Monday, March 5, 2012

59. Roman Expansion

With reason did gods and men choose this site: all its advantages make it of all places in the world the best for a city destined to grow great.  (Livy 59 B.C.E. – 17 C.E.)

Rome became a powerful city.
Her neighbors feared the seven hilled city.
Veii, however, was to proud to bend to her power
For they had the support of the Etruscans.
Both cities fought constantly
Over land and leadership.
Neither gained advantage.
Wars came and went
The stalemate didn’t end
Until the city’s final ten year siege
With Camillus and his tunnel
Penetrating Veiian walls
Ending in surrender.
Rome had her first real taste of conquest.
She was hooked for life.
A Gallic sac later on
Fed the flame of bloodlust
That the Roman legion knew so well.
Rome eyed her neighbors
Like a hungry beast.
First she looked to the Latins
With their fertile lands.
Then the Samnites.
She declared war with them
Showing her great white fangs.
Pretending it was all in self defense
As she gobbled them up into slavery.
Peoples and cities fell to Rome.
The Umbrians
The Etruscans
Bowed down in forced dependence.
The Campanians were allies
But found themselves surrounded by their Roman neighbors.
Rome smiled brightly
When the child of Aeneas
Got her taste of Greek blood.
Tarentum sought the great king Pyrrhus.
Pyrrhus stood from his throne
Smiling at the opportunity and sent his armies west.
Many of those marble men fell to Rome.
Crumbling into dust
But Pyrrhus’s pillar still stood.
He raised more armies
Seeking help from neighbors
As he continued his march to Rome.
Even with the help he failed
Returning to Molossia to lick his wounds.
Rome continued to expand
Slowly filling out into the boot of Appenine.

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