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