Rome conquered the Mediterranean with a combination of manpower, military skill, might, intimidating toughness in adversity and moral scrupulousness. Polybius, himself a Greek and an active contemporary participant in political relations with Rome, wrote the forty books of his Universal History primarily to chronicle and account for the Roman conquest of Greece between 200 and 167 B.C.. He saw that Mediterranean history, under Rome's influence, was becoming an organic whole, so he starts his work in 264 B.C. with the beginning of Rome's clash with African Carthage, the rival imperialist power, and ends with the final destruction of Carthage in 146 B.C.Far more than a chronicle of military affairs, the Histories are superb political and social history. The clarity of hsi account is admirably preserved in his substantial selection from the surviving book.