The story of growth from a group of unconnected hill-top settlements upon the Tiber to a political organ ization with world-wide dominion Seems hardly to belong to sober history. Great national development has mostly come from the union of nations already existing, or from the powerful impetus contributed by parent nations to colonial stocks. But the Roman Empire was unique in this. It sprung from a Single city which, though it extended its sway over the whole known world, never ceased to be not alone the seat of govern ment, but the government itself. Rome was the nation. From her forum radiated to every land those military roads, the highways of commerce and dominion, that made her rule a vital thing wherever her conquering legions found their way. This masterful city not only absorbed all real power, but gathered up all the learning, the art, the customs and religions of the nations and made them her own; until to be a Roman came to mean to be a citizen of the world, and Roman citizen ship was a coveted prize to be attained at any cost of blood or treasure.
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