We recognize here the jealousy of the dominant
maritime power, gradually increasing with the extension of the Roman
dominion along the coasts.
Carthage compelled the Romans to acquiesce
in her prohibitive system, to submit to be excluded from the seats of
production in the west and east (connected with which exclusion is the
story of a public reward bestowed on the Phoenician mariner who at the
sacrifice of his own ship decoyed a Roman vessel, steering after him
into the Atlantic Ocean, to perish on a sand-bank), and to restrict
their navigation under the treaty to the narrow space of the western
Mediterranean--and all this for the mere purpose of averting pillage
from their coasts and of securing their ancient and important trading
connection with Sicily.
The Romans were obliged to yield to these
terms; but they did not desist from their efforts to rescue their
marine from its condition of impotence.