That it was not regard either for the
Carthaginian peace party or for existing treaties which withheld the
Romans from action, is self-evident; moreover, if they desired war,
the Spanish feuds furnished at any moment a ready pretext. The
conduct of Rome in this view is by no means unintelligible; but as
little can it be denied that the Roman senate in dealing with this
matter displayed shortsightedness and slackness--faults which were
still more inexcusably manifested in their mode of dealing at the same
epoch with Gallic affairs.
The policy of the Romans was always more
remarkable for tenacity, cunning, and consistency, than for grandeur
of conception or power of rapid organization--qualities in which the
enemies of Rome from Pyrrhus down to Mithradates often surpassed her.