By Robin A. H. Waterfield
"Is there a person on the earth who's so narrow-minded or uninquisitive that he might fail to need to grasp how and because of what sort of political procedure nearly the full identified international used to be conquered and taken less 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, whilst Rome overthrew the Macedonian monarchy and divided the rustic into 4 self sufficient republics. This was once the the most important half-century of Rome's astonishing upward push to imperial prestige, yet Roman curiosity in its jap friends all started a bit prior, with the 1st Illyrian warfare of 229, and climaxed later with the notorious destruction of Corinth in 146.
Taken on the Flood chronicles this momentous circulate by way of Rome into the Greek east. in the past, this era of background has been overshadowed by way of the specter of Carthage within the west, yet occasions within the east have been no less significant in themselves, and Robin Waterfield's account unearths the atypical nature of Rome's japanese coverage. For over seventy years, the Romans shunned annexation in order that they might dedicate their army and monetary assets to the struggle opposed to Carthage and in different places. even though eventually a failure, this coverage of oblique rule, punctuated via periodic brutal army interventions and excessive international relations, labored good for a number of a long time, till the Senate ultimately settled on extra direct sorts of keep watch over.
Waterfield's fast paced narrative focuses customarily on army and diplomatic maneuvers, yet all through he interweaves different issues and subject matters, equivalent to the effect of Greek tradition on Rome, the Roman aristocratic ethos, and the conflict among the 2 most sensible struggling with machines the traditional global 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.