Titus Quinctius Flamininus

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Coin of Titus Quinctius Flamininus. British Museum.
Flamininus restoring Liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games.

Titus Quinctius Flamininus (c. 229 BC – c. 174 BC) was a Roman politician and general instrumental in the Roman conquest of Greece.

A member of the patrician gens Quinctia, and brother to Lucius Quinctius Flamininus, he served as a military tribune in the Second Punic war and in 205 BC he was appointed propraetor in Tarentum. He was a curule aedile in Rome in 203 BC and a quaestor in 199 BC. He became consul in 198 BC, despite being only about thirty years old, younger than the constitutional age required to serve in that position. As Livy records, two tribunes, Marcus Fulvius and Manius Curius publicly opposed his candidacy for consulship, as he was just a quaestor, but the Senate overrode the opposition and he was elected along with Sextus Aelius Paulus.

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 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.

In 198 BC he occupied Anticyra in Phokis and made it his naval yard and his main provisioning port.[1] 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.[2] According to Livy, this was the act of an unselfish Hellenophile, 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, 1200 of which were freed from Achaea, who had been taken captive and sold in Greece during the Second Punic War.[3]

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 and Rome was soon at war with Antiochus. Flamininus was present at the Battle of Thermopylae in 191 BC, in which Antiochus was defeated.

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

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. Although nothing is known of him after this, Flamininus seems to have died around 174.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Polybius XVIII 28, 45.7, XXVII 14, 16.6.
  2. ^ Plutarch, Flamininus, 16, gives selected text from a Chalcidian hymn to Zeus, dea Roma and Flamininus: available online at Bill Thayer's website [1] (accessed 13 July 2009)
  3. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus and Publius Villius Tappulus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Sextus Aelius Paetus Catus
198 BC
Succeeded by
Gaius Cornelius Cethegus and Quintus Minucius Rufus