chapter
49 Pages

Polybius

Now, had the states that were rivals for universal empire been familiarly 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 the Greeks have no knowledge of the previous constitution, power, or

achievements either of Rome or Carthage. I therefore concluded that it was necessary to prefix this and the next book to my History. I was anxious that no one, when fairly embarked upon my actual narrative, should feel at a loss and have to ask what were the designs entertained by the Romans or the forces and means at their disposal, that they entered upon those undertakings, which did in fact lead to their becoming masters of land and sea everywhere in our part of the world. I wished, on the contrary, that these books of mine and the prefatory sketch which they contained might make it clear that the resources they started with justified their original idea, and sufficiently explained their final success in grasping universal empire and dominion.