His brother Attalus II Philadelphia (d. 616) with Roman aid repelled the attempt of Pharnaces king of Pontus to seize the guardianship of Eumenes' son who was a minor, and reigned in the room of his nephew, like Antigonus Doson, as guardian for life. Adroit, able, pliant, a genuine Attalid, he had the art to convince the suspicious senate that the apprehensions which it had formerly cherished were baseless. The anti-Roman party accused him of having to do with keeping the land for the Romans, and of acquiescing in every insult and exaction at their hands; but, sure of Roman protection, he was able to interfere decisively in the disputes as to the succession to the throne in Syria, Cappadocia, and Bithynia. Even from the dangerous Bithynian war, which king Prusias II, surnamed the Hunter (572?-605), a ruler who combined in his own person all the vices of barbarism and of civilization, began against him, Roman intervention saved him--although not until he had been himself besieged in his capital, and a first warning given by the Romans had remained unattended to, and had even been scoffed at, by Prusias (598-600). But, when his ward Attalus III Philometor ascended the throne (616-621), the peaceful and moderate rule of the citizen kings was replaced by the tyranny of an Asiatic sultan; under which for instance, the king, with a view to rid himself of the inconvenient counsel of his father's friends, assembled them in the palace, and ordered his mercenaries to put to death first them, and then their wives and children. Along with such recreations he wrote treatises on gardening, reared poisonous plants, and prepared wax models, till a sudden death carried him off.

Province Of Asia War Against Aristonicus

With him the house of the Attalids became extinct. In such an event, according to the constitutional law which held good at least for the client-states of Rome, the last ruler might dispose of the succession by testament. Whether it was the insane rancour against his subjects which had tormented the last Attalid during life that now suggested to him the thought of bequeathing his kingdom by will to the Romans, or whether his doing so was merely a further recognition of the practical supremacy of Rome, cannot be determined. The testament was made;(32) the Romans accepted the bequest, and the question as to the land and the treasure of the Attalids threw a new apple of contention among the conflicting political parties in Rome. In Asia also this royal testament kindled a civil war. Relying on the aversion of the Asiatics to the foreign rule which awaited them, Aristonicus, a natural son of Eumenes II, made his appearance in Leucae, a small seaport between Smyrna and Phocaea, as a pretender to the crown. Phocaea and other towns joined him, but he was defeated at sea off Cyme by the Ephesians--who saw that a steady adherence to Rome was the only possible way of preserving their privileges--and was obliged to flee into the interior. The movement was believed to have died away when he suddenly reappeared at the head of the new "citizens of the city of the sun,"(33) in other words, of the slaves whom he had called to freedom en masse, mastered the Lydian towns of Thyatira and Apollonis as well as a portion of the Attalic townships, and summoned bands of Thracian free-lances to join his standard. The struggle was serious. There were no Roman troops in Asia; the Asiatic free cities and the contingents of the client-princes of Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Armenia, could not withstand the pretender; he penetrated by force of arms into Colophon, Samos, and Myndus, and already ruled over almost all his father's kingdom, when at the close of 623 a Roman army landed in Asia. Its commander, the consul and -pontifex maximus- Publius Licinius Crassus Mucianus, one of the wealthiest and at the same time one of the most cultivated men in Rome, equally distinguished as an orator and as a jurist, was about to besiege the pretender in Leucae, but during his preparations for that purpose allowed himself to be surprised and defeated by his too-much-underrated opponent, and was made a prisoner in person by a Thracian band. But he did not allow such an enemy the triumph of exhibiting the Roman commander-in-chief as a captive; he provoked the barbarians, who had captured him without knowing who he was, to put him to death (beginning of 624), and the consular was only recognised when a corpse. With him, as it would seem, fell Ariarathes king of Cappadocia. But not long after this victory Aristonicus was attacked by Marcus Perpenna, the successor of Crassus; his army was dispersed, he himself was besieged and taken prisoner in Stratonicea, and was soon afterwards executed in Rome. The subjugation of the last towns that still offered resistance and the definitive regulation of the country were committed, after the sudden death of Perpenna, to Manius Aquillius (625). The same policy was followed as in the case of the Carthaginian territory.

The eastern portion of the kingdom of the Attalids was assigned to the client kings, so as to release the Romans from the protection of the frontier and thereby from the necessity of maintaining a standing force in Asia; Telmissus(34) went to the Lycian confederacy; the European possessions in Thrace were annexed to the province of Macedonia; the rest of the territory was organized as a new Roman province, which like that of Carthage was, not without design, designated by the name of the continent in which it lay. The land was released from the taxes which had been paid to Pergamus; and it was treated with the same moderation as Hellas and Macedonia. Thus the most considerable state in Asia Minor became a Roman province.

Western Asia Cappadocia

The numerous other small states and cities of western Asia-- the kingdom of Bithynia, the Paphlagonian and Gallic principalities, the Lycian and Pamphylian confederacies, the free cities of Cyzicus and Rhodes--continued in their former circumscribed relations.

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Theodor Mommsen
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