Hannibal: Large Print (Paperback)
Rome itself was very differently situated. Rome had been built by some wanderersfrom Troy, and it grew, for a long time, silently and slowly, by a sort of internalprinciple of life and energy. One region after another of the Italian peninsula wasmerged in the Roman state. They formed a population which was, in the main, stationary and agricultural. They tilled the fields; they hunted the wild beasts; theyraised great flocks and herds. They seem to have been a race-a sort of variety ofthe human species-possessed of a very refined and superior organization, which, in its development, gave rise to a character of firmness, energy, and force, both ofbody and mind, which has justly excited the admiration of mankind. TheCarthaginians had sagacity-the Romans called it cunning-and activity, enterpriseand wealth. Their rivals, on the other hand, were characterized by genius, courage, and strength, giving rise to a certain calm and indomitable resolution and energy, which has since, in every age, been strongly associated, in the minds of men, withthe very word Roman.The progress of nations was much more slow in ancient days than now, and thesetwo rival empires continued their gradual growth and extension, each on its ownside of the great sea which divided them, for five hundred years, before they cameinto collision. At last, however, the collision came. It originated in the followingway: By looking at the map, the reader will see that the island of Sicily is separated fromthe main land by a narrow strait called the Strait of Messina. This strait derives itsname from the town of Messina, which is situated upon it, on the Sicilian side.Opposite Messina, on the Italian side, there was a town named Rhegium. Now ithappened that both these towns had been taken possession of by lawless bodies ofsoldiery. The Romans came and delivered Rhegium, and punished the soldiers whohad seized it very severely. The Sicilian authorities advanced to the deliverance ofMessina. The troops there, finding themselves thus threatened, sent to the Romans 7to say that if they, the Romans, would come and protect them, they would deliverMessina into their h.