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Although the Hellenistic period has become increasingly popular in research and teaching in recent years, the western Mediterranean is rarely considered part of the 'Hellenistic world'; instead the cities, peoples and kingdoms of the West are usually only discussed insofar as they relate to Rome. This book contends that the rift between the 'Greek East' and the 'Roman West' is more a product of the traditional separation of Roman and Greek history than a reflection of the Hellenistic-period Mediterranean, which was a strongly interconnected cultural and economic zone, with the rising Roman republic just one among many powers in the region, east and west. The contributors argue for a dynamic reading of the economy, politics and history of the central and western Mediterranean beyond Rome, and in doing so problematise the concepts of 'East', 'West' and 'Hellenistic' itself.
This paper examines the evidence for military activity in the Republican provincia of Sicily from the Punic Wars to the Civil Wars, and the implications of this for our understanding of Republican Sicily and Republican imperialism. After the Second Punic War there was very little use of Roman or Italian allied soldiers on the island, but extensive use, by Rome, of local Sicilian soldiers. The rich evidence for gymnasia suggests one way in which this use of local manpower was based upon existing civic structures and encouraged local civic culture and identity. These conclusions prompt a reassessment of the importance of auxilia externa under the Roman Republic and of models for Republican imperial control of provinciae.