General Introduction

Rome's first contacts with Asia Minor occurred during the period of the Second Punic war, when Pergamon formed an alliance with Rome against the Macedonian King Philip V. During the same period, increasing cultural contacts can be observed (i.e. the official introduction of the Asia Minor cult of Cybele in Rome). Soon thereafter, the war against the Seleucidian king Antiochos III led to large-scale Roman military engagement in Asia Minor. Antiochos suffered a final defeat in the battle of Magnesia 190 BC, and was forced to accept the peace of Apamea. Though this peace did not immediately portend any durable Roman presence in Asia Minor, it did make Rome the de facto hegemonic power in the region, whose sway reached down to the local level. The Seleucids lost almost all of their territories in Asia Minor. These were ceded for the most part to Pergamon, which became a great power dependent on Rome. Since 2 BC, Rome's increasingly complex political entanglements with the states of Asia Minor were paralleled by an extension of economic links, which were mirrored by the increasing presence of Roman and Italian citizens in the cities of Asia Minor.

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