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By Marshall Cavendish Reference

Historic Rome tracks the development from the mythical founding of Rome via Romulus in 753 BCE, to the heights of the Roman Empire round 117 CE, and directly to the dying of Theodosius (the final guy to rule over a unified Roman Empire) in 395 CE.

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A Roman expeditionary force laid siege to Syracuse in 213 BCE but was temporarily rebuffed, partly by the ingenious war machines invented by the Greek mathematician Archimedes, a citizen of Syracuse. The city finally fell to the Romans in 212 BCE through treachery, and in the ensuing looting by Roman soldiers, Archimedes was killed. On the third front, in Spain, the Carthaginian army was now commanded by Hannibal’s brother Hasdrubal (not to be confused with his brother-in-law of the same name).

Because of this law, most of this sea trade was carried by ships owned by Greek and Phoenician merchants. This development was a direct result of the wars of conquest, which sent a flood of gold and silver into the city. Moneylending was a lucrative field of business. Although rates of interest were strictly controlled in Rome itself, Roman financiers could reap huge profits in the provinces by lending money to enable people to pay their taxes. Rates of interest could be extremely high, sometimes 25 percent or more.

He played a game of military hide-and-seek with his opponents, conducting raids against targets both in Sicily and along the Italian coast. By 241 BCE, both Carthage and Rome were close to exhaustion. In desperation, the Roman citizens themselves paid to outfit one final fleet. A fleet of 200 ships set sail to close off Hamilcar’s Sicilian bases in Drepana and Lilybaeum. The Carthaginians sent a fleet to relieve their general and met the Roman ships at the Aegates Islands, just off the coast 36 (c) 2011 Marshall Cavendish.

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