By Robin A. H. Waterfield
"Is there a person on the earth who's so narrow-minded or uninquisitive that he may possibly fail to wish to grasp how and because of what sort of political method nearly the complete recognized global was once conquered and taken lower than a unmarried empire in below fifty-three years?" -- Polybius, Histories
The 53-year interval Polybius had in brain stretched from the beginning of the second one Punic warfare in 219 BCE till 167, while Rome overthrew the Macedonian monarchy and divided the rustic into 4 self sustaining republics. This was once the an important half-century of Rome's amazing upward push to imperial prestige, yet Roman curiosity in its japanese pals begun a bit prior, with the 1st Illyrian battle of 229, and climaxed later with the notorious destruction of Corinth in 146.
Taken on the Flood chronicles this momentous stream by means of Rome into the Greek east. before, this era of heritage has been overshadowed through the specter of Carthage within the west, yet occasions within the east have been no less significant in themselves, and Robin Waterfield's account finds the extraordinary nature of Rome's japanese coverage. For over seventy years, the Romans shunned annexation so they may possibly dedicate their army and monetary assets to the struggle opposed to Carthage and in other places. even though eventually a failure, this coverage of oblique rule, punctuated by way of periodic brutal army interventions and severe international relations, labored good for numerous a long time, till the Senate ultimately settled on extra direct sorts of regulate.
Waterfield's fast paced narrative focuses ordinarily on army and diplomatic maneuvers, yet all through he interweaves different themes and issues, equivalent to the impression of Greek tradition on Rome, the Roman aristocratic ethos, and the conflict among the 2 top battling machines the traditional international ever produced: the Macedonian phalanx and Roman legion. the result's an soaking up account of a serious bankruptcy in Rome's mastery of the Mediterranean.
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Extra info for Taken at the Flood: The Roman Conquest of Greece (Ancient Warfare and Civilization)
1 Phoenice. The capture by King Agron of this strategic northern Epirote city in 230 bce gave the Illyrians the confidence that made them a threat to the region—and so brought them into collision with Rome. Agron died a short while later, reputedly from pleurisy contracted after the over-enthusiastic celebration of his victories. 3 Teuta inherited a critical situation. Following the loss of Phoenice, the Epirotes had joined the Aetolian–Achaean alliance, and their new allies dispatched an army north as soon as they could.
Each officer had different responsibilities: if it was a matter of food supply to the city of Rome, the Senate would turn to an aedile; if it was a matter of making war, it would turn to a consul. Rome was governed, then, by an elite, with a relatively small number of families repeatedly holding a proportionately large number of senior offices. They even kept all the most important priesthoods to themselves, to prevent the emergence of a powerful priestly estate. They fought together, dined together, shared cultural interests, intermarried, adopted one another’s sons, and loaned one another money.
This is not to say that Rome was the aggressor in every war it fought, but the facts remain: Rome was almost continuously at war in the early and middle Republic (500–150 bce, in round numbers), every opportunity for war that the Senate offered was accepted by the people of Rome, and the benefits were recognized by all. The report the Coruncanii, or the survivors of their mission, brought back to Rome fell on receptive ears. There can be little doubt that there were voices in the Senate pushing for eastern expansion too.