In addition to the continuing operations in Spain and the abortive Carthagenian campaign in Sardinia, the war began to spread out in other directions as well. As Livy observes, "to this conflict of the two richest peoples in the world all kings and nations had turned their attention." Among those who took more than a casual interest was Philip V of Macedonia, who
On first learning by report that Hannibal had crossed
the Alps, although he had rejoiced at the outbreak of
war between the Romans and Carthagenians, till, as their resources were not as yet known, he had wavered,
uncertain which of the two peoples he wished to have the victory. Now that a third battle, a third victory,
favoured the Carthagenians, he inclined to the side of success and sent ambassadors to Hannibal.
These ambassadors duly located Hannibal, who agreed to an alliance by which Philip would enter the war with a fleet reported to number 200 ships, with which he would
Cross to Italy and ravage the coast, and should carry
on the war on land and sea with all his might. After
the war was over all Italy with the city of Rome itself should belong to the Carthagenians and Hannibal, and all
the booty fall to Hannibal; that after the complete subjugation of Italy, they should sail to Greece and
wage war with such enemies as the king might choose; and that such states on the mainland and such islands as
face Macedonia should belong to Philip and be a part of
This was a peculiar agreement. Philip asked for no place in the settlement of Italian affairs. Instead, in turn for his assistance in the Italian war, he would secure Hannibal and his army as mercenaries of a sort with which to pursue his own ambitions in Greece.
It should be noted that Polybius, in a fragment, provides the text of an agreement between Philip and Hannibal that specifies no such commitment on Hannibal's part, nor any very ...