikia. The Galatians had rapidly become the dominant power in Asia Minor exacting tribute from their neighbours to remain calm, although the Galatians still ravaged neighbouring lands it seems. Pausanias writes that Attalos I was the first ruler to refuse to pay the tributes and the Galatians accordingly marched on to Pergamon. At the springs of the river Kaikos the Pergamene & Galatian armies met in a pitched battle (according to Livy) where Attalos won a decisive victory. Attalos immediately used the victory for all it was worth. He took the epithet Soter, meaning Saviour as he presented himself and his city as the guardians of Greece against the Galatians and declared himself King (with the title Soter and victory over the barbarians he had the needed «public virtue» to claim the title of King). By this he was following the other Hellenistic monarchs who had claimed titles after defeating the Galatians, like Antiochos I of Syria and Antigonos II Gonatas of Makedonia and who had used the goodwill from the victories to declare themselves Kings, in an age where Hellenes still regarded Kings as tyrants and thus any King needed to portray themselves as a virtous man and defeating the Galatians was one. The Galatians were painted as despicable barbarians who were more animal than humans, who raped women and ate babies, among other barbaric and evil things. This was first done by the Hellenes in Hellas to unite themselves against the invading Keltoi in 280 BC and the image was afterwards supported by the Hellenistic rulers as this made their victories over them become more important as they were then portrayed as battles in defense of the Hellenic culture, cities and people.
Following the victory it is very likely that it was now Attalos began to retroactively fit Pergamon into Hellenistic society as it was a fairly new political entity in the Hellenic world. First the Attalid dynasty associated itself and the city of Pergamon with Telephos, son of Herakles, mostly through art like the frieze depicting his life, on the interior of the Pergamon Altar. This to claim descendance from the Olympians, as every Hellenic dynasty or city did. Secondly, was as previously mentioned, to cast Philetairos' eunuchism in a better light, due to the stigma attached to it. Also, Pausanias mentions a story how an oracle had foretold Attalos' victory a generation earlier. Most likely the story was a concoction by the Attalids themselves to show divine blessing bestowed on their dynasty.
In 229 BC Asia Minor was in turmoil again. Antiochos Hierax, the brother of Seleukos II Kallinikos the current Seleukid king, had seized the Seleukid posessions in Asia Minor and declared himself King. He had also married the daughter of the Bithynian King Ziaelas, had allies among the Galatians and he set out to expand his holdings, first at Attalos' expense. However this proved to be his undoing. Attalos first defeated him in Phrygia in 229 BC. The following year Antiochos Hierax called upon his Galatian allies for aid (or hired mercenaries) and invaded again. Attalos proved the stronger and his army defeated Hierax thrice; first at the Aphrodisium or Temple of Aphrodite near Pergamon and second at Lake Coloe in Lydia. Later the same year he defeated Hierax at the banks of the Harpasos river in Karia, forcing the Seleukid pretender to flee to Aigyptos where he died the year after.
With Hierax gone Attalos quickly made himself master of all Seleukid lands north and west of the Tauros Mountains and held on to them despite repeated attempts by Seleukos III Keraunos. In 224 he defeated a Lysias in battle, maybe a Seleukid commander. However the enlarged Pergamene kingdom only lasted for 6 years. In 223 BC Seleukos III Keraunos marched across the Tauros Mountains alongside his uncle Akaios (Latinized Achaeus), only to be assassinated by two of his officers shortly after. Akaios vowed to continue the campaign and the following year he had pushed Attalos back to Pergamon itself, as in Polybios' own words "shut up Attalus within the walls of Pergamum" and then assumed the title of king, ruling over the former territories held by Antiochos Hierax in addition to large parts of Aeolis and Mysia. For four years there was a shaky peace between Attalos and Akaios, but that was broken in 218 BC, when Akaios marched south to wage war on the city of Selge in Pisidia. Attalos used the oppurtunity to reclaim territories he had held before 230 BC and subdued the cities of Mysia and Aeolis with the aid of the Aigosagai, a tribe of Thraikian Keltoi. Akaios returned in 217 BC from Pisidia and resumed hostilities with Attalos, but there are no mentions of major battles. The following year though Attalos & Antiochos III, the new Seleukid king allied with eachother. Antiochos III had the previous year lost a major battle against the Ptolemaioi at Raphia and instead decided to reclaim the Seleukid posessions in Asia Minor. Antiochos III crossed the Tauros and quickly conquered the lands under Akaios and besieged Sardis for three years. When Akaios and his wife was dead, Antiochos III left Asia Minor to reclaim the rebellious eastern satrapies. By all accounts it seems as if Attalos kept the lands he had ruled over before 230 BC and probably viewed Antiochos III as a foe not worth fighting against and also because there was cause for concern in Makedonia to the west.
Thwarted in the east, Attalos turned his attention to the west, where he probably had noted the ascension of Philippos V to the Makedonian throne with unease. Already in 219 BC Attalos had entered into an alliance with the Aitolian League, enemies of Philippos V, and had financed the construction of fortifications at Elaios, an Aitolian stronghold in Kalydonia. Philippos V' alliance with Hannibal had caused great concern in Rome, who were worried about fighting against two nations. To curtail the threat Philippos V posed, the Romaioi and Aitolians signed an alliance in 211 BC, which included a provision stating that any allies of the Aitolian League could join the alliance with Rome. Attalos did so and became one of two strategoi over the League and thus Pergamon entered politics in Hellas fully and consequently the First Makedonian War. Attalos might have sent troops to aid the Roman navy in conquering the island of Aegina in 210 BC (he did use the island as a base of operations when he arrived in Hellas later), but it is during the spring of 209 BC we see Attalos personally involved in Hellas. The same year Philippos V marched south with his army and defeated Pyrrhias, the second strategos of the Aitolian League at two battles near Lamia, although Livy says the casualties were light on both sides as the Aitolians feared to fight Philippos V in the open. Attalos arrived on Aegina in July and wintered there with the Roman proconsul Publius Sulpicius Galba and his fleet. The following summer the combined Pergamene & Roman fleets (35 Pergamene ships and 25 Roman) tried to seize the island of Lemnos, but failed although they did occupy and plundered the island of Peparethos (Skopelos), both islands being Makedonian possessions. When the peace talks at Phalara failed, Attalos and Sulpicius sacked the cities of Oreus (on the northern coast of Euboia) and Opus (chief city of eastern Lokris), with Sulpicius plundering the former city and the Attalos the latter. With the Roman and Pergamene forces divided, Philippos V attacked Opus where the Pergamene troops were busy collecting spoils. Hadn't it been for a band of Kretikoi foraging further away than usual, Philippos V could have launched a full-scale surprise attack and captured Attalos and his warships, if Livy is to believed. Still Philippos showing up so soon surprised Attalos and his soldiers who immidiately retreated from Opus in panic, according to Livy the Pergamenes were pushing their ships out of the harbour when the Makedonian army marched into Opus. Shortly after the debacle at Opus Attalos received word that the king of Bithynia Prusias I, related to Philippos V by marriage and encouraged by him, had violated the borders between their kingdoms and Attalos was forced to abandon his campaign in Hellas. The Romans did likewise as they had to concentrate their forces on Hannibal. With the Roman and Pergamene fleets out of the war for now Philippos launched an offensive against the Aitolians and took several towns from them. With their allies occupied elsewhere, the Aitolian League was forced to sue for peace in 206 BC on Philippos' terms. The peace treaty signed a year later ended the First Makedonian War, including the war between Attalos and Prusias. For his troubles in the war Attalos was given the island of Aegina.
Attalos and his kingdom knew peace for four more years. An important event in Roman history happened in 205 BC. As Livy puts it in Book 29:10:
«About this time the citizens were much exercised by a religious question which had lately come up. Owing to the unusual number of showers of stones which had fallen during the year, an inspection had been made of the Sibylline Books, and some oracular verses had been discovered which announced that whenever a foreign foe should carry war into Italy he could be driven out and conquered if the Mater Idaea were brought from Pessinus to Rome.»
Knowing that the ancient lands of Troy and the sacred mountain Ida was possessed by Attalos they sent a mission to him to ask for his aid. This they did, after consulting the oracle of Delphi who said the Roman envoys had to ask Attalos for help. Attalos himself received the envoys warmly and hearing their task, took them to Pessinos in Phrygia, where he gave them the sacred stone which the natives called «Mother of the Gods». The Romans immidiately took the stone back to Rome where the goddess became know as Magna Mater and Hannibal was driven out of Italy eventually, although not by divine retribution but by a Roman army threatening Carthage itself. Still the prophecy had come true and Magna Mater gained a wide following in Rome as a result.
In 201 BC Pergamon was at war again. Philippos V had conquered the island of Samos and ousted the Ptolemaic fleet stationed there and in addition captured several warships, bolstering the numbers of his war fleet which was already large from before. With the First Macedonian War over Philippos had decided to get rid off Rhodes once and for all, so he had allied himself with Cretan city-states, Aitolian & Spartan pirates and began attacking Rhodian shipping lanes, which was hurting the Rhodian economy. Philippos & Antiochos III had also signed a treaty dividing the Ptolemaic kingdom between them and Philippos was moving in to seize his claim, which apparently included Rhodes a Ptolemaic ally. The conquest of Samos and the large size of Philippos' navy alarmed Pergamon & Rhodes who subsequently allied to face Philippos together. At this time the Second Punic War was coming to an end, so he might have (correctly) concluded that Rome would settle the score with him, (because of his alliance with Hannibal) so while the Roman armies were still tied up in Iberia & Africa he might have decided to quickly get rid off Pergamon and Rhodes to secure his eastern borders when the inevitable Roman invasion came.
Philippos attacked the island of Chios first, after Samos, ostensibly to cut off any Pergamene aid to Rhodos and likewise any Rhodian help to Pergamon, thus leaving him free to attack either city without fear of reinforcements from the other. Attalos was at this time preparing the defenses of Pergamon, but the Rhodian admiral Theophiliscus however convinced Attalos to abandon the preparations and instead join forces with the Rhodian navy, which at this time was among the finest navies in the world and jointly attack Philippos on Chios. Pergamon was famed for being an almost-impregnable fortress and Theophiliscus correctly understood that Pergamon would be able to withstand anything Philippos threw at its walls. Philippos and his army was besieging the city of Chios when the Rhodian and Pergamene fleets arrived at the island. Polybios writes that Philippos understood he was in a predicament, as the island of Chios is only 3 miles from the Anatolian coast, a narrow strait which did not lend itself well to a defending fleet. The Makedonian King tried to retreat south towards Samos, but the allies cut him off. Sources indicate that the Makedonian fleet consisted of around 200 ships, 53 of the heaviest class while the allies had 100 ships, 65 of the heaviest class. Attalos' warships attacked first and early on managed to sink the flagship of Philippos although he was not on it, instead waiting near an island on another warship with the royal escort. The Pergamene fleet managed to block the Makedonian advance and forced the Makedonians to commit more warships against them. Seeing this the Rhodians launched their assault having waited on the beaches for the precise moment. Unfortunately the Rhodioi only met with initial success before the well-trained Makedonian marines and crews began fighting them off with mixed results. With the Rhodian assault the Makedonians had created a gap in their battle line, which Attalos quickly exploited. However when Attalos and two lighter escort ships were rushing to aid some distressed Pergamene ships, they sailed right past the island where Philippos was waiting. Seeing Attalos' flagship sail by, Philippos immidiately gave chase with ten warships and intercepted Attalos before he could return to his own fleet. Attalos however beached his flagship on the Anatolian shore near the town of Erythrai where he fled. Polybios writes that Attalos managed to flee the Makedonian marines boarding his ship by spreading «royal treasures» on the deck, distracting the enemy soldiers who started looting. Thus, for the second time Attalos managed just barely to escape being caught by the Makedonians. Philippos while angry at his foe fleeing his grasp, managed to get Attalos' flagship in tow and rally the scattered vessels. Seeing the flagship in enemy hands the Pergamene admiral Dionysodorus signaled his warships to withdraw to an agreed-upon harbour. The Makedonian warships fighting the Rhodians were only too happy to disengage from their foe, while the Rhodians gave no chase, instead salvaging what vessels they could and sinking the rest.
Philippos and the remainder of his army and ships anchored up on the Anatolian coast. Philippos had intended to claim victory (which he did) on the spot he had fought and by the fact he had Attalos' flagship in posession, but the prevailing winds and currents carried the day's grisly harvest past his ships and soldiers; the corpses and detritus of the battle clearly showed that it was a costly victory for Philippos, which both the Makedonian King and his soldiers knew. The following day the Rhodian and Pergamene fleets drew up for battle again, but Philippos refused to do battle. Instead he took his army and marched on Pergamon, which he unsuccesfully besieged. Polybios writes that Philippos desecrated and tore down all buildings outside the walls of Pergamon, most of them temples and altars to the gods, whom he cursed for not helping him. Philippos then continued to attack cities in western Asia Minor, but he began running out of food and when his army was wintering at Bargylia the Pergamene & Rhodian fleets blocked the harbour, worsening the situation for the Makedonian army, who were on the brink to surrender. Only through trickery did Philippos V manage to flee with his remaining soldiers and ships.
While all this was going on Rhodes and Pergamon had sent delegations to Rome to complain about Philippos and in addition Athenai had been drawn into to war by the Akarnanians who were allies of Makedonia. Attalos sailed for Athenai with haste when he heard Roman ambassadors were there and convinced the Athenians to declare war on Makedonia, something they did after witnessing the defeat of a Makedonian naval squadron outside Piraeus by Pergamene & Rhodian warships. The Athenians even named a tribe after Attalos in gratitude after he returned some warships the Makedonians had captured from Athenai. In 199 BC Rome had declared war on Philippos and the Second Macedonian War had begun. Attalos this time commited his fleet to aid the Romans in harassing the Makedonian Aegean holdings which they did with mixed results, although by the end of campaigning season Attalos had won the island of Andros for himself and the city of Oreus in addition to spoils. Attalos then participated in the Eleusinian Mysteries before sailing home to Pergamon with his fleet, and according to Livy after an abscence of two years. In the spring of 198 BC Attalos returned to Hellas with 23 quinquiremes and joined up with twenty Rhodian warships at Andros with the aim to conquer Euboia. This they did during the summer alongside the Romans, taking the entire island except the city of Chalkis.
The following year in 197 BC, Attalos was summoned to the council of Boiotia in Thebes by the Roman consul Titus Quinctius Flamininus to discuss which side of the war Boiotia would take part in. Attalos was the first to adress the council, but during his speech he suffered a stroke and was taken back to Pergamon, where he died during the fall. He might have heard about the decisive Roman victory at Kynoskefalai, before he passed away.
Attalos I is undoubtedly the most famous Pergamene King and he strengthened his kingdom considerably, which included a sizeable navy. However, one particular thing the ancient authors remarked about Attalos was his family; his wife the Queen Apollonis and their four sons. Studying the history of the Hellenistic monarchies and dynasties, a recurring theme is the intrigues plotted by queens and the civil wars between rival brothers for the throne. Which is why it is remarkable indeed, that there was no succession crisis when Attalos I died and his son Eumenes ascended the throne without violence or any crisis. Much of this is attributed to the good family life Attalos & Apollonis lived with their sons and the queen is cast in a very good light by Polybios, representing in Polybios' eyes how a good queen should behave. Apollonis herself was from Kyzikos a staunch ally of Pergamon and she bore four sons; Eumenes, Attalos, Philetairos and Athenaios
Polybios' description of Attalos I in Book 18.41 says:
«So died Attalus, and justice demands, as is my practice in the case of others, I should pronounce a few befitting words over his grave. He possessed at the outset no other quality fitting him to rule over those outside his own household but wealth, a thing that when used with intelligence and daring is of real service in all enterprises but, when these virtues are absent, proves in most cases the cause of disaster and in fact of utter ruin. For it is the source of jealousy and plotting, and contributes more than anything else to the corruption of body and soul. Those souls indeed are few who can arrest these consequences by the mere power that riches give. We should therefore reverence this king's loftiness of mind, in that he did not attempt to use his great possessions for any other purpose than the attainment of sovereignty, a thing than which nothing greater or more splendid can be named. He laid the foundation of his design not only by the largesses and favours he conferred on his friends, but by his success in war. For having conquered the Gauls, then the most formidable and warlike nation in Asia Minor, he built upon this foundation, and then first showed he was really a king. And after he had received this honourable title, he lived until the age of seventy-two and reigned for forty-four years, ever most virtuous and austere as husband and father, never breaking his faith to his friends and allies, and finally dying when engaged on his best work, fighting for the liberties of Greece. Add to this what is most remarkable of all, that having four grown-up sons, he so disposed of his kingdom that he handed on the crown in undisputed succession to his children's children.»
Eumenes II Soter
Eumenes II succeded his father in 197 BC, just when the Second Macedonian War was coming to an end and the war against Antiochos III, the King of Syria was to begin. In 193 BC Antiochos III began preparing for war against Rome and to secure his own borders and win allies he married two of his daughters off, one to Pharaoh Ptolemaios V of Aigyptos and the other to King Ariarathes IV of Kappadokia, while he offered a third daughter to Eumenes II who refused. According to Appian, Eumenes II realized Antiochos was about to wage war on Rome and told his brothers he refused the marriage, because he thought Rome would prevail and that should Antiochos be the victor, Eumenes would lose his kingdom. The war begun and two years later Eumenes aided the Romans in winning a naval battle over Antiochos' admiral Polyxenidas at Korykos. The war with Antiochos continued for two more years until the decisive battle of Magnesia in 189 BC. Antiochos had invaded Hellas beforehand but had retreated back to Asia after his army was defeated at Thermopylai. The Romans wishing to end the war quick, forced Antiochos to fight at Magnesia. While literary sources lists 50.000 Romans & allies versus 70.000 Seleukid troops, modern scholars believe Antiochos' army was numerically smaller around 35.000 troops, supported by the fact Antiochos was forced to fight the battle and calculating the losses sustained from Thermopylai and earlier battles compared to available manpower from the Seleukid military settlements. During the battle itself the Pergamenes fought valiantly and the Seleukid left wing was routed by the Pergamene cavalry (apparently named Hetairoi in some sources) lead by Eumenes II personally. Even though Antiochos managed to rout the Roman left, the remaining Roman soldiers won the day when they forced the Seleukid pikemen to flee and who were subsequently slaughtered en masse by the pursuing Roman soldiers. Some argue that it was the Pergamene troops who were critical for the victory, firstly the Pergamene cavalry who routed the Seleukid left wing and secondly the Pergamane troops (alongside Thracians & Makedonians) who fought off Antiochos III's cavalry when he attempted to seize the Roman baggage train. The battle marked the apex of Seleukid power after Seleukos I and Antiochos III was forced to give considerable reparations in the following peace treaty at Apamea.
As a reward for his loyalty to Rome, Eumenes II was given almost all the Seleukid posessions (Phrygia, Lydia, Lykia, Pisidia and Pamphylia) west of the Tauros Mountains, with a few coastal areas given to Rhodes. A possible reason Rome did this was because they were not interested in administering far away territories and giving them to allied states instead was preferable, partly to help create a bulwark against any future Seleukid aggresion westwards. While the Seleukid kingdom was decisively weakened, it was still a force to be reckoned with, as it still controlled almost lands between the Tauros Mountains and India, at least on paper.
Three years later in 186 BC, Eumenes II came into war with Prusias I of Bithynia allegedly over former Bithynian possessions which were now in Pergamene hands after the peace of Apamea, though Justin writes that it was Hannibal who adviced Prusias to start a war with Pergamon. The war lasted for three years and saw Eumenes fighting against Prusias, Ortagion the Gaul and Pharnakes of Pontos and in addition Philippos V of Makedonia aided to Prusias, although not militarily. Even though Eumenes was fighting against three rivals in addition to Hannibal, apparently Pergamon gained the upper hand as they won a victory over the Bithynians and Galatians at Mount Lypedron and a decree from Telmessus attests to another victory over Ortagion and Prusias. The best documented battle though is one Eumenes lost.
In 183 BC Eumenes II was defeated by none other than Hannibal in a naval battle. Hannibal had fled eastwards and was now in service to Prusias I of Bithynia. Cornelius Nepos writes that the Bithynians were outnumbered both on land and sea, and so Hannibal decided to first win a naval victory. He ordered all poisonous serpents to be collected and put in earthen vessels and then gave instructions to the Bithynian officers to launch an all-out attack on Eumenes' ship. When the Pergamene & Bithynian warships drew up for battle, Hannibal sent out an envoy with an empty letter to Eumenes, letting the Pergamenes believe it was an offer for peace, when in reality Hannibal needed to find out which ship belonged to the King. The envoy was directed to Eumenes, whom he delivered the letter to and then returned to the Bithynian fleet. Eumenes opened the empty letter and considered it an insult, yet did not understand the motive behind it. Seeing Eumenes' ship Hannibal ordered the Bithynians to launch their attack. With all ships attacking Eumenes' the King was forced to flee ashore and when he did so Hannibal ordered the earthen pots to be launched at the Pergamene ships, who according to Cornelius Nepos then had their decks filled with serpents which caused great panic among the Pergamene crew making them flee the battle. Some actually count this battle as one of the first instances of biological warfare.
In 183 BC Eumenes had sent his brother Athenaios along with other delegates to complain to the Roman Senate about Philippos' aid and the aggression of Prusias. The Romans sent a commision to Asia Minor headed by T. Quinctius Flamininus, who was ordered to bring about a peace and bring Hannibal back in chains. He succeded in making peace between Eumenes & Prusias, but Hannibal commited suicide instead of being captured. Peace was not to last for long however.
Pharnakes, the King of Pontos had initiated war with Eumenes in 183 or 182 BC after the peace treaty, the reasons not clear. A likely reason could be that Pharnakes had invaded Kappadokia, whose King Ariarathes IV was (or was to be) Eumenes' father-in-law. What is known though is that both Eumenes and Pharnakes had sent delegations to Rome during the winter of 183-182 BC to plead their cases and in 181 BC Ariarathes IV was definitely involved in the war on Pergamon's side as a Kappadokian delegation is recorded in Rome. A truce was made between the parties in 180 BC apparently with Roman aid, but which was broken by Pharnakes when he sent his general Leokritos with ten thousand troops into Galatia and he himself prepared to invade Kappadokia again. Eumenes thus had to prepare for war again and he then marched with a large army into Galatia to confront Leokritos who had moved his army elsewhere. It is mentioned that two Galatian chiefs, Cassignatus and Gaezatorix, offered to join Eumenes' army and defect from Pharnakes, but Eumenes refused being cited as he did not trust the two men, and Polybios indicates they might have been previous Pergamene allies who had gone over to Pharnakes. Eumenes and Ariarathes joined their armies in Parnassus and prepared to invade Pontos. However at this time another Roman commision arrived and persuaded Eumenes & Ariarathes to abandon their planned offensive and for Pharnakes to send envoys to discuss peace. The negotiations fell through and it is likely that the total lack of cooperation from Pharnakes' side (if the sources are to be trusted) means the King of Pontos was not the least bit interested in making peace and thus the war continued. A few specific incidents of the war are mentioned, albeit with no dates given. One such incident was when Leokritos the Pontic general captured the port of Tieion and massacred its inhabitants. The city's capture expanded the Pontic borders westwards and which was probably the reason Prusias II, the new king of Bithynia, joined the war on Eumenes' side, concerned with the Pontic expansion. It is likely Tieion was a Bithynian client city or ally. Another not-dated event is that Eumenes used his navy to block the Hellespont, denying any ships to enter the Pontos Euxine an action which the Rhodians forced Eumenes to abandon (as the trade to the Euxine was a major source of income for Rhodes) and which subsequently soured the relations between the two erstwhile allies.
In 179 BC Pharnakes was forced to conclude a peace and by the terms of the peace treaty it seems the King of Pontos had been thouroughly overpowered. Pharnakes had to pay a total of 1500 talents in indemnities of which 300 went to Eumenes and give up all his conquests in addition to other minor terms.
Eumenes and his kingdom knew peace for some years, although the new king of Makedonia Perseus who was anti-Roman became a cause of concern for Eumenes and in addition he had to contend with a colder relationship with Rhodes. In 175 BC though an inscription from Athens praises the King for establishing Antiochos IV as King of Syria, so it shows he still meddled in foreign political affairs.
In 173 BC Eumenes travelled to Rome in person to warn about Perseus, whom Eumenes meant was preparing for war, which seems to have been true. According to Livy Eumenes held a long and eloquent speech painting Perseus as a man preparing for war and looking upon Hellas as his own property and receiving support from many Hellenic states and cities. One theory is that Eumenes had become unpopular among other Hellenes (as Livy mentions) maybe because of his conflict with Rhodes and that he was trying to gain Roman aid, by involving Perseus, although the Romans were already by this time concerned with Perseus' actions in Hellas, and because he had had his own pro-Roman brother Demetrios killed by his own father. Eumenes after giving his speech then began the journey back to Pergamon, but was going to stop at Delphi to sacrifice to Apollo. Livy writes that at Cirrha, a path leading up the mountain to the oracle complex, assassins in Perseus' pay rolled down two huge stones at Eumenes which both hit the King and rendered him unconciouss. The King survived the ordeal, but rumours spread throughout Hellas, Asia and Rome that Eumenes was dead. Considering it is Livy who writes about the assassination attempt one has to be suspicious considering his strong Roman bias. The assassination attempt might have been something concocted by Rome as an excuse to declare war on Perseus, serving as casus belli, as the stones hitting Eumenes might have been stones falling down the mountainside. Livy mentions a Roman named C. Valerius who returned to Rome and confirmed Eumenes' accusations and brought with him one of the alleged assassins. On the other hand, Makedonian delegates had tried to disapprove of Eumenes' accusations in Rome and when it failed had travelled to Makedonia with haste to notify the King Perseus what had happened. Perseus realizing war was imminent might have ordered the assassination of Eumenes at Delphi. Reasons supporting this view is that Eumenes was a skilled commander or at least a king who knew how to wage war and should he die, his son was only a minor still and unfit to rule and Perseus might have hoped Eumenes' brothers would quarrel for the throne, which was common enough in Hellenistic dynasties, although this is all assumption.
The rumours of his dead caused his brother Attalos to take the Pergamene throne and marry Stratonike, the wife of Eumenes, although he rescinded his claims and divorced Stratonike when the rumours proved to be false. Apparently Eumenes and Attalos had a strained relationship after this, (although some sources say they did not) as Eumenes thought Attalos had been too quick to seize the throne and marry his wife.
In 171 BC the Third Macedonian War began and now Eumenes who had brought accusations against Perseus was involved in the war, however by 169 BC he was suspected by the Romans to negotiate with Perseus, which he most likely did, although considering that the Rhodians were supporting Perseus it is possible he had no intention siding with him as the kings of Syria & Aigyptos had refused to aid Perseus, and that the removal of Perseus would only benefit Eumenes. In addition according to Livy Pergamon did not enjoy any successes during the war and mentions explicitly that Eumenes did not leave some Galatian cavalry to aid a Roman consul in Hellas. Then in 168 BC shortly after the battle of Pydna, the Galatians attacked Pergamon. In 167 BC Eumenes sent a delegation lead by his brother Attalos to Rome to congratulate on their victory over Perseus and also complain about the Galatian invasion, mentioning a battle Eumenes had lost. Both Livy & Polybios writes that at this time the Romans were distrustful of Eumenes and some senators began to persuade Attalos to speak ill of his brother and in return be granted half his brother's kingdom. Attalos who probably came to Rome with the best intersts of his own family and kingdom at heart, began now to think about speaking on his own behalf to gain praise for himself and damage his brother in the Senate and his ambition at becoming King himself grew. However, both authors mentions that Eumenes believed such a thing could happen and had dispatched a physician Stratos to Rome to confer aid on Attalos, should he be manipulated. In the end Stratos succeded in persuading Attalos to give up the foolish prospects promised by the Senators, mentioning the strong family ties, how a divided kingdom would fall against the Galatians, that he was recognized as a King even though he had no title and that he was the obvious successor to his brother, now ill and without an heir (Eumenes had not recognized his own son at this time). Attalos subsequently spoke to the Senate asking for aid against the Galatians, which he received in form of a diplomatic delegation. During spring in 167 BC most likely, the Galatians invaded Pergamon again and camped at Synnada where they were intercepted by Roman delegates sent to broker the peace. At the same time Eumenes was in Sardis, gathering forces from all over the kingdom. Livy writes that no peace was made, as the Galatian general Solovetius refused. The same year Eumenes travelled to Rome in person and this is best explained in the words of Polybios in Book 30.19:
«After Prusias had received his answer news came that Eumenes was on his way. This matter very much embarrassed the senate. For as they had now quarrelled with him, and their opinion of him remained unshaken, they did not wish to make any pronouncement at all. For they had proclaimed to the whole world that this king was their first and greatest friend, and now, if they allowed him to meet them and to defend himself, should they tell him in reply what they were really led to think of him by their own judgement, they would expose themselves to ridicule for having in former times paid this high honour to a man of such a character: if on the other hand they made themselves the slaves of appearances and gave him a kind answer, they would be ignoring truth and the interest of their country. Since therefore, whichever course they decided to adopt would put them in a position not easy to justify, they hit on the following solution of problem. Affecting to be displeased by the visit of kings in general, they issued a decree that no king would present himself to them; and in the next place, when they heard that Eumenes had arrived at Brundisium, they dispatched the quaestor bearing this decree, and with orders to tell Eumenes to inform him if he stood in need of any service from senate: in case there was nothing the king wanted he was to order him to leave Italy as soon as possible. Eumenes, when he met the quaestor, understood the intention of the senate and remained perfectly silent after saying that he was in want of nothing. This, then, was the way in which the king was prevented from going up to Rome. But another more practical purpose had contributed to this decision. For, as the kingdom of Pergamus was menaced with a great danger from the Gauls, it was evident that by this repulse all the allies of the king would be humiliated, and the Gauls would undertake the war with redoubled vigour. So that it was with the view of thoroughly humiliating Eumenes that the senate arrived at this decision.»
The next year in 166 BC though Eumenes defeated the Galatians and brought an end to the war. In 163 BC King Prusias II of Bithynia brought forth accusasions against Eumenes, probably knowing of the Roman distrust of him and managed to get other cities and the Galatians to do likewise. However, Eumenes sent his brothers Attalos & Athenaios to Rome where they succesfully cleared their brother of all charges, although the Senate still entertained suspicions of Eumenes and even sent envoys to Asia to investigate further. One of them Gaius Sulpicius Gallus arrived in Sardis and sat in the gymnasium for ten days allowing any foul and abrasive language to be spoken about Eumenes and weighing every fact and accusation. Polybios writes that Gallus was a corrupt man who enjoyed quarreling with Eumenes and blames him for making Hellenes more supportive towards Pergamon than Rome. In 159 BC Prusias and the Galatians still had accusations about Eumenes brought to the Senate and again Attalos defended his brother.
Eumenes II died in 158 BC and was succeded by his brother Attalos. He had at least one son also named Attalos. His wife was Stratonike, the daughter of King Ariarathes IV of Kappadokia. Polybios describes Eumenes II' character in Polybios 32.8:
«King Eumenes had lost all his bodily vigour, but his brilliant mental qualities were unimpaired. He was a man in most matters second to none of the princes his contemporaries, but he was greater and more brilliant than any of them in all that was most important and honourable. In the first place while the kingdom, as he inherited it from his father, was confined to a few wretched little towns, he made his own dominions such as to rival the greatest contemporary powers, not for the most part helped by Fortune or by any revolution of circumstance, but by his own acuteness, industry, and energy. Next he was most eager to win reputation, and not only conferred more benefits than any king of his time on Greek cities, but established the fortunes of more individual men. Thirdly, having three brothers not far behind him in age and activity, he kept them all in the position of his obedient satellites and guardians of the dignity of his throne, a thing for which one can find few parallels.»
Eumenes II is probably best remembered for expanding the library of Pergamon, bringing many books to it and thus making it a serious competitor for the library at Alexandreia.
Attalos II Philadelphos
Attalos II became King in 158 BC to act as regent for his nephew Attalos III (son of Eumenes II) still to young to sit on the throne. Attalos married (again) Stratonike, the widow of Eumenes II and stepmother of Attalos III. Attalos II himself had as previously mentioned acted as his brother's right-hand during the last decades and while Eumenes had become distrusted by the Roman Senate, apparently Attalos retained a cordial relationship with them, mostly due to the fact he had accompanied the Roman armies in Greece during the Third Macedonian War. He had fought against the Galatians in 188 BC alongside Gnaeus Manlius Vulso following the victory at Magnesia and also fought as a general in the war against Pharnakes of Pontos.
His first mentioned act as a King was in 157 BC when he set up Alexandros Balas as claimant to the Seleukid throne, a response to the current Seleukid King Demetrios I Soter's actions in Kappadokia where he had ousted the King Ariarathes V (brother of Attalos' wife Stratonike) and installed a client king Orophrenes. In addition to sharing family bonds, Ariarathes V was a good friend of Attalos II as it is likely they both studied in Athenai together in their youth. The following year Ariarathes V was returned to the Kappadokian throne, with Roman and Pergamene aid.
In the same year Attalos suffered a defeat at the hands of Prusias II who pursued him to Pergamon and accordingly ravaged the countryside and sacked temples and brought temple treasuries back to Bithynia, a great offense against the gods who exacted revenge when hunger and dysentry took its toll on the Bithynian army when it marched home for winter quarters (according to Polybios). Attalos sent his brother Athenaios to Rome to protest Prusias' behaviour, but the Senate at first believed it to be a pretext for Attalos to invade and a belief the envoys of Prusias encouraged, although when more information came in indicating Prusias was the instigator of the conflict the Senate, in doubt what to believe, sent a delegation to investigate in 155 BC. The delegation was harshly treated by Prusias apparently and when they returned the Senate was outraged and this time sent ten legates to threaten Prusias into making peace. When the ten legates arrived in Asia Minor they found Attalos mustering his army and who had also received reinforcements from Ariarathes V and Mithridates IV of Pontos. After confering with him, they traveled to Bithynia where they delivered the Senate's message to Prusias, who resisted most of them. Acting on behalf of the Roman Republic the legates renounced the alliance and friendship between the two states and publically sided with Attalos. After that they ordered Attalos not to invade Bithynia and instead protect his holdings and while some legates traveled back to Rome, the remainder went to Ionia, Byzantion and the Hellespont calling on the cities there to renounce their alliance with Prusias and support Attalos. When the Roman Senate dispatched more warships to aid Attalos, Prusias was forced to concede defeat and in the peace treaty made in 154 BC, he had to repair damages to the cities he had sacked, pay indemnites and also hand over twenty quinquiremes to Attalos at once and give up his conquests.
From 152 to 150 BC Attalos in addition to Rome, Ptolemaios VI Philometer and Ariarathes V succesfully supported Alexandros Balas in claiming the Seleukid throne, hurrying the downfall of that once mighty kingdom. In 149 BC the Bithynian prince Nikomedes revolted against his father Prusias II and Attalos II gave his full support to Nikomedes who had his father killed and assumed the regency of Bithynia as Nikomedes II. This action won Rome and Pergamon a new reliable ally. According to Strabo, Attalos II also carried out a campaign against a King Diegylis of the Caeni, a Thracian tribe in Propontis. During the later years of his reign he became increasingly sick and many of the royal duties were handled by his chief minister Philopoemen. In 138 BC Attalos died and his nephew and adoptive son Attalos III took the throne.
Attalos II is most remembered for staying loyal to his brother and representing his best interests, but as King, Attalos was also remembered as a great patron of the arts and science and he even invented a technique for gold embroidery.
Attalos III Philometor – The Last King
Attalos III was the son of Eumenes II and ruled only five years, from 138 BC to 133 BC when he did his most famous act; bequeathing his kingdom to the Roman Republic. Not too much is known about him. He was married to a Berenike of unknown origin and there is speculation they might have had a daughter. Attalos seems to have had little interest in running the kingdom and instead devoted his time to studying science like medicine, botany and doing gardening in addition to other pursuits. Justin writes that Attalos III had many political opponents removed, claiming Attalos was mad and blaming them for the death of his wife Berenike and his mother Stratonike. Justin's portrait of Attalos III is a negative one writing that Attalos' scientific studies weren't that, but just mad rambling. Attalos III died in 133 BC from a disease, Justin saying it was «a disorder from the heat of the sun». In his will he bequeathed the kingdom of Pergamon to the Roman Republic who turned the kingdom's territories into the province of Asia. Tiberius Gracchus proposed a bill that would divide the money left by Attalos III to Rome among the populace, but this was turned down by the Senate.
Eumenes III – The Pretender
Eumenes III was born Aristonikos of unknown origins. When Pergamon was given to the Romans not everyone accepted it and Aristonikos saw an oppurtunity to gain power. He declared himself an illegitimate son of Eumenes II. Because the Roman Republic was slow in securing their claim, only ratifying the will of Attalos in 132 BC Aristonikos had time to move in and lay claim to the kingdom. He quickly found out that he lacked support in the cities of Ephesus & Pergamon itself but did find support in the countryside. The conflict quickly took on the appearance of a class war, between the suppressed country people and the rich urban populace. He tried to gain support from the Hellenic coastal cities by promising them freedom, but to no avail. He did receive help from Blossus, a Stoic philosopher (and avid supporter of Tiberius Gracchus) who publically defended the rebels. The Romans sent an army under consul Publius Licinius Crassus to crush the revolt in 130 BC but which was defeated at Leukai by Aristonikos. The following year however the Roman general Marcus Perperna arrived and besieged Aristonikos at Stratonikea, where he captured him. He was then brought to Rome and paraded through the city before being executed.
From this time on Pergamon or Pergamum as the Romans called it, remained a Roman city for a long time. In the years before the Mithridatic Wars though there was increased tension between the publicani (tax collectors basically) and the locals which is attested by epigraphy in Pergamon and in all of Roman Asia. When Mithridates VI Eupator invaded during the First Mithridatic War it is implied Pergamon willingly opened their gates to him and it is attested that Mithridates VI used the mint at Pergamon to strike coins bearing his portrait and with Hellenic motifs. Mithridates apparently spent much time in Pergamon during the war. A story says that a statue of Nike fell right before the Pontic King's feet disheartening the monarch as he took as a potent of disaster. Pergamon remained a Pontic city until the last months of the war during the war and it was in Pergamon Mithridates VI first showed himself as a true despot instead of a noble Philhellenic ruler when he had sixty Galatian nobles murdered in the city. Following this Mithridates had all the Galatian tetrarchs and their families murdered, almost wiping out the Galatian aristocracy, except for three nobles who managed to flee and later return to liberate their country. When Mithridates' armies were forced out of Hellas and his harsh treatment of dissenters became known, the cities in Asia Minor revolted against him and apparently Pergamon or a faction in the city did so to, as eighty Pergamenes were executed by Mithridates. In 85 BC Pergamon was seized by the Roman general Fimbria. The Firsth Mithridatic War ended when Sulla brokered a peace, leaving Pergamon and many other cities with heavy fines and backtaxes to pay to the Republic. From this time on until well into the first century AD, Asia Minor who had been a prosperous region became one of the poorest and most backwards provinces in the Roman Republic, firstly because of the huge indemnities they suffered from Sulla and the corrupt tax collectors and magistrates of the Republic which bled the provinces dry, second due to the Mithridatic Wars and later during the Roman civil wars when Roman patricians and pretenders like Pompey, Brutus & Longinus fled to Asia Minor and used its resources to raise legions. Later the city suffered a serious blow when Mark Antony handed its library's entire collection of books and parchments to Kleopatra as a wedding gift. Pergamon remained one of many Roman cities in Asia minor, although it had a notably large population of around 150.000 people.
In the second century AD a temple to Sarapis was built in Pergamon, which later was converted into a church dedicated to St.John when Christianity became the dominant religion. Later this church became one of the Seven Churches of Christianity. Today the modern city of Bergama lies just nearby. The famous doctor Galen hailed from Pergamon as well.
To most historians Pergamon is known for its arts & architecture and the many ruins still left. The Akropolis of Pergamon is famous worldwide and included the great library of Pergamon, a strong rival to the library in Alexandreia. At its most the library is thought to have contained over 200,000 volumes. Pergamon is also famous for where the parchment was invented, called pergaminus or pergamena. This was made of fine calf skin. The reason for inventing the parchment, was because the Ptolemaioi stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competition, partly because of shortages.
At the upper Akropolis there was also a large theatre with seats for 10,000 people and with the steepest theatre seating in the known world. Nearby to the south was a sanctuary to Asklepios the god of healing where people from all around came to visit to have the god cure their illnesses.
The Great Altar of Zeus which was situated on the top of the Pergamene Akropolis is one of the best still intact Hellenistic architectural remains. Much of the arms & armor depicted on the altar has been used to reconstruct the uniform and equipment of Successor armies at the time, as they likely depict Seleukid soldiers in battle arms.
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