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UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

and towns which had adhered to the Roman cause were left with little

disturbance, but those which had given offense were captured and punished.

Tributes were assessed and the political condition fixed on a basis

analogous to that already existing in Spain and Sicily. Roman customs and

institutions were rapidly introduced. The Latin language took the place of

the harsh tongue of Syria and the guttural dialects of the native tribes.

The commerce of Carthage was transferred to Utica, and thenceforth

conducted by Roman merchantmen. The plains of Northern Africa were found to

be of as great fertility as those of Campania and Sicily. An agricultural

interest-well in keeping with the primitive tastes of the Romans- sprang up

along the whole coast; and to this source, more even than to her

Mediterranean dependencies, the capital city began to look for the ultimate

means of support. The spite of Rome, meanwhile, like that of a savage who

mutilates the body of his dead enemy, was pleased to plow up and sow with

salt the site of Carthage, and to pronounce a curse on him who should

attempt to rebuild the city. The queen of the Seven Hills was victorious

from sea to sea. She made herself glorious out of the spoils of the

nations, and feasted without compunction on dainties prepared by the weary

hands of slaves.

CHAPTER LXI- THE IMPERIAL REPUBLIC.

The final subjugation of Greece and the destruction of Carthage-both of

which events occurred in B. C. 146-may be cited as marking the limit of

formidable opposition to the domination of Rome over the states of the

Mediterranean. Henceforth she was mistress, and did as she would. Not that

there were no more wars. Not that Rome was not obliged to defend with the

sword what she had acquired by violence. Not that a spirit was wanting

among the subject nations to rise in revolt against the colossal despotism

under which they were pressed in servitude. But the power of further

successful resistance was gone. To go to war with the Imperial City became

an act of rashness which only the most reckless and foolhardy dared to

indulge, even in dreams. It will be of interest to glance for a moment at

the number and character of those countries now held in subordination by

the great Republic.

The provincial system of the Romans began, as already said, with the

establishment of pro-consular governments in Sicily and Sardinia. The

kingdom of Numidia, in the western part of Northern Africa, though not

absolutely reduced to a province, was ruled by Masinissa in the interest of

Rome. Gallia Cisalpina was overrun at the close of the Second Punic War,

and the limits of the Republic were thus extended on the north to the

barrier of the Alps. The reduction of Macedonia in the times of Philip V.

and Perseus has been but recently narrated. When the paternal dominions of

these kings were stripped of independence, and soon afterwards organized as

a pro-consular government, Greece was added as a kind of subject of a

subject. The authority of Rome was thus extended from the river Strymon to

Cape Matapan. Meanwhile, to the east of the Province of Africa, the ancient

kingdom of the Pharaohs, now ruled by the successors of Ptolemy Soter, had

sought the protection of Rome on more than one occasion, thus paving the

way for an easy assumption of right on the part of the Senate. In the East

the Roman arms had been felt and the voice of Roman dictation heard as far

as Ephesus, and the whole of Asia Minor but awaited the cataclysm by which

all things were to be broken up and handed over to the Republic.

Thus were established by the middle of the second century B. C.-from which

date Rome may be said to have become Imperial-the great provinces of

Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica,