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I, too, feel as much relief in having reached the end of the Punic War as if I had taken a personal part in its toils and dangers.  It ill befits one who has had the courage to promise a complete history of Rome to find the separate sections of such an extensive work fatiguing.  But when I consider that the sixty-three years from the beginning of the First Punic War to the end of the Second take up as many books as the four hundred and eighty-seven years from the foundation of the [4??] City to the consulship of Appius Claudius under whom the First Punic War commenced, I see that I am like people who are tempted by the shallow water along the beach to wade out to sea; the further I progress, the greater the depth, as though it were a bottomless sea, into which I am carried.  I imagined that as I completed one part after another the task before me would diminish; as it is, it almost becomes greater. The peace with Carthage was very soon followed by war with Macedonia.  There is no comparison between them as regards the critical nature of the contest, or the personality of the commander or the fighting quality of the troops. But the Macedonian war was, if anything, more noteworthy owing to the brilliant reputation of the [7??] former kings, the ancient fame of the nation and the vast extent of its dominion when it held sway over a large part of Europe and a still larger part of Asia.  The war with Philip which had commenced some ten years previously had been suspended for the last three years, and both the war and its cessation were due to the action of the Aetolians. The peace with Carthage now left the Romans free.  They were angry with Philip for his attacking the Aetolians and the other friendly States in Greece while he was nominally at peace with Rome, and also for his having given assistance in both men and money to Hannibal and Carthage.  He had ravaged the Athenian territory and driven the inhabitants into the city, and it was their request for help which decided the Romans to recommence the war.
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