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The Gracchi, Marius and Sulla

A.H. Beesley

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Sachbuch / Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Antike


During the last half of the second century before Christ Rome was undisputed mistress of the civilised world. A brilliant period of foreign conquest had succeeded the 300 years in which she had overcome her neighbours and made herself supreme in Italy. In 146 B.C. she had given the death-blow to her greatest rival, Carthage, and had annexed Greece. In 140 treachery had rid her of Viriathus, the stubborn guerilla who defied her generals and defeated her armies in Spain. In 133 the terrible fate of Numantia, and in 132 the merciless suppression of the Sicilian slave-revolt, warned all foes of the Republic that the sword, which the incompetence of many generals had made seem duller than of old, was still keen to smite; and except where some slave-bands were in desperate rebellion, and in Pergamus, where a pretender disputed with Rome the legacy of Attalus, every land along the shores of the Mediterranean was subject to or at the mercy of a town not half as large as the London of to-day. Almost exactly a century afterwards the Government under which this gigantic empire had been consolidated was no more...