According to healthvv, the defeat of the Romans at Cannae induced Philip to make an alliance with Hannibal, and certainly Rome must have appeared to Philip much more dangerous than Carthage and it seemed to him a vital interest for Macedonia to snatch Corcira and the possessions beyond the Adriatic from it. But to fight it effectively it would have been better to be able to contend with it for dominion of the sea. Instead, due to Philip’s short sight and the selfishness of the bourgeois classes unwilling to sacrifice, neither he nor his allies had taken steps to reconstitute a navy, although Western events had shown the importance of naval dominance. Thus not only was the king unable to intervene in Italy in favor of Hannibal, nor to lend the slightest help to the two major Greek cities of the west, Syracuse and Taranto, who were fighting their extreme struggle for freedom, but not even preventing a Roman squad from entering the Aegean Sea (210). In the same Greek peninsula, strong with Roman support, the Aetolians, the Elei, the Messenîs, the Lacedaemonians joined against him. They were joined from Asia by the active and procreating king of Pergamum, Attalus, who, foreseeing the successes of the Romans, counted on them to enlarge his small state. None of these probably got an exact idea of the Roman danger. But in all of them the ambitions and the particularistic rivalries greatly overwhelmed the feeling of solidarity towards their compatriots, especially since they were not fighting for defense, but they were the attackers with foreign help. It manifested itself in this and in the abandonment in which all the Greeks left Taranto and Syracuse that collapse of national sentiment, which was then to be the main factor in the enslavement of Greece to the Romans. The Romans, after having thus incited so many enemies against Philip, depriving him of the possibility of annoying them in the war against Carthage, did not commit themselves fully. They soon withdrew with their team from the Aegean (208-7), and let their allies defend themselves. Even now Philip showed his moderation, granting a separate peace to the Aetolians (206), which consolidated some of the advantages he obtained during the war, but did not substantially damage the league and did not even take away the dominance of amphitionism. This peace was followed shortly after that with Rome concluded at Fenice (205), which put an end to the first Macedonian war of the Romans, with the apparent advantage of Philip, leaving him the territorial purchases made in Greece and also some little land purchased in Illyria. But the substantial advantage was of the Romans who could now freely carry out the war with Carthage, after having kept a dangerous opponent at bay with little effort and little damage, with whom they could then resume the interrupted game in much better conditions. This war had also had another effect. Sparta, reorganized militarily under Macanidas, had taken up the ambitious designs of Cleomenes, and, although Philip had done everything possible to help his allies, surrounded as he was by so many enemies and blocked by the presence of Roman ships in the Aegean, the Achaeans s’ they were often found abandoned to their own strengths, experiencing the damage and shame of their feeble military organization. An expert officer originally from Megalopolis, Philopoemenes, remedied the serious inconvenience, who first as Hipparchus rearranged the cavalry and then as strategus the Achaean infantry, and with the army thus reorganized he defeated and killed at Mantinea Macanida (207). This success invigorated the Achaean league, but at the same time, by making it aware of its strength, it slowed down the ties it had forged with Macedonia.
After the peace, Philip, who, by now perceiving the need for maritime power, had built a war fleet for himself, used it to wrest from the Ptolemies, in agreement with Antiochus III the Great, king of Syria, their possessions in the ‘Aegean (202-1) prevailing over the minor age of Ptolemy V Epiphanes, who ascended the throne of Egypt at the death of Ptolemy IV Philopator. And certainly the maritime dominance in the Aegean would have been of great importance, to consolidate the Macedonian symmetry and to face another Roman intervention: and the weakened Greco-Egyptians were unable to counter it. But the Rodeos and Attalus, who jealously joined up against him, soon found the support of Rome, which, having put Carthage out of action, yearned to resume war with Philip. An accident between Philip and Athens, that the Romans had wanted to include in the peace of Phoenix, provided them with an excellent pretext for intervention. The Athenians, who after the Cremonides war had no longer fought against Macedonia, content to keep themselves out of the new symmetry, now, stirred up by Philip’s adversaries and in particular by the Romans, declared war on him. Perhaps in this way they imagined to resume the politics of Demosthenes, but in fact they were not inspired as he was by Panhellenic ideals, so out of particularistic rancor they gave the foreigner opportunity to intervene in the Greek peninsula. By disturbing a peace that ensured the Greeks a measure of freedom, which perhaps had never been before, they began a war, in which foreign intervention was the decisive factor.