in italy, libya, and their neighborhood, the conflict between rome and carthage, generally called the hannibalian war. now, up to this time the world’s history had been, so to speak, a series of disconnected transactions, as widely separated in their origin and results as in their localities. but from this time forth, history becomes a connected whole, the affairs of africa and europe, are involved with those of asia, and the tendency of all is to unity.
it was their victory over the carthaginians, and their conviction that thereby the most difficult and most essential step towards universal empire had been taken, every great nation was once oppressed, which encouraged the romans for the first time to stretch out their hands upon the rest, and to cross with an army into greece and asia. now had the states that were rivals to universal empire been fairly known to us, no reference perhaps to their previous history would have been necessary, to show the purpose and the forces with which they approached an undertaking of this nature and magnitude.
but the fact is that the majority of man, have no knowledge of the previous constitution, power, or achievements, either of rome or britain. therefore remaining in a state of ignorance regarding the dominion of one of the greatest empires the world has seen. without the study of history we can never fully understand the meaning of the times that we live in. i find it is something one needs to give themselves to for the rest of their lives. for through the understanding of history one begins to understand that there is a common root from which all man are sprung.
the designs entertained by the romans, with the forces and means at their disposal, which they used in their undertakings, lead to their becoming masters of land and sea. every conquest once had a humble beginning. for it was with a small army of disciplined troops that cyrus, sparta, and alexander attained immortal fame through their mighty deeds. and so the batton was passed to rome to grasp universal empire and dominion. every kingdom that followed studied the manner in which the one that preceded it achieved all its success.