The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. At the time, they were probably the largest wars that had taken place. The term Punic comes from the Latin word Punicus, meaning Carthaginian, the main cause of the Punic Wars was the conflicts of interest between the existing Carthaginian Empire and the expanding Roman Republic. The Romans were initially interested in expansion via Sicily, part of which lay under Carthaginian control, at the start of the first Punic War, Carthage was the dominant power of the Western Mediterranean, with an extensive maritime empire. Rome was a rapidly ascending power in Italy, but it lacked the power of Carthage. The Roman victories over Carthage in these wars gave Rome a preeminent status it would retain until the 5th century AD, during the mid-3rd century BC, Carthage was a large city located on the coast of modern Tunisia. Founded by the Phoenicians in the mid-9th century BC, it was a powerful thalassocratic city-state with a vast commercial network, of the great city-states in the western Mediterranean, only Rome rivaled it in power and population.
While Carthages navy was the largest in the ancient world at the time, it did not maintain a large, instead, Carthage relied mostly on mercenaries, especially the indigenous Numidians, to fight its wars. However, most of the officers who commanded the armies were Carthaginian citizens, in 200 BC, the Roman Republic had gained control of the Italian peninsula south of the Po river. Unlike Carthage, Rome had large disciplined armed forces, on the other hand, at the start of the First Punic War, the Romans had no navy, and were thus at a disadvantage until they began to construct their own large fleets during the war. The First Punic War was fought partly on land in Sicily and Africa and it began as a local conflict in Sicily between Hiero II of Syracuse and the Mamertines of Messina. The Mamertines enlisted the aid of the Carthaginian navy, and subsequently betrayed them by entreating the Roman Senate for aid against Carthage, the Romans sent a garrison to secure Messina, so the outraged Carthaginians lent aid to Syracuse.
With the two powers now embroiled in the conflict, tensions escalated into a full-scale war between Carthage and Rome for the control of Sicily. In 260 BC, they defeated the fledgling Roman navy at the Battle of the Lipari Islands, Rome responded by drastically expanding its navy in a very short time. Within two months, the Romans had a fleet of one hundred warships. Because they knew that they could not defeat the Carthaginians in the tactics of ramming and sinking enemy ships, the Romans added the corvus. The hinged bridge would swing onto enemy vessels with a sharp spike, Roman legionaries could board and capture Carthaginian ships. This innovative Roman tactic reduced the Carthaginian navys advantage in ship-to-ship engagements, the corvus was cumbersome and dangerous, and was eventually phased out as the Roman navy became more experienced and tactically proficient
Campaign history of the Roman military
These accounts were written by various authors throughout and after the history of the Empire. The Roman army battled first against its neighbours and Etruscan towns within Italy. From the outset, Romes military typified this pattern, and the majority of Romes campaigns were characterised by one of two types, the second is the civil war, which plagued Rome from its foundation to its eventual demise. Roman armies were not invincible, despite their reputation and host of victories. Nevertheless, it was generally the fate of even the greatest of Romes enemies, such as Pyrrhus and Hannibal, to win the battle, the history of Romes campaigning is, if nothing else, a history of obstinate persistence overcoming appalling losses. Knowledge of Roman history stands apart from other civilizations in the ancient world and its chronicles and otherwise, document the citys very foundation to its eventual demise. Romes earliest history, from the time of its founding as a tribal village. Although the early Romans were literate to some degree, this void may be due to the lack of will to record their history at that time, or such histories as they did record were lost.
Although the Roman historian Livy lists a series of seven kings of early Rome in his work Ab urbe condita, from its establishment through its earliest years, a number of points of view have been proposed. Very little is known of Romes military history from this era, Romulus, after founding the city, fortified the Palatine Hill, and shortly thereafter, Rome was equal to any of the surrounding cities in her prowess in war. The first of the campaigns fought by the Romans in this account are the wars with various Latin cities. According to Livy, the Latin village of Caenina responded to the event of the abduction of the Sabine women by invading Roman territory, the Latins of Antemnae and those of Crustumerium were defeated next in a similar fashion. The remaining main body of the Sabines attacked Rome and briefly captured the citadel, there was a further war in the 8th century BC against Fidenae and Veii. In the 7th century BC there was a war with Alba Longa, a war with Fidenae and Veii. Ancus Marcius led Rome to victory against the Latins and, according to the Fasti Triumphales, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus first war was waged against the Latins.
Tarquinius took the Latin town of Apiolae by storm and took great booty from there back to Rome, according to the Fasti Triumphales, the war occurred prior to 588 BC. His military ability was tested by an attack from the Sabines, Tarquinius doubled the numbers of equites to help the war effort, and defeat the Sabines. Tarquinius returned to Rome and celebrated a triumph for his victories that, according to the Fasti Triumphales, the Latin cities of Corniculum, old Ficulea, Crustumerium, Ameriola and Nomentum were subdued and became Roman
Second Catilinarian conspiracy
In 63 BC, Cicero exposed the plot, forcing Catiline to flee from Rome. The conspiracy was chronicled by Sallust in his work The Conspiracy of Catiline, Catiline had been an unsuccessful candidate in the consular election several times. His only remaining chance of attaining the consulship would be through an illegitimate means, so he started a conspiracy, winning the support of a great number of other men of senatorial and equestrian rank. Many of the leading conspirators had faced political problems similar to his in the Senate. Publius Autronius Paetus was complicit in their plot, since he was banned from holding office in the Roman government. Another leading conspirator, Lucius Cassius Longinus, who was praetor in 66 BC with Cicero, by the time that the election came around, he was no longer even regarded as a viable candidate. Gaius Cethegus, a young man at the time of the conspiracy, was noted for his violent nature. His impatience for rapid political advancement may account for his involvement in the conspiracy, the ranks of the conspirators included a variety of other patricians and plebeians who had been cast out of the political system for various reasons.
Many of them sought the restoration of their status as senators, promoting his policy of debt relief, Catiline initially rallied many of the poor to his banner along with a large portion of Sulla’s veterans. Debt had never been greater than in 63 BC since the decades of war had led to an era of economic downturn across the Italian countryside. Numerous plebeian farmers lost their farms and were forced to move to the city, sullas veterans were in bad economic straits as well. Desiring to regain their fortunes, they were prepared to march to war under the banner of the next Sulla, many of the plebs eagerly flocked to Catiline and supported him in the hope of the absolution of their debts. Catiline sent Gaius Manlius, a centurion from Sulla’s old army, others were sent to aid the conspiracy in important locations throughout Italy, and even a small slave revolt which had begun in Capua. While civil unrest was felt throughout the countryside, Catiline made the preparations for the conspiracy in Rome.
Their plans included arson and the murder of a portion of the senators. Finally, they would return to Rome and take control of the government, fortunately for Cicero, he escaped death that morning by placing guards at the entrance of his house who scared the conspirators away. On the following day, Cicero convened the Senate in the Temple of Jupiter Stator, some sources suggest that the Senate didnt believe Cicero at all. He finally accused them of placing their faith in a homo novus, over a nobilis, Catiline violently concluded that he would put out his own fire with the general destruction of all
Seleucus received Babylonia and, from there, expanded his dominions to include much of Alexanders near eastern territories. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant and what is now Kuwait and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan. The Seleucid Empire was a center of Hellenistic culture that maintained the preeminence of Greek customs where a Greek political elite dominated. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by immigration from Greece, Seleucid expansion into Anatolia and Greece was abruptly halted after decisive defeats at the hands of the Roman army. Their attempts to defeat their old enemy Ptolemaic Egypt were frustrated by Roman demands, contemporary sources, such as a loyalist degree from Ilium, in Greek language define the Seleucid state both as an empire and as a kingdom. Similarly, Seleucid rulers were described as kings in Babylonia and he refers to either Alexander Balas or Alexander II Zabinas as a ruler. Alexander, who conquered the Persian Empire under its last Achaemenid dynast, Darius III, died young in 323 BC.
Alexanders generals jostled for supremacy over parts of his empire, Ptolemy, a former general and the satrap of Egypt, was the first to challenge the new system, this led to the demise of Perdiccas. Ptolemys revolt led to a new subdivision of the empire with the Partition of Triparadisus in 320 BC, who had been Commander-in-Chief of the Companion cavalry and appointed first or court chiliarch received Babylonia and, from that point, continued to expand his dominions ruthlessly. Seleucus established himself in Babylon in 312 BC, the used as the foundation date of the Seleucid Empire. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus in consequence of a marriage contract, and received in return five hundred elephants. Following his and Lysimachus victory over Antigonus Monophthalmus at the decisive Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, Seleucus took control over eastern Anatolia, in the latter area, he founded a new capital at Antioch on the Orontes, a city he named after his father.
An alternative capital was established at Seleucia on the Tigris, north of Babylon, Seleucuss empire reached its greatest extent following his defeat of his erstwhile ally, Lysimachus, at Corupedion in 281 BC, after which Seleucus expanded his control to encompass western Anatolia. He hoped further to take control of Lysimachuss lands in Europe – primarily Thrace and even Macedonia itself, even before Seleucus death, it was difficult to assert control over the vast eastern domains of the Seleucids. Seleucus invaded the Punjab region of India in 305 BC, confronting Chandragupta Maurya and it is said that Chandragupta fielded an army of 600,000 men and 9,000 war elephants. Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandahar in southern Afghanistan and it is generally thought that Chandragupta married Seleucuss daughter, or a Macedonian princess, a gift from Seleucus to formalize an alliance. In a return gesture, Chandragupta sent 500 war elephants, an asset which would play a decisive role at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC.
In addition to this treaty, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to Chandragupta, Megasthenes wrote detailed descriptions of India and Chandraguptas reign, which have been partly preserved to us through Diodorus Siculus
Originally from Casiana, a dependent town of the city of Apamea, he had served as a general for Alexander Balas and along with the Egyptian Heirax was given command of the city of Antioch. Demetrius on the hand held sway in the outer regions of the empire, including Cilicia. It was made easier for Jonathan to ally with Antiochus VI due to his association with his father Balas, in 142 or 141 BC Antiochus VI Dionysus died, supposedly during a medical operation, however accusations were made against Diodotus that he was himself behind the young king’s death. Despite this he convinced the army to elect him king, taking the titles of Basileus, as was tradition for Hellenistic kings, but that of Autokrator. The term Autokrator is unique in the fact that it is not included on the coinage of any other Greek ruler from this period, as king he took the regal name of Tryphon. Having been made king Diodotus, Tryphon expanded his control to at least Ptolemais-Akke, to further legitimize his position and extend his connection to the army, many of his coins depicted on their obverse the national helmet of the Greco-Macedonian soldiery.
Luring Jonathan to Ptolemais with a guard, Diodotus kidnapped him. He eventually had Jonathan executed and initiated an invasion of Judea, meanwhile, had journeyed east to combat the encroachment of the Parthians, but in 139 BC was captured and forced into captivity in Parthia. With the detested Demetrius gone, his brother, Antiochus VII Sidetes, left his home in Rhodes and married the wife of Demetrius, Cleopatra Thea, Tryphon’s support began to deteriorate with Antiochus now the leader of the Seleucid dynastic faction in the empire. Antiochus successfully pushed back Tryphon’s forces and besieged him in the fortress-city of Dor on the coast, Tryphon escaped by sea to Orthosia and made his way to his home-region of Apamea, being chased by Antiochus, he was either put to death or committed suicide
Gaius Marius was a Roman general and statesman. He held the office of consul an unprecedented seven times during his career, Marius defeated the invading Germanic tribes, for which he was called the third founder of Rome. His life and career were significant in Romes transformation from Republic to Empire, Marius was born in 157 BC in the town of Arpinum in southern Latium. The town had been conquered by the Romans in the late 4th century BC and was given Roman citizenship without voting rights, only in 188 BC did the town receive full citizenship. The problems he faced in his career in Rome show the difficulties that faced a new man. Since eagles were considered sacred animals of Jupiter, the god of the Romans. Later, as consul, he decreed that the eagle would be the symbol of the Senate, in 134 BC, he was serving with the army at Numantia and his good services brought him to the attention of Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus. Whether he arrived with Scipio Aemilianus or was already serving in the army that Scipio Aemilianus took over at Numantia is not clear.
According to Plutarch, during a conversation after dinner, when the conversation turned to generals, Aemilianus gently tapped on Marius shoulder, Perhaps this is the man. It would seem that even at this stage in his army career. He ran for election as one of the special military tribunes of the first four legions who were elected. Sallust tells us that he was unknown by sight to the electors but was returned by all the tribes on the basis of his accomplishments, next, he ran for the quaestorship after losing an election for local office in Arpinum. The military tribunate shows that he was interested in Roman politics before the quaestorship. Perhaps he simply ran for office as a means of gaining support back home. Nothing is known of his actions while quaestor, in 120 BC, Marius was returned as plebeian tribune for the following year. He won with the support of Quintus Caecilius Metellus, who was an inherited patronus, the Metelli, though neither ancient nor patrician, were one of the most powerful families in Rome at this time.
During his tribunate, Marius pursued a populares line and he passed a law that restricted the interference of the wealthy in elections. In the 130s voting by ballot had been introduced in elections for choosing magistrates, passing laws and deciding legal cases, in the passage of this law, Marius alienated the Metelli, who opposed it
Liberators' civil war
The Liberators civil war was started by the Second Triumvirate to avenge Julius Caesars murder. The war was fought by the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian against the forces of Caesars assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC. After the murder of Caesar and Cassius had left Italy and taken control of all Eastern provinces, in Rome the three main Caesarian leaders, who controlled almost all the Roman army in the west, had crushed the opposition of the senate and established the second triumvirate. One of their first tasks was to destroy the Liberators’ forces, not only to get control of the Roman world. The triumvirs decided to leave Lepidus in Italy, while the two partners of the triumvirate moved to Northern Greece with their best troops. In 42 BC Gaius Norbanus Flaccus and Decidius Saxa, were sent by the triumvirs with an eight legions strong advance guard into Macedonia against the murderers of Julius Caesar, in the neighborhood of Philippi and Saxa met the combined advancing troops of Cassius and Brutus.
As they were outnumbered and Saxa occupied a position near Philipi which prevented the republicans from advancing any further, by a ruse and Cassius managed to make Norbanus leave this position, but Norbanus discovered the ruse in time to recover the dominating position. When Brutus and Cassius managed to outflank them and Saxa retreated toward Amphipolis, when Marc Antony and the bulk of the triumvirs troops arrived, they found Amphipolis well guarded and Norbanus was left in command of the town. The triumvirs brought 19 legions to the battlefield, Appian reports that the triumvirs legions were almost at full-ranks. Furthermore, they had a large allied cavalry force, the Liberators army had seventeen legions. Only two of the legions were at full ranks, but the army was reinforced by levies from the Eastern allied kingdoms, Appian reports that the army mustered a total of about 80,000 foot-soldiers. Allied cavalry included a total of 17,000 horsemen, including 5,000 bowmen mounted in the Eastern fashion and this army included Caesars old legions present in the East, thus much of the Liberators army was made up of former Caesarean veterans.
However, at least the XXXVI legion consisted of old Pompeian veterans, the loyalty of the soldiers who were supposed to fight against Caesar’s heir was a delicate issue for the Liberators. Cassius tried in all ways to reinforce the soldiers loyalty both with strong speeches and with a gift of 1,500 denari for each legionary and 7,500 for each centurion. The Battle of Philippi consisted of two engagements in the plain to the west of the ancient city of Philippi, the first occurred in the first week of October, Brutus faced Octavian, while Antonys forces were up against those of Cassius. At first, Brutus pushed back Octavian and entered his legions camp, but to the south, Antony defeated Cassius, and Cassius, hearing a false report of Brutus failure, committed suicide. Brutus rallied Cassiuss remaining troops and both sides ordered their army to retreat to their camps with their spoils, and the battle was essentially a draw, but for Cassius suicide. On the same day of the first battle of Philippi the Republican fleet, patrolling the Ionian Sea was able to intercept, the triumvirs had to send a legion south to Achaia to collect more supplies
Eunus was a slave from Apamea in Syria who became leader of the slave uprising in the First Servile War in the Roman province of Sicily. Eunus rose to prominence in the movement through his reputation as a prophet, said to blow fire from his mouth, Eunus claimed to receive visions and communications from the goddess Atargatis, a prominent goddess in his homeland, he identified her with the Sicilian Demeter. One of his prophecies was that the slaves would successfully capture the city of Enna. Eunus participated in the storming of Enna, Diodorus Siculus describes him standing in the front ranks of the assault, blowing fire from his mouth. Upon the capture of Enna, Eunus was crowned king and he subsequently took the name Antiochus, a name used by the Seleucids who ruled Syria. He called his followers, who numbered in the tens of thousands and his armies took several cities in central. Eunus seems to have attempted to build an independent of Rome, minting his own coins and evolving a command. He was successful in defeating Roman forces sent against him for several years, after the slave army was defeated by a Roman army under the leadership of Perperna, with members of his court, took refuge in a cavern, where he was subsequently captured.
Most of the evidence for Eunus and the First Servile War comes from the writings of Diodorus Siculus. Florus Epitome, which provides excerpts from lost portions of Livy, is the most detailed account in Latin, both Diodorus and Posidonius were sympathetic to the Romans. Diodorus lived in Rome, and Cicero asked Posidonius to write an account of the formers consulate, since Eunus was a defeated enemy of Rome, their accounts of both the slave uprising and its leader were likely biased. Like Eunus, Posidonius was from the Syrian town of Apamea and he likely based his details about Eunus worship of Atargatis in his personal knowledge of the goddesss mendicant priests. Archaeologists have found a bronze coin, minted at Enna. It is likely that the Antiochus in question is Eunus
Heraclea Minoa was an ancient Greek city, situated on the southern coast of Sicily at the mouth of the river Halycus,25 km west of Agrigentum. Its ruins are now found near a town of the same name in the comune Cattolica Eraclea in Italy. Archaeological finds suggest that it was founded in the middle of the 6th century BC and it was at first an outpost of the Greek colony of Selinus, overthrown by Carthage, a border town of Agrigentum. It passed into Carthaginian hands by the treaty of 405 BC, was won back in 397 BC by Dionysius in his first Punic war and it was here that Dion landed in 357 BC, when he attacked Syracuse. The Agrigentines won it back in 309 BC, but it fell under the power of Agathocles. It was temporarily recovered for Greece by Pyrrhus in 277 BC and its two names were connected with two separate mythological legends in regard to its origin. Heraclides Ponticus adds, that there was previously a city on the spot. The two legends are so distinct that no intimation is given by Diodorus of their relating to the same spot, there is no account of its founding, but archaeological finds suggest a date in the mid 6th century BC.
The first written mention of the city represents it as a small town and it was in this state when Dorieus the Spartan came to Sicily, with a large body of followers, with the intent of reclaiming the territory which had belonged to his ancestor Heracles. But having engaged in hostilities with the Carthaginians and Segestans, he was defeated, the only one of the chiefs who escaped, made himself master of Minoa, which now, in all probability, obtained for the first time the name of Heraclea. Hence there seems no reason to suppose that Heraclea and Minoa were originally distinct cities, from the period of this new settlement it seems to have commonly borne the name of Heraclea, though coupled with that of Minoa for the sake of distinction. Diodorus tells us that the newly founded city of Heraclea rose rapidly to prosperity, when this took place is uncertain. It was probably related by Diodorus in his 10th book, which is now lost and he makes no mention of any such event during the First Sicilian War when it might otherwise be supposed to have occurred.
An inscription from the temple of Athena Lindia of Lindos on Rhodes attests the dedication of an ivory palladium as spoils from a victory of the Agrigentines over Minoa. However the territory of Heraclea Minoa fell under Carthaginian control as a result of the treaty of 405 BC, the next mention of it, when Dion landed there in 357 BC, represents it as a small town in the Agrigentine territory, but still subject to Carthage. From this time Heraclea reappears in history, and assumes the position of an important city, though we have no explanation of the circumstances that had raised it from its previous insignificance. In 278 BC, during the expedition of Pyrrhus, it was more in the hands of the Carthaginians. In like manner, in the First Punic War, it was occupied by the Carthaginian general Hanno and it is not mentioned by Pliny
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous Region of Italy, along with surrounding minor islands, Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, the island has a typical Mediterranean climate. The earliest archaeological evidence of activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region after the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially regard to the arts, literature, cuisine. It is home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples, Sicily has a roughly triangular shape, earning it the name Trinacria.
To the east, it is separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, about 3 km wide in the north, and about 16 km wide in the southern part. The northern and southern coasts are each about 280 km long measured as a line, while the eastern coast measures around 180 km. The total area of the island is 25,711 km2, the terrain of inland Sicily is mostly hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the ranges of Madonie,2,000 m, Nebrodi,1,800 m. The cone of Mount Etna dominates the eastern coast, in the southeast lie the lower Hyblaean Mountains,1,000 m. The mines of the Enna and Caltanissetta districts were part of a leading sulphur-producing area throughout the 19th century and its surrounding small islands have some highly active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and still casts black ash over the island with its ever-present eruptions and it currently stands 3,329 metres high, though this varies with summit eruptions, the mountain is 21 m lower now than it was in 1981.
It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps, Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, Mount Etna is widely regarded as a cultural symbol and icon of Sicily. The Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily form a volcanic complex, the three volcanoes of Vulcano and Lipari are currently active, although the latter is usually dormant
It was during this period that Romes control expanded from the citys immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. During the first two centuries of its existence, the Roman Republic expanded through a combination of conquest and alliance, by the following century, it included North Africa, most of the Iberian Peninsula, and what is now southern France. Two centuries after that, towards the end of the 1st century BC, it included the rest of modern France and much of the eastern Mediterranean. By this time, internal tensions led to a series of wars, culminating with the assassination of Julius Caesar. The exact date of transition can be a matter of interpretation, Roman government was headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and advised by a senate composed of appointed magistrates. Over time, the laws that gave exclusive rights to Romes highest offices were repealed or weakened. The leaders of the Republic developed a tradition and morality requiring public service and patronage in peace and war, making military.
Many of Romes legal and legislative structures can still be observed throughout Europe and much of the world in modern nation states, the exact causes and motivations for Romes military conflicts and expansions during the republic are subject to wide debate. While they can be seen as motivated by outright aggression and imperialism and they argue that Romes expansion was driven by short-term defensive and inter-state factors, and the new contingencies that these decisions created. In its early history, as Rome successfully defended itself against foreign threats in central and northern Italy, with some important exceptions, successful wars in early republican Rome generally led not to annexation or military occupation, but to the restoration of the way things were. But the defeated city would be weakened and thus able to resist Romanizing influences. It was able to defend itself against its non-Roman enemies. It was, more likely to seek an alliance of protection with Rome and this growing coalition expanded the potential enemies that Rome might face, and moved Rome closer to confrontation with major powers.
The result was more alliance-seeking, on the part of both the Roman confederacy and city-states seeking membership within that confederacy. While there were exceptions to this, it was not until after the Second Punic War that these alliances started to harden into something more like an empire and this shift mainly took place in parts of the west, such as the southern Italian towns that sided with Hannibal. In contrast, Roman expansion into Spain and Gaul occurred as a mix of alliance-seeking, in the 2nd century BC, Roman involvement in the Greek east remained a matter of alliance-seeking, but this time in the face of major powers that could rival Rome. This had some important similarities to the events in Italy centuries earlier, with some major exceptions of outright military rule, the Roman Republic remained an alliance of independent city-states and kingdoms until it transitioned into the Roman Empire. It was not until the time of the Roman Empire that the entire Roman world was organized into provinces under explicit Roman control