Roman Conquest and Expansion
The Romans faced threats on every side by other groups of people who lived on the Italian Peninsula. In order to protect themselves, the city-state of Rome began to develop a powerful military.
All Roman citizens were required to serve in the military when needed. This insured a constantly available supply of soldiers. For the next two and a half centuries, Roman armies slowly conquered or subdued all of their enemies on the Italian Peninsula. By 264 B.C., Rome was the sole and undisputed ruling power in the Peninsula.
As the Romans conquered their neighbors, they treated them relatively good. At this time in world history, it was common for a conquering army to slaughter all of the conquered people. The Romans not only allowed the conquered to live, but also allowed them to continue following their own religions and traditional ways of life. In many cases, conquered peoples were even granted Roman citizenship. In this way, the Romans were able to build unity and loyalty throughout their empire.