By Richard Evans
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Extra info for A History of Pergamum: Beyond Hellenistic Kingship
The attempt was launched by hired assassins during a visit by the king to Delphi, on his way home from Rome to Pergamum in late 172 BC, after his participation in negotiations between Macedonia and Rome which had ended in deadlock. With war seemingly imminent, Perseus perhaps felt that he had nothing to lose by murdering Rome’s closest ally in the region. It must be said, however, that not only was the plan, if Macedonian in conception, extremely ham-fisted in its undertaking, but even if successful was guaranteed to point the finger to the guiding hand of Perseus himself.
59 However, most of the attack on Achaeus would have presented itself on land; the object of any advance here was the seizure of Sardis, so Attalus’ role would have been that of subsidiary commander. He could have attacked Achaeus’ rear from the Caicus Valley and he could have blocked any help Achaeus might have summoned from any allies he possessed in Aeolia or in the Troad, but this cannot have been substantial and none is mentioned. In the end, Antiochus’ move seems more guided by ensuring that Attalus did not join Achaeus against him, rather than attaching to himself an ally of substantial means whose role would have been crucial in overcoming the enemy.
Fortune had granted him nothing to suggest a hope of kingship except wealth. By using this wealth carefully and astutely he made himself appear worthy of being a king. Then in one battle he defeated the Galatians and after that victory he took the diadem. He ruled over his citizens with complete justice and was especially loyal to his allies. He was kind to his wife and sons, of whom four survived him and was courteous and generous to his friends. He left the throne sound and strong so that it could be passed down to the third generation.
A History of Pergamum: Beyond Hellenistic Kingship by Richard Evans