Philip V of Macedon: Rome's feared eastern rival during the Punic Wars.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sallent, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Sallent

    Sallent Supporter! Supporter

    We've recently read Curtisimo's thread about just how bad the Romans had it in the west during the Second Punic Wars. But out east Rome was also under siege by a king so skilled and feared, that were it not for Hanibal stealing the show, today we would be reciting the name Philip V of Macedon when we think of Republican Rome's greatest threat.

    Here is a coin minted in Macedon during his reign, and one of my newest acquisitions.

    KINGS of MACEDON. Philip V, 221-179 BC.
    Æ22, 9.0g, 6h; Uncertain Macedonian mint.
    Obv.: Helmeted head of the hero Perseus right, with harpa over shoulder.
    Rev.: Eagle standing left, head right, on plow, with wings spread; Φ to left, monogram below.
    Reference: SNG Alpha Bank 1105; SNG München 1173; SNG Copenhagen 1255.

    During the Social Wars Philip V transformed a weakened Macedon into a great power once again, and crushed Sparta and its allies. This left Philip V as the only Greek king left who could seriously challenge the encroaching influence of the Roman Republic.


    Philip took advantage of Rome's weakness during the Second Punic War, and declared himself in alliance with Hanibal. This terrified the Romans so much that they made an alliance with every Greek kingdom and city state they could find that had any animosity towards Macedon. That kick-started the First Macedonian War. Despite being heavily disadvantaged, Philip V proceeded to crush multiple Greek kingdoms and leagues allied to Rome, and dealt multiple crushing blows against the Romans too. Eventually Rome accepted a peace favorable to Macedon in exchange for a dissolution of the alliance between Philip V and Hanibal. Macedon got to keep extensive territorial gains and exerted influence over almost all of Greece.


    After the end of the Second Punic War, Rome came looking for revenge, and declared war on Macedon. This Second Macedonian War at first went badly for Rome, and it wasn't until the young yet brilliant general Titus Quinctius Flamininus was given control of the war that Rome finally managed to turn things around and defeat Philip V.

    Afterwards Rome and Macedon became allies, though the Romans remained terrified of Philip and never trusted him. When he died, the relieved Romans finally felt free to conquer the Greeks without worry. His death was basically the begining of the end of Greek Independence.

    L. Philippus denarius 113-112 BCE.jpg
    L. Phillipus
    AR Denarius
    Rome Mint 113-112 BCE

    Philip V was so feared decades after his death, that when L. Marcius Phillipus designed this coin to commemorate his ancestor's victory over Philip V's son, and the collapse of Macedon, he did not depict Philip's son, Perseus. After all, Perseus was a nobody as far as the Romans were concerned, so in order to make his ancestor seem greater, the moneyer created the fiction that his ancestor had defeated Philip V himself. That was every bit as much propaganda as the honorary name Phillipus, given to the moneyer's ancestor for defeating Philip's son. It's like defeating Uganda in a war and getting the honorary title of Americanus for having defeated America, even though you obviously didn't.

    Which brings me to why I got that humble little coin. First of all, having a Denarius with his image, and being familiar with his story, made me desire a coin of his. And when JA put this one on sale for 1/3 the price you see anywhere else for the same coin type in the same condition, the temptation was too much. She may not be a doll, but she's about the average condition you find these in, and Philip V of Macedon is just too cool to pass up on a coin minted during his reign... especially when that coin comes with a 66.66% discount. When JA said "I went to Goodwill to get this opening bid," he really meant it.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  3. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Very nice write-up and great coins @Sallent ! Well done, and fun read.

    My only Philip V:
    Makedon Amphipolis Philip V - Perseus - lost empire to Romans - helmet Tetrobol.JPG
    Makedon Amphipolis Philip V - Perseus - lost empire to Romans - helmet Tetrobol
  4. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    I do have a couple cool Roman occupation of Makedon coins:

    RR Makedon occupation Aesillas Quaestor AR Tet.JPG
    Roman Republic
    Province of Macedonia
    Thessalonika Mint
    Quaestor Aesillas (BC 90-70)
    AR Tetradrachm 28 mm x 16.50 grams
    Obverse: Flowing hair bust of Alexander the Great, Greek legend, MAKEDONWN (Macedonians) TH mint mark behind bust
    Reverse: Club of Hercules center, Coin Chest left field, Quaestor's chair right field. Surround be a wreath.
    Ref:BMC 81-83; Dewing 1224-1225

    RR Roman Occupied Macedonia Gaius Publilius, Questor Amphipolis Mint As AE26 As ROMA Griffin MAKEDONWN TAMIOV GAIOV POPAILIOV oak wreath BC 148-146 SNG COP 1318
  5. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    Always love your write-ups! I was not aware of the history behind that denarius. So many lies on RR denarii, lol.
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  6. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Really good snag man!
    I enjoyed your write up too.
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  7. Sallent

    Sallent Supporter! Supporter

    I believe ancient Rome's propagandists were just as skillful as their modern counterparts...if not more so. And their propaganda obviously continues to work 2000 years later. Just look at just how much us modern people dream about the glory days of Rome, that highly advanced and wondrous city of marble on the banks of the Tiber.

    However, the reality is that unlike the marble metropolis that we all like to imagine, the real Rome was a dirty and smelly place full of slums. And it was full of rampart violence, disease, filth, and chronic poverty, all mixed together with grand building projects erected with the blood and sweat of slaves.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  8. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Great thread Sallent. This has to be one of the most fascinating times in history. There are so many prominent figures and history changing events around this time. Just to name a few major figures;
    • Hannibal
    • Phillip V
    • Antiochus III the Great
    • Scipio Africanus
    • Qin Shi Huangdi
    • Herion II
    • Ptolemy IV
    The list could go on and on! Thanks for the write up.
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  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum

    Excellent coin and history lesson brother Sallent.

    L. Philippus 1.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Head of Philip V of Macedon right, wearing diademed royal Macedonian helmet with goat horns; Roma in monogram behind, Φ below chin
    REVERSE: L. PHILIPPVS on tablet below statue of equestrian, carrying laurel-branch; flower below horse; mark of value (XVI in monogram) in exergue
    Rome 113-112 BC
    3.8g, 20mm
    Crawford 293/1; Sydenham 551
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  10. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Great write up Sallent , many thanks.

    Here's a large silver tet from Philip V :

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