When the Livian narrative breaks off in 293, Rome has recently overthrown the most dangerous and formidable coalition she has ever faced in Italy. In 295 the combined forces of Samnites, Etruscans, Umbrians and Gauls failed to thwart Rome's sweeping conquests in Central Italy where she emerged as the largest and most puissant power.1 In 218, after a hiatus of some seventy-five years, the Livian account is resumed, but the Rome we now encounter has undergone a dramatic change. From a state that exercised control over Latium, Etruria, Umbria and Samnium, Rome has become the unchallenged mistress of Italy, from the foot of the Alps in the north to the 'tip of the boot' in the south. Rome has also acquired her first overseas domains: Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, wrested from Carthage after the First Punic War, have become Rome's first provinces.