PART II: VICTIMS OF THEIR OWN SUCCESS
Italy of 300 B.C. was a mosaic of quarrelsome regions and city-states jockeying incessantly with one another for power. Entangling and regularly-shifting alliances made the mix even more volatile. Rome lived uneasily with all of them, and its experiences at the hands of the Etruscans and the Senone Gauls (who had sacked the city in 390 B.C.) kept it constantly on the defensive. The Romans had already fought two wars with the Samnites in central Italy, but the Third Samnite War in 298 touched off something bigger: it started Rome down the road toward its eventual conquest of the entire Mediterranean.
- How exactly could the Romans be seen as "victims" of this success? "Success via victimization" seems more appropriate.
- Isn't this post losing the thread somewhat in this (incredibly cursory) overview of Rome's early conquests?