- Attalus I
Attalus I ( _el. polytonic|Ἄτταλος), surnamed "Soter" ( _el. polytonic|Σωτὴρ, "Savior"; 269 BC – 197 BC) [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy33.html 33.21–22] , says that Attalus died in the consulship of Cornelius and Minucius (197 BC) at the age of 72, having reigned 44 years. Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+18.41 18.41] , also says that he lived 72 and reigned 44 years. Strabo, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Strab.+13.4.2 13.4.2] , says that he reigned 43 years.] ruled
Pergamon, a Greek polisin what is now Turkey, first as dynast, later as king, from 241 BC to 197 BC. He was the second cousin (some say the grand-nephew) and the adoptive son of Eumenes I, [Strabo, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Strab.+13.4.2 13.4.2] , says that he was the cousin of Eumenes. Pausanias, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Paus.+1.8.1 1.8.1] , probably following Strabo, says the same. But modern writers have concluded that Strabo had skipped a generation; see Hansen, p. 26.] whom he succeeded, and was the first of the Attalid dynastyto assume the title of king in 238 BC. [Strabo, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Strab.+13.4.2 13.4.2] ; Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+18.41 18.41] .] He was the son of Attalus and his wife Antiochis, Princess of Seleucid Syria.
Attalus won an important victory over the
Galatians, newly arrived Celtic tribes from Thrace, who had been, for more than a generation, plundering and exacting tribute throughout most of Asia Minorwithout any serious check. This victory, celebrated by the triumphal monument at Pergamon, famous for its Dying Gaul, and the liberation from the Gallic "terror" which it represented, earned for Attalus the name of "Soter", and the title of "king".
A courageous and capable general and loyal ally of Rome, he played a significant role in the first and second
Macedonian Wars, waged against Philip V of Macedon. He conducted numerous naval operations, harassing Macedonian interests throughout the Aegean, winning honors, collecting spoils, and gaining for Pergamon possession of the Greek islands of Aeginaduring the first war, and Androsduring the second, twice narrowly escaping capture at the hands of Philip.
He died in 197 BC, shortly before the end of the second war, at the age of 72, having suffered an apparent
strokewhile addressing a Boeotian war council some months before. He enjoyed a famously happy domestic life, shared with his wife and four sons. He was succeeded as king by his son Eumenes II.
Little is known about Attalus' early life. He was the son of Attalus, and Antiochis.Strabo, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Strab.+13.4.2 13.4.2] .]
The elder Attalus was the son of a brother (also called Attalus) of both
Philetaerus, the founder of the Attalid dynasty, and Eumenes, the father of Eumenes I, Philetaerus' successor; he is mentioned, along with his uncles, as a benefactor of Delphi. He won fame as a charioteer, winning at Olympia, and was honored with a monument at Pergamon. Attalus was a young child when his father died, sometime before 241 BC, after which he was adopted by Eumenes I, the incumbent dynast.
Attalus' mother, Antiochis, was probably related to the Seleucid royal family (perhaps being the granddaughter of
Seleucus I Nicator) with her marriage to Attalus' father likely arranged by Philetaerus to solidify his power. This would be consistent with the conjecture that Attalus' father had been Philetaerus' heir designate, but was succeeded by Eumenes, since Attalus I was too young when his father died.
Defeat of the Galatians
According to Pausanias, "the greatest of his achievements" was the defeat of the "
Gauls" (polytonic|Γαλάται). [Pausanias, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Paus.+1.8.1 1.8.1] .] Pausanias was referring to the Galatians, immigrant Celtsfrom Thrace, who had recently settled in Galatiain central Asia Minor, and whom the Romans and Greeks called Gauls, associating them with the Celts of what is now France, Switzerland, and northern Italy. Since the time of Philetaerus, the uncle of Eumenes I and the first Attalid ruler, the Galatians had posed a problem for Pergamon, indeed for all of Asia Minor, by exacting tributes to avoid war or other repercussions. Eumenes I had (probably), along with other rulers, dealt with the Galatians by paying these tributes. Attalus however refused to pay them, being the first such ruler to do so. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy38.html 38.16] .] As a consequence, the Galatians set out to attack Pergamon. Attalus met them near the sources of the river Caïcus [An Inscription from the Gaul Monument located in the Athena Sanctuary on the acropolis at Pergamon reads: "King Attalos having conquered in battle the Tolistoagii Gauls around the springs of the river Kaikos [set up this] thank-offering to Athena." (according to [http://www.arches.uga.edu/~fvankeur/classical/ancient/ancient.html source] ).] and won a decisive victory, after which, following the example of Antiochus I, Attalus took the name of Soter, which means "savior", and claimed the title of king. The victory brought Attalus legendary fame. A story arose, related by Pausanias, of an oracle who had foretold these events a generation earlier:
:"Then verily, having crossed the narrow strait of the
Hellespont,":"The devastating host of the Gauls shall pipe; and lawlessly":"They shall ravage Asia; and much worse shall God do":"To those who dwell by the shores of the sea":"For a short while. For right soon the son of Cronos":"Shall raise a helper, the dear son of a bull reared by Zeus":"Who on all the Gauls shall bring a day of destruction."
Pausanius adds that by "son of a bull" the oracle "meant Attalus, king of Pergamon, who was styled bull-horned". [Pausanias, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Paus.+10.15.2 10.15.2,3] .] On the acropolis of Pergamon was erected a triumphal monument, which included the famous sculpture the "
Dying Gaul", commemorating this battle.
Conquests in Seleucid Asia Minor
Several years after the first victory over the Gauls, Pergamon was again attacked by the Gauls together with their ally
Antiochus Hierax, the younger brother of Seleucus II Callinicus, and ruler of Seleucid Asia Minor from his capital at Sardis. Attalus defeated the Gauls and Antiochus at the battle of Aphrodisium and again at a second battle in the east. Subsequent battles were fought and won against Antiochus alone: in Hellespontine Phrygia, where Antiochus was perhaps seeking refuge with his father-in law, Ziaelasthe king of Bithynia; near Sardis in the spring of 228 BC; and, in the final battle of the campaign, further south in Cariaon the banks of the Harpasus, a tributary of the Maeander. [Hansen, p. 35.]
As a result of these victories, Attalus gained control over all of Seleucid Asia Minor north of the
Taurus Mountains.Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+4.48 4.48] .] He was able to hold onto these gains in the face of repeated attempts by Seleucus III Ceraunus, eldest son and successor of Seleucus II, to recover the lost territory, [Hansen, p. 36.] culminating in Seleucus III himself crossing the Taurus with his army, only to be assassinated in 223 BC.
Achaeus, who had accompanied Seleucus III, assumed control of the army. He was offered and refused the kingship in favor of Seleucus III's younger brother
Antiochus III the Great, who then made Achaeus governor of Seleucid Asia Minor north of the Taurus. Within two years Achaeus had recovered all the lost Seleucid territories, "shut up Attalus within the walls of Pergamon," and assumed the title of king.
After a period of peace, in 218 BC, while Achaeus was involved in an expedition to
Selgesouth of the Taurus, Attalus, with some Thracian Gauls, recaptured his former territories. [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+5.77 5.77] .] However Achaeus returned from victory in Selge in 217 BC and resumed hostilities with Attalus.
Antiochus, under a treaty of alliance with Attalus, crossed the Taurus in 216 BC, attacked Achaeus [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+5.107 5.107] .] and besieged Sardis, and in 214 BC, the second year of the siege, was able to take the city. However the citadel remained under Achaeus' control. [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+7.15 7.15–18] .] Under the pretense of a rescue, Achaeus was finally captured and put to death, and the citadel surrendered [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+8.17 8.17–23] .] By 213 BC, Antiochus had regained control of all of his Asiatic provinces.
First Macedonian War
Thwarted in the east, Attalus now turned his attention westward. Perhaps because of concern for the ambitions of
Philip V of Macedon, Attalus had sometime before 219 BC become allied with Philip's enemies the Aetolian League, a union of Greek states in Aetoliain central Greece, having funded the fortification of Elaeus, an Aetolian stronghold in Calydonia, near the mouth of the river Acheloos. [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+4.65 4.65] .]
Philip's alliance with
Hannibalof Carthagein 215 BC also caused concern in Rome, then involved in the Second Punic War. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy23.html 23.33–34] .] In 211 BC, a treaty was signed between Rome and the Aetolian League, a provision of which allowed for the inclusion of certain allies of the League, Attalus being one of these. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy26.html 26.24] .] Attalus was elected one of the two "strategoi" (generals) of the Aetolian League, [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy27.html 27.29] .] and in 210 BC his troops probably participated in capturing the island of Aegina, [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+9.42 9.42] .] acquired by Attalus as his base of operations in Greece. [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+22.11 22.11] .]
In the following spring (209 BC), Philip marched south into Greece. Under command of Pyrrhias, Attalus' colleague as strategos, the allies lost two battles at Lamia.Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy27.html 27.30] .] Attalus himself went to Greece in July and was joined on Aegina by the Roman
proconsulP. Sulpicius Galba who wintered there. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy27.html 27.33] .] The following summer (208 BC) the combined fleet of thirty-five Pergamene and twenty-five Roman ships failed to take Lemnos, but occupied and plundered the countryside of the island of Peparethos (Skopelos), both Macedonian possessions. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy28.html 28.5] ; Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+10.42 10.42] .]
Attalus and Sulpicius then attended a meeting in Heraclea Trachinia of the Council of the Aetolians, at which the Roman argued against making peace with Philip. When hostilities resumed, they sacked both
Oreus, on the northern coast of Euboeaand Opus, the chief city of eastern Locris. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy28.html 28.5–7] ; Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+10.42 10.42] .]
The spoils from Oreus had been reserved for Sulpicius, who returned there, while Attalus stayed to collect the spoils from Opus. With their forces divided, Philip attacked Opus. Attalus, caught by surprise, was barely able to escape to his ships. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy28.html 28.7] ; Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+11.7 11.7] .]
Attalus was now forced to return to Asia, for he had learned at Opus that, at the urging of Philip, Prusias I king of Bithynia, related to Philip by marriage, was moving against Pergamon. Soon after, the Romans also abandoned Greece to concentrate their forces against Hannibal, their objective of preventing Philip from aiding Hannibal having been achieved. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy28.html 28.7] .]
In 206 BC the Aetolians sued for peace on conditions imposed by Philip. A treaty was drawn up at Phoenice in 205 BC, formally ending the
First Macedonian War. The "Peace of Phoenice" also ended the war with Prusias, and Attalus retained Aegina.
Macedonian hostilities of 201 BC
Prevented by the treaty of Phoenice from expansion in the east, Philip set out to extend his power in the Aegean and in Asia Minor. In the spring of 201 BC he took Samos and the Egyptian fleet stationed there. He then besieged
Chiosto the north.
These events caused Attalus, allied with
Rhodes, Byzantiumand Cyzicus, to enter the war. A large naval battle occurred in the strait between Chios and the mainland, just southwest of Erythrae. According to Polybius, fifty-three decked warships and over one hundred and fifty smaller warships, took part on the Macedonian side, with sixty-five decked warships and a number of smaller warships on the allied side. [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+16.2 16.2] .] During the battle Attalus, having become isolated from his fleet and pursued by Philip, was forced to run his three ships ashore, narrowly escaping by spreading various royal treasures on the decks of the grounded ships, causing his pursuers to abandon the pursuit in favor of plunder. [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+16.6 16.6] .]
Also during 201 BC, Philip invaded Pergamon; although unable to take the easily defended city, in part due to precautions taken by Attalus to provide for additional fortifications, [Hansen, p. 55.] he demolished the surrounding temples and altars. [Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+16.1 16.1] .] Meanwhile, Attalus and Rhodes sent envoys to Rome, to register their complaints against Philip. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy31.html 31.2] .]
econd Macedonian War
In 200 BC, Attalus became involved in the
Second Macedonian War. Acarnanians with Macedonian support invaded Attica, causing Athens, which had previously maintained its neutrality, to seek help from the enemies of Philip. [Pausanias, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Paus.+1.36.5 1.36.5–6] ; Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy31.html 31.9, 14] .] Attalus, with his fleet at Aegina, received an embassy from Athens, to come to the city for consultations. Informed that Roman ambassadors were also at Athens, Attalus went there in haste. His reception at Athens was extraordinary. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy31.html 31.14] .] Polybius writes:
Sulpicius Galba, now
consul, convinced Rome to declare war on Philip [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy31.html 31.5–8] .] and asked Attalus to meet up with the Roman fleet and again conduct a naval campaign, harassing Macedonian possessions in the Aegean. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy31.html 31.28] .] In the spring of 199 BC, the combined Pergamon and Roman fleets took Androsin the Cyclades, the spoils going to the Romans and the island to Attalus. From Andros they sailed south, made a fruitless attack on another Cycladic island, Kithnos, turned back north, scavenged the fields of Skiathosoff the coast of Magnesia, for food, and continued north to Mende, where the fleets were wracked by storm. On land they were repulsed at Cassandrea, suffering heavy loss. They continued northeast along the Macedonian coast to Acanthus, which they sacked, after which they returned to Euboea, their vessels laden with spoils. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy31.html 31.45] .]
On their return, Attalus and the Roman commander went to Heraclea to meet with the Aetolians, who under the terms of their treaty asked Attalus for a thousand soldiers. Attalus refused, citing the Aetolians' own refusal to honor Attalus' request to attack Macedonia during Philip's attack on Pergamon two years earlier. Resuming operations, Attalus and the Romans attacked but failed to take Oreus and, deciding to leave a small force to invest it, attacked across the straight in
Thessaly. When they returned to Oreus, they again attacked, this time successfully, the Romans taking the captives, Attalus the city. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy31.html 31.46] .] The campaigning season over, Attalus, after attending the Eleusinian Mysteries, returned to Pergamon after an absence of more than two years. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy31.html 31.47] .]
In the spring of 198 BC, Attalus returned to Greece with twenty-three
quinqueremes and joined a fleet of twenty decked Rhodian warships at Andros, to complete the conquest of Euboea begun the previous year. Soon joined by the Romans, the combined fleets took Eretriaand later Carystus. Thus, the allies controlled all of Euboea except for Chalcis. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy32.html 32.16,17] .] After a failed attempt to take Corinth, the Romans left for Corcyra, while Attalus sailed for Piraeus. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy32.html 32.23] .]
Early in 197 BC,
Titus Quinctius Flamininus, the Roman consul, summoned Attalus to a Boeotian council in Thebes to discuss which side Boeotia would take in the war. Attalus was the first to speak in the council, but during his address he stopped talking and collapsed, with one side of his body paralyzed. [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy33.html 33.1,2] .] Attalus was taken back to Pergamon, where he died the following fall, perhaps having heard of the news of the decisive Roman victory at the Battle of Cynoscephalae, bringing about the end of the Second Macedonian War.
Attalus married Apollonis, from
Cyzicus. They had four sons, Eumenes, Attalus, Philetaerus and Athenaeus (after Apollonis' father). Polybiusdescribes Apollonis as:
The filial "affection" of the brothers as well as their upbringing is also remarked on by several ancient sources. A decree of
An inscription at Pergamon represents Apollonis as saying that
Polybius, describing Attalus' life says:
Attalus died in 197 BC at the age of 72. He was succeeded by his son Eumenes II.
Introduction of the cult of the Magna Mater to Rome
In 205 BC, after the "Peace of Phoenice", Rome turned to Attalus, as its only friend in Asia, for help concerning a religious matter. An unusual number of meteor showers caused concern in Rome, and an inspection was made of the
Sibylline Books, which discovered verses saying that if a foreigner were to make war on Italy, he could be defeated if the "Magna Idaea", the Mother Goddess, associated with Mount Idain Phrygia, were brought from Pessinusto Rome. M. Valerius Laevinus heading a distinguished delegation, was dispatched to Pergamon, to seek Attalus' aid. According to Livy, Attalus received the delegation warmly, "and conducted them to Pessinus in Phrygia" where he "handed over to them the sacred stone which the natives declared to be "the Mother of the Gods," and bade them carry it to Rome". [Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy29.html 29.10, 11] .] In Rome the goddess became known as the Magna Mater.
Livy, [http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/ "History of Rome"] , Rev. Canon Roberts (translator), Ernest Rhys (Ed.); (1905) London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd.
*Pausanias, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Paus.+1.1.1 "Description of Greece"] , Books I-II, (
Loeb Classical Library) translated by W. H. S. Jones; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. (1918) ISBN 0-674-99104-4.
Polybius, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plb.+1.1 "Histories"] , Evelyn S. Shuckburgh (translator); London, New York. Macmillan (1889); Reprint Bloomington (1962).
Strabo, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Strab.+6.1.1 "Geography"] , Books 13–14, translated by Horace Leonard Jones; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, Ltd. (1924) ISBN 0-674-99246-6.;Secondary sources
*Hansen, Esther V. (1971). "The Attalids of Pergamon". Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press; London: Cornell University Press Ltd. ISBN 0-8014-0615-3.
*Kosmetatou, Elizabeth (2003) "The Attalids of Pergamon," in Andrew Erskine, ed., "A Companion to the Hellenistic World". Oxford: Blackwell: pp. 159–174. ISBN 1-4051-3278-7. [http://books.google.com/books?id=c1-SvffPjUUC&pg=PA159&dq=kosmetatou&ei=5n0sSPeUPIuOywSjx6XLAw&sig=1cqZNmNUIlpKQecTZeac2XRwn5M text]
NAME = Attalus I Soter
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Attalos I (alternative transliteration)
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Greek dynast and king
DATE OF BIRTH = 269 BC
PLACE OF BIRTH = Unknown
DATE OF DEATH = 197 BC
PLACE OF DEATH = Pergamon
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