THE PERIOD OF THE PUNIC WARS
IMMEDIATELY AFTER HER CONQUEST OF THE GREATER PART OF the Italian peninsula, Rome made her appearance upon the larger stage of Mediterranean and world affairs. In size, strength, and military capability she was already a great power, as her victory over Pyrrhus had proved, but she had not yet actually moved into the mainstream of Hellenistic civilization, which then dominated the political, economic, and spiritual life of the world from the Himalayas in the East to the Atlantic seaboard in the West.
It was not Egypt, Syria, Macedonia, or any of the other heirs of the vast conquests of Alexander the Great that compelled Rome to emerge from isolation, but Carthage, the mighty African empire of the West. Carthage, though never conquered by Alexander nor an inheritor of any part of his conquests, was
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Publication information: Book title: A History of the Roman People. Contributors: Fritz M. Heichelheim - Author, Cedric A. Yeo - Author. Publisher: Prentice-Hall. Place of publication: Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Publication year: 1962. Page number: 110.