Titus Quinctius Flamininus

Last updated
Titus Quinctius Flamininus
Macedonia - T Quinctius Flamininus - 196 BC - gold stater - head of T Quinctius Flamininus - Victoria - London BM 1954-1009-1.jpg
Gold stater of Titus Quinctius Flamininus in the British Museum, ca. 197/196 (or 191) BC.
Bornc. 229 BC
Died174 BC
NationalityRoman
Office Consul (198 BC)
Censor (189 BC)
Military service
Battles/wars Battle of Cynoscephalae (197 BC)
Awards Triumph (194 BC)
Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours, Flamininus Granting Liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games, 1780, drawing Titus Quincticus Flaminius Granting Liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games LACMA M.86.65.jpg
Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours, Flamininus Granting Liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games, 1780, drawing
Flamininus restoring Liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games Comic History of Rome Table 07 Flaminius restoring Liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games.jpg
Flamininus restoring Liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games

Titus Quinctius Flamininus (c. 228 – 174 BC) was a Roman politician and general instrumental in the Roman conquest of Greece. [1]

Contents

Family background

Flamininus belonged to the minor patrician gens Quinctia. The family had a glorious place in the early history of Rome, especially the famous hero Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, but it had somewhat lost its political influence by the middle of the fourth century BC. Flamininus' great grandfather Caeso Quinctius Claudus was still consul in 271, the last time a Quinctius is recorded as holding a curule office before 209. [2]

Lucius Quinctius, his grandfather, was flamen Dialis — the great priest of Jupiter — during the third quarter of the third century. The cognomen Flamininus borne by his descendants derives from this prestigious priesthood. Flamininus' great grandson later put an apex , the head covering of the Flamen, as a symbol of his family on a denarius he minted. Flamininus' father — also named Titus — is not known. He had two sons: the elder, Titus Flamininus, was born c.228, the younger Lucius followed soon after. At the end of the third century, the Quinctii regained a good status among the political class, as shown by Flamininus' uncle Caeso who built the Temple of Concord in 217, [3] [4] his younger brother who became augur in 213 at a very young age, [5] and his distant cousin Titus Quinctius Crispinus, consul in 208.

The Quinctii were for a long time allied to the Fabii, one of the most prominent gentes of the Republic. They likely owed them the rare praenomen Caeso — a feature of the early Fabii — through marriages. Likewise, Flamininus was probably married to a Fabia, as Polybius says that Quintus Fabius Buteo, who later served under him in Greece, was his wife's nephew. The Buteones were very influential at the time thanks to Marcus Fabius Buteo, the Princeps Senatus between 216 and 210; he was also succeeded by another Fabius, the famous Cunctator.

Early career

Military Tribune (208 BC)

Flamininus' early career was peculiar, as he skipped several steps of the cursus honorum. The Second Punic War that was raging in Italy created several unusual careers, that of Scipio Africanus being the most famous example. Flamininus' career started in 208 as military tribune, a junior military position. [6] He served under the five time consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who commanded the operations against Hannibal in Southern Italy. [7] Marcellus died in a Carthaginian ambush near Crotone in 208.

Propraetor of Tarentum (205–202 BC)

Flamininus then became quaestor, probably in 206, although some historians have suggested a later date. He was sent to Tarentum to second his uncle Quinctius Claudus Flamininus, who was the propraetor in charge of the Roman garrison. Rome kept a strong military presence into this Greek city because it had previously defected to Hannibal.

His uncle likely died in Tarentum in 205, and it seems that Flamininus was given his command since he was already on-site. Becoming propraetor before 25 was an extraordinary achievement, but it can be explained by the fact that experienced commanders were used abroad at the end of the Second Punic War. Livy tells that he was prorogued in 204, but remains silent on the following years; he might have stayed there until the end of the war in 202. [8] [9] [10] In any case, Flamininus had a good relationship with the Greek population of Tarentum. [11] During his time there, he also became familiar with the Greek language and culture.

Commissions (201-200 BC)

Flamininus is mentioned again in 201 as the last member of a ten-men commission tasked with settling veterans of Scipio Africanus in Southern Italy (Samnium and Apulia), perhaps because he knew the area after his command at Tarentum. [12] [13] This commission continued its work in 200, but Flamininus was nevertheless appointed to another commission of three men to enrol settlers in Venusia. [14] [15] It is the only occurrence in Roman history of a man being member of two commissions simultaneously. [16]

Consulship and command in Greece (198–194 BC)

Consular elections (199 BC)

In 199, Flamininus ran for the consulship, while he was not even 30 years old. The cursus honorum had not yet been formally organised in these years, but his bid for election still broke the tradition. He was even younger than Scipio Africanus, elected consul in 205 at 31, who had for him impressive military records and prestigious family support. In contrast, Flamininus came from a smaller family and could not boast any notable achievement during the war against Hannibal. At least two tribunes of the plebs, Marcus Fulvius and Manius Curius, vetoed his candidacy, precisely on the ground that he was too young and had not held any curule office (praetor or curule aedile). [17] [18] However, the Senate compelled them to remove their veto and allow Flamininus to present himself in the elections.

This anomaly led modern historians to suppose that Flamininus was backed by several powerful politicians. Early prosopographers such as Friedrich Münzer and H. H. Scullard thought that he was a member of the political faction led by the Fabii. However this view has been contested, because the Fabii were in decline after the death of Buteo and the Cunctator.

Flamininus was elected consul, together with the plebeian Sextus Aelius Paetus Catus, as the consul posterior, which means the Centuriate Assembly elected him in second place, after Aelius. [19] [20] Plutarch tells that he owed his success to his land distributions in the commissions that made him popular among the settlers, who voted for him in return. [21] The other consul likewise lacked any notable military achievement, and was elected thanks to his aedileship the previous year, during which he imported a lot of grain from Africa. [22] [23]

As the two consuls could not agree on the allocation of the provinces between them, they turned to sortition. At the time, the main prize was the conduct of the Second Macedonian War against Philip V of Macedon. Although several scholars have thought that the lottery was rigged in favour of Flamininus, it appears that he was just lucky; the known instances of rigged sortitions took place much later. [24]

Campaign of 198 BC

After his election to the consulship he was chosen to replace Publius Sulpicius Galba who was consul with Gaius Aurelius in 200 BC, according to Livy, as general during the Second Macedonian War. He chased Philip V of Macedon out of most of Southern Greece, except for a few fortresses, defeating him at the Battle of the Aous, but as his term as consul was coming to an end he attempted to establish a peace with the Macedonian king. During the negotiations, Flamininus was made proconsul, giving him the authority to continue the war rather than finishing the negotiations. In 197 BC he defeated Philip at the Battle of Cynoscephalae in Thessaly, the Roman legions making the Macedonian phalanx obsolete in the process. Philip was forced to surrender, give up all the Greek cities he had conquered, and pay Rome 1,000 talents, but his kingdom was left intact to serve as a buffer state between Greece and Illyria. This displeased the Achaean League, Rome's allies in Greece, who wanted Macedon to be dismantled completely. [25]

In 198 BC he occupied Anticyra in Phocis and made it his naval yard and his main provisioning port. [26] During the period from 197 to 194 BC, from his seat in Elateia, Flamininus directed the political affairs of the Greek states. In 196 BC Flamininus appeared at the Isthmian Games in Corinth and proclaimed the freedom of the Greek states. He was fluent in Greek and was a great admirer of Greek culture, and the Greeks hailed him as their liberator; they minted coins with his portrait, and in some cities he was deified. [27] According to Livy, this was the act of an unselfish Philhellene, although it seems more likely that Flamininus understood freedom as liberty for the aristocracy of Greece, who would then become clients of Rome, as opposed to being subjected to Macedonian hegemony. With his Greek allies, Flamininus plundered Sparta, before returning to Rome in triumph along with thousands of freed slaves, 1,200 of whom were freed from Achaea, having been taken captive in Italy and sold in Greece during the Second Punic War. [28] [29]

Meanwhile, Eumenes II of Pergamum appealed to Rome for help against the Seleucid king Antiochus III. Flamininus was sent to negotiate with him in 192 BC, and warned him not to interfere with the Greek states. Antiochus did not believe Flamininus had the authority to speak for the Greeks, and promised to leave Greece alone only if the Romans did the same. These negotiations came to nothing [30] and Rome was soon at war with Antiochus. Flamininus was present at the Battle of Thermopylae in 191 BC, in which Antiochus was defeated. [31]

In 189 BC he was elected censor along with Marcus Claudius Marcellus, defeating among others Cato the Elder. [32]

In 183 BC he was sent to negotiate with Prusias I of Bithynia in an attempt to capture Hannibal, who had been exiled there from Carthage, but Hannibal committed suicide to avoid being taken prisoner. According to Plutarch, many senators reproached Flamininus for having cruelly caused the death of an enemy who had now become harmless. [33] Although nothing is known of him after this, Flamininus seems to have died around 174. [34]

Notes

  1. E. Badian (1970). Titus Quinctius Flamininus: Philhellenism and Realpolitik. University of Cincinnati.
  2. Pfeilschifter, Flamininus, p. 31.
  3. Livy, xxii. 33.
  4. Eckstein, "Flamininus", p. 120.
  5. Livy, xxv. 2.
  6. Broughton, vol. I, p. 293.
  7. Plutarch, Flamininus, 1.
  8. Livy, xxix. 13.
  9. Badian, "Family and Early Career", p. 109.
  10. Eckstein, "Flamininus", p. 121 (note 7), who says that he may have been replaced earlier, as Livy does not report comprehensively the events taking place in Tarentum.
  11. Plutarch, Flamininus, 1.
  12. Livy, xxxi. 4, 49.
  13. Broughton, vol. I, p. 322.
  14. Livy, xxxi. 49.
  15. Broughton, vol. I, pp. 325, 326.
  16. Eckstein, "Flamininus", p. 121.
  17. Livy, xxxii. 7.
  18. Plutarch, Flamininus, 2.
  19. Livy, xxxiii. 2.
  20. Broughton, vol. I, p. 330.
  21. Plutarch, Flamininus, 1, 2.
  22. Livy, xxxi. 50.
  23. Eckstein, "Flamininus", p. 123, who rejects Badian's interpretation that Flamininus was chosen because of his military competence and knowledge of Greek to deal with the situation in Macedonia.
  24. Eckstein, "Flamininus", pp. 123–126, who rejects Badian's interpretation that Flamininus was chosen because of his military competence and knowledge of Greek, so he could deal with the situation in Macedonia.
  25. Sviatoslav Dmitriev (24 March 2011). The Greek Slogan of Freedom and Early Roman Politics in Greece. Oxford University Press. pp. 143–. ISBN   978-0-19-537518-3.
  26. Polybius XVIII 28, 45.7, XXVII 14, 16.6.
  27. Plutarch, Flamininus, 16, gives selected text from a Chalcidian hymn to Zeus, dea Roma and Flamininus: available online at Bill Thayer's website (accessed 13 July 2009)
  28. Livius, Titus; A. H. McDonald; Henry Bettenson (1976). Rome and the Mediterranean: Books XXXI–XLV of the History of Rome from its Foundation . Penguin Classics. ISBN   978-0-14-044318-9.
  29. Rene Pfeilschifter (2005). Titus Quinctius Flamininus . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN   978-3-525-25261-1.
  30. Livy, Ab urbe condita XXXV: 13–18 (English translation).
  31. Plutarch, Flamininus 15.
  32. Livy, Ab urbe condita XXXVII:57 (English translation).
  33. Plutarch, Flamininus 20–21.
  34. Livy 41.28

Bibliography

Ancient sources

Modern sources

Political offices
Preceded by Roman consul
with Sextus Aelius Paetus Catus
198 BC
Succeeded by
Preceded by Roman censor
with Marcus Claudius Marcellus
189 BC
Succeeded by

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus</span> Roman statesman and general (c. 280 – 203 BC)

Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, surnamed Cunctator, was a Roman statesman and general of the third century BC. He was consul five times and was appointed dictator in 221 and 217 BC. He was censor in 230 BC. His agnomen, Cunctator, usually translated as "the delayer", refers to the strategy that he employed against Hannibal's forces during the Second Punic War. Facing an outstanding commander with superior numbers, he pursued a then-novel strategy of targeting the enemy's supply lines, and accepting only smaller engagements on favourable ground, rather than risking his entire army on direct confrontation with Hannibal himself. As a result, he is regarded as the originator of many tactics used in guerrilla warfare.

This article concerns the period 199 BC – 190 BC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cato the Elder</span> Roman politician, soldier and writer (234–149 BC)

Marcus Porcius Cato, also known as Cato the Censor, the Elder and the Wise, was a Roman soldier, senator, and historian known for his conservatism and opposition to Hellenization. He was the first to write history in Latin with his Origines, a now fragmentary work on the history of Rome. His work De agri cultura, a rambling work on agriculture, farming, rituals, and recipes, is the oldest extant prose written in the Latin language. His epithet "Elder" distinguishes him from his great-grandson Cato the Younger, who opposed Julius Caesar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Cynoscephalae</span> Battle of the Second Macedonian War, where the Romans and the Aetolian League defeat Macedon

The Battle of Cynoscephalae was an encounter battle fought in Thessaly in 197 BC between the Roman army, led by Titus Quinctius Flamininus, and the Antigonid dynasty of Macedon, led by Philip V, during the Second Macedonian War. It was a decisive Roman victory and marked the end of the conflict.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Second Macedonian War</span> War between Rome and Macedonia, 200–197 BC

The Second Macedonian War was fought between Macedon, led by Philip V of Macedon, and Rome, allied with Pergamon and Rhodes. Philip was defeated and was forced to abandon all possessions in southern Greece, Thrace and Asia Minor. During their intervention, although the Romans declared the "freedom of the Greeks" against the rule from the Macedonian kingdom, the war marked a significant stage in increasing Roman intervention in the affairs of the eastern Mediterranean, which would eventually lead to Rome's conquest of the entire region.

Publius Sulpicius Galba Maximus was a Roman military officer and Senator who was elected Roman consul twice, and appointed dictator once. He fought in the Second Punic War and the First and Second Macedonian Wars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fabia gens</span> Ancient Roman family

The gens Fabia was one of the most ancient patrician families at ancient Rome. The gens played a prominent part in history soon after the establishment of the Republic, and three brothers were invested with seven successive consulships, from 485 to 479 BC, thereby cementing the high repute of the family. Overall, the Fabii received 45 consulships during the Republic. The house derived its greatest lustre from the patriotic courage and tragic fate of the 306 Fabii in the Battle of the Cremera, 477 BC. But the Fabii were not distinguished as warriors alone; several members of the gens were also important in the history of Roman literature and the arts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 191 BC)</span> Roman senator and general

Manius Acilius Glabrio was a plebeian Roman politician and general during the Republican. He served as consul in 191 BC while Rome was at war with the Seleucid Empire. He defeated Emperor Antiochus the Great at Thermopylae, helping establish Roman unipolar control over the Mediterranean, and was awarded a triumph. Credible accusations that he had embezzled spoils from his conquests in Greece while consul caused him to withdraw from his attempt to run for censor, after which he largely retired from public life.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gaius Claudius Nero</span> Roman general and statesman, consul in 207 BCE

Gaius Claudius Nero was a Roman general active during the Second Punic War against the invading Carthaginian force, led by Hannibal Barca. During a military career that began as legate in 214 BC, he was praetor in 212 BC, propraetor in 211 BC during the siege of Capua, before being sent to Spain that same year. He became consul in 207 BC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Quinctia gens</span> Ancient Roman family

The gens Quinctia, sometimes written Quintia, was a patrician family at ancient Rome. Throughout the history of the Republic, its members often held the highest offices of the state, and it produced some men of importance even during the imperial period. For the first forty years after the expulsion of the kings the Quinctii are not mentioned, and the first of the gens who obtained the consulship was Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus in 471 BC; but from that year their name constantly appears in the Fasti consulares.

Lucius Quinctius Flamininus was a Roman politician and general who served as consul in 192 BC alongside Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus. He was eventually expelled from the Senate by Cato the Elder.

Appius Claudius Pulcher was a Roman politician of the 2nd century BC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roman–Seleucid war</span> War between Rome and the Seleucid Empire, 192–188 BC

The Roman–Seleucid war (192–188 BC), also called the Aetolian war, Antiochene war, Syrian war, and Syrian-Aetolian war was a military conflict between two coalitions, one led by the Roman Republic and the other led by the Seleucid king Antiochus III. The fighting took place in modern-day southern Greece, the Aegean Sea, and Asia Minor.

Agesimbrotus was the commander of the Rhodian fleet, consisting of 20 decked ships, during the Second Macedonian War, and sailed against Philip of Macedon from 200 to 197 BC. Agesimbrotus' fleet met with the 24 quinqueremes of Attalus I near Andros, and the two sailed for Euboea, and ravaged the lands belonging to Carystus. When that city received reinforcements from Chalcis, the fleets diverted to Eretria rather than engage a more prepared enemy. There they united with the fleet of Roman admiral Lucius Quinctius Flamininus, and the three of them laid heavy siege to Eretria, which surrendered after a nighttime assault by Quinctius. The three commanders sailed back to Carystus, which evacuated into the city citadel at the approach of such a fleet, and sent ambassadors to beg protection from Quinctius. The townspeople were freed and the Macedonian garrison was ransomed and deported, unarmed, to Boeotia.

Lucius Valerius Flaccus was a Roman politician and general. He was consul in 195 BC and censor in 183 BC, serving both times with his friend Cato the Elder, whom he brought to the notice of the Roman political elite.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lucretia gens</span> Ancient Roman family

The gens Lucretia was a prominent family of the Roman Republic. Originally patrician, the gens later included a number of plebeian families. The Lucretii were one of the most ancient gentes, and the second wife of Numa Pompilius, the second King of Rome, was named Lucretia. The first of the Lucretii to obtain the consulship was Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus in 509 BC, the first year of the Republic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scipio Africanus</span> Roman general and politician (236/235–183 BC)

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus was a Roman general and statesman, most notable as one of the main architects of Rome's victory against Carthage in the Second Punic War. Often regarded as one of the greatest military commanders and strategists of all time, his greatest military achievement was the defeat of Hannibal at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. This victory in Africa earned him the honorific epithet Africanus, literally meaning "the African," but meant to be understood as a conqueror of Africa.

Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus was a Roman statesman and general who served as consul six times. Titus Quinctius was a member of the gens Quinctia, one of the oldest patrician families in Rome.

The gens Villia was a plebeian family at Rome. Its members are mentioned in the first century of the Republic, but the only Villius who obtained the consulship was Publius Villius Tappulus, in BC 199.

Titus Manlius Torquatus was a politician of the Roman Republic, who became consul in 165 BC. Born into a prominent family, he sought to emulate the legendary severity of his ancestors, notably by forcing his son to commit suicide after he had been accused of corruption. Titus had a long career and was a respected jurist. He was also active in diplomatic affairs; he notably served as ambassador to Egypt in 162 BC in a mission to support the claims of Ptolemy VIII Physcon over Cyprus.