Achaean War

The Achaean War of 146 BC was fought between the Roman Republic and the Greek Achaean League, an alliance of Achaean and other Peloponnesian states in ancient Greece. It was the final stage of Rome's conquest of mainland Greece, taking place just after the Fourth Macedonian War.

Achaean War

The last day on Corinth, Tony Robert-Fleury, 1870
Date146 BC
Location
Mainland Greece
Result Roman victory
Territorial
changes
Roman annexation of mainland Greece
Belligerents
Roman Republic Achaean League
Commanders and leaders
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus
Lucius Mummius Achaicus
Critolaos
Diaeus

Rome and Achaea had been allies since the Second Macedonian War fifty years prior, but tensions between the two polities had been building up over the previous few decades, primarily over Roman efforts to throttle Achaean regional ambitions, particularly the long-desired assimilation of Sparta into the league, and the taking of large numbers of Achaean hostages by Rome in the aftermath of the Third Macedonian War. Tensions rose dramatically in 148 BC, when Achaea defeated and finally subjugated Sparta; in the aftermath of this, Rome tried to cow the League into halting its expansionist ambitions, but a failure of diplomacy between the two sides led to war.

Rome swiftly defeated the League's main force near Scarpheia, before advancing on the League's capital of Corinth, where they defeated the remnants of the Achaean forces outside the walls and then brutally sacked the city, in the same year in which they destroyed Carthage. The war marked the beginning of direct Roman control of Greece, and the end of Greek independence, as well as the beginning of the end of the Hellenistic period. It is also noted for its significant cultural impact on Rome; the preponderance of Greek art, culture and slaves in the aftermath of the conquest accelerated the development of Greco-Roman culture.