Treaty of Apamea

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The Treaty of Apamea of 188 BC, was peace treaty between the Roman Republic and Antiochus III (the Great), ruler of the Seleucid Empire. It took place after the Romans' victories in the battle of Thermopylae (in 191 BC), in the Battle of Magnesia (in 190), and after Roman and Rhodian naval victories over the Seleucid navy.

In this treaty, according to Appian, Antiochus III must abandon Europe altogether and all of Asia west of the Taurus, he had to surrender all the elephants he had, and he should have only twelve war-ships for the purpose of keeping his subjects under control, but he might have more if he were attacked. He should not recruit mercenaries from Roman territory nor entertain fugitives from the same. Antiochus had to give twenty hostages, whom the consul would select, the hostages should be changed every third year, except the son of Antiochus. For the future, he keeps no elephants and pay for the cost of the present war, incurred on his account, 500 Euboic talents down and 2,500 more when the Senate ratifies the treaty; and 12,000 more during twelve years, each yearly installment to be delivered in Rome. He shall also surrender to us all prisoners and deserters, and to Eumenes whatever remains of the possessions he acquired by his agreement with Attalus, the father of Eumenes. If Antiochus accepts these conditions without guile we will grant him peace and friendship subject to the Senate's ratification.

Rome gave the control of a large part of Anatolia to Pergamum, the Roman ally in the battles and ruled by the Attalids. Antiochus kept the Pamphylia and Cilicia regions in Anatolia. Hellenistic kings generally accepted, for their own lifetimes, any treaty they had signed, on the grounds of honour. On the other hand their heirs did not feel honour bound to accept treaties signed by their predecessors. The naval conditions of this treaty appear to have fallen into abeyance but the other conditions held.

The treaty was formalized at Apamea in Phrygia. It allowed the Romans to expand their political hegemony to the East Mediterranean Sea. But at this time Roman power was still indirect. Rome depended on its capacity to ally itself to second rank powers.


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