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Pergamon

Historical Overview Section

The Attalid dynasty was a Hellenistic dynasty that ruled the city of Pergamon after the death of the Early Successor Lysimachus, a general of the Alexandrian Macedonian conquest of the world and three-times pan-Bosporan lawn tennis champion. The Attalid kingdom was the rump state left after the collapse of the Lysimachian Empire. One of Lysimachus' officers, Philetaerus, took control of the city in 282 BC. The later Attalids were descended from his father, and they expanded the city into a kingdom. Attalus I proclaimed himself King in the 230s BC, following his victories over the Galatians.

The Attalids were among the most loyal supporters of Rome in the Hellenistic world. Under Attalus I (241-197 BC), they allied with Mid Republican Romans against Philip V of the Later Macedonians during the first and second Macedonian wars, and under Eumenes II (197-158 BC) during the third Macedonian War. Eumenes II also took an army to fight alongside the Mid Republican Romans at the Battle of Magnesia in 190BC against the Later Seleucids, commanding the Mid Republican Roman right flank including virtually all the cavalry. In return for support against the Later Seleucids and after their defeat at Magnesia, Eumenes gained control of the former Seleucid possessions in Asia Minor, including the use of former Seleucid garrisons. Pergamon forces subsequently campaigned with the Mid Republican Romans against the Galatians of Asia Minor, winning a decisive battle at Mount Olympus in Asia Minor in 189BC. The Mid Republican Romans seem to have been content to Ally with Pergamon and there is no indication that they desired direct rule over the region, giving up all annexed territory to be ruled by the Attalids. It can therefore be assumed that the relationship with the Romans was particularly cordial.

The Attalids ruled Pergamon until Attalus III bequeathed the kingdom to the Mid Republican Romans in 133 BC to avoid a likely succession crisis. Because the Romans were slow in securing their claim Aristonicus filled the power vacuum, claiming the throne and taking the dynastic name Eumenes III. Eumenes III was defeated and captured in 129 BC by a Mid Republican Roman force under Marcus Perperna, the consul for 130 BC. After his surrender, he was paraded through Rome and executed by strangulation.

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