178-168BC (10)

Perseus (Greek Περσεύς, Ancient Greek Περσέως) was the last king of the Antigonid dynasty, who ruled the successor state in Macedon created upon the death of Alexander the Great. He also has the distinction of being the last of the line, after losing the Battle of Pydna on 22 June 168 BC; subsequently Macedon came under Roman rule.

In 179 BC Philip V of Macedon died. In the previous year Philip had his pro-Roman son Demetrius executed. Perseus had been jealous of Demetrius' success as ambassador to Rome and had convinced their father to have him poisoned as a potential usurper. The Romans favoured Demetrius, and Perseus' role in killing Demetrius did not endear him to Rome when he took the throne.

One of his first acts on becoming king was to renew the treaty with Rome. Yet, Perseus' other actions troubled Rome. His interference in the affairs of his neighbours, his armed visit to Delphi, his avoidance of the Roman ambassadors to Macedonia, and his dynastic marriages all gave Rome cause for concern. Soon Rome and Perseus went to war in the Third Macedonian War (171-168 BC). Although Perseus had some initial success, the war ended with the King's surrender to the Roman general Lucius Aemilius Paullus after his decisive defeat at the Battle of Pydna, and his eventual imprisonment in Rome. The Antigonid kingdom was dissolved, and replaced with four republics. Andriscus of Macedon broke off the Roman rule for about a year, but was defeated in 148 BC by the Romans. In 146 BC, the four republics were dissolved, and Macedon officially became the Roman province of Macedonia.

In June 2005, the tomb of Perseus of Macedon was rediscovered along the Via Valeria near Magliano de' Marsi (L'Aquila) by representatives of the Italian Ministry of Culture, as well as a Macedonian archeological delegation.

Preceded by Philip V of Macedon
King of Macedon 179 BC–168 BC
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