But wherever the eye might turn throughout the wide sphere of Roman
administration, the same causes and the same effects appeared.
If the Sicilian slave-war showed how far the government was from
being equal to even its simplest task of keeping in check the
proletariate, contemporary events in Africa displayed the skill with
which the Romans now governed the client-states.
About the very time
when the Sicilian slave-war broke out, there was exhibited before
the eyes of the astonished world the spectacle of an unimportant
client-prince able to carry out a fourteen years' usurpation and
insurrection against the mighty republic which had shattered the
kingdoms of Macedonia and Asia with one blow of its weighty arm--
and that not by means of arms, but through the pitiful character
of its rulers.