The hero of this book is a Greek enemy of Rome, who vainly tries to resist the all-conquering Romans. During the course of his trials he befriends Hasdrubal, the Carthaginian general, Polybius, the great historian of the Punic Wars, and Scipio the Younger, the general who conquers Carthage. During the course of his struggle, he begins to understand the weaknesses of the Greek and Punic civilizations, and why they are unable to resist the domination of Rome.
The year 146 B.C. was an annus mirabilis in the development of Roman dominion. Of course it had long been a foregone conclusion that Carthage and Corinth must fall before her, but the actual time of their overthrow was made all the more striking by the fact that both cities perished in the same year, and that both were visited by the same fate. I have attempted in this story to group some picturesque incidents round the person of a young Greek who struggles in vain to resist the destiny of the conquering race. The reader will also find some suggestion of the thought which the Roman historian had in his mind when he wrote: "Carthage, the rival of the Roman Empire, perished root and branch, sea and land everywhere lay open before us, when at last Fortune began to rage against us and throw everything into confusion." The day when Rome rid herself of her rivals seemed to some of her more thoughtful sons to be the first of her corruption and decline.
April 22, 1897