The first contact between Roman and Greco-Macedonian powers occurred during the Pyrrhic Wars in Italy in 291 B.C. when the Greek city states in southern Italy invited the Pyrrhus, King of Epirus and the greatest general of his age to help them resist Rome. At first successful, Rome eventually overcame Pyrrus, and absorbed the Greek cities into its growing empire. It was not until the second of the Punic Wars, however, that Hannibal made an alliance with Macedonia, and a Roman Army was sent into Macedonian Territory. Three Roman Macedonian Wars followed, with Rome increasing its influence over Macedonia in each. The first occurred during the Second Punic War (214-205 B.C.), and the last, culminating in the Battle of Pydna, was fought in 168 B.C., resulted in the complete overthrow of Macedonian rule over mainland Greece. About this time, several of the city-states on mainland greece fought a series of Wars of the Achaean League to defend their interests against Sparta, Macedonia, and ultimately Rome. As a result of an uprising in 146 B.C. lead by the Achaean league, a Roman army invaded Greece and destroyed the city of Corinth. After this, mainland Greece was ruled as a Province of the Roman Empire.
The influence of Greek culture on that of Rome was tremendous. Even before the Roman conquest of Greece, Greek scholars and teachers were very influential in Rome, since Greek was the language of learning throughout the Mediterranean. The Roman religion, art, philosophy, literature, and even the formalization of Latin grammar was heavily influenced by Greek culture. Educated Greek slaves were very expensive and sought after by aristocratic Romans families as teachers for their children. But just as in Classical Greece, where there was tension and distrust between stoic Sparta, and cultured Athens, the greek influence was resisted by stoic Romans, such as Cato (the censor), who feared its decadent influence.
Eventually Rome conquered most of the territory that was...
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