BEFORE THE CIVIL WARS (146–96 B.C.)
But Rome was in no hurry: she had the best reasons for exercising patience. While her vassals, de jure or de facto, gave her as yet no serious trouble, provinces in the full sense of the word would require constant care. We shall see elsewhere what wars she was compelled to undertake in order to restore, in Sicily for example, the order which had been disturbed by the exactions of her own agents. But, further than this, Corsica, Sardinia and Spain were not countries won from their original occupants: they were colonies of
Carthage, who had been compelled to renounce them on her defeat. The time Rome had taken to dispossess her rival was comparatively short, but she laboured for two centuries to compel the Celtiberians to accept her yoke. The period which followed the ruin of Corinth and Carthage was precisely that of the empire of Viriathus. Men were needed,
numbers of men, to suppress an insurrection of such magnitude, as well as to overcome the opposition further north, which may be summed up in the single word Numantia; and the day had not yet come when soldiers could be recruited almost everywhere: the whole burden of great expeditions had to be borne by the Latin peasant.