The diplomacy of Rome and Carthage – II
It seems reasonable to conclude from the material studied in the previous chapter that Roman diplomatic-military-naval priorities changed during the long fi rst war with Carthage. That war, it is well to remember, lasted twenty-three years, long enough for a whole generation in Rome to come to maturity in its shadow and to believe that diplomatic problems were best solved militarily. This was clearly the reaction of the Senate in the Sardinian crisis, but by the end of the 230s diplomacy was being used again. As with Ap. Claudius Caudex in Messene, however, it was backed up by visible or implied armed force; this became the preferred Roman negotiating method, as demonstrated in two crises over Illyria, which resulted in the extension of Roman control over the Ionian Sea.