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In the early days of Rome the advantages of her location were that she was in a hilly area (Rome was on the Seven Hills of Rome) and people liked to live on hills because they were easier to defend from raids; the local volcanic rocks provided good building materials; the city was on the only Ford on the river Tiber which crossed the region in an east-west direction from the mountain chain of the Apennines to the coast (this made the Rome main north-south communication point in the region); the river Tiber provided a navigable route to the coast, which was 16 miles to the west. Rome's closeness to the Apennine Mountains made it easier to bring water for these mountains by building aqueducts when with her population growth the demand for water exceeded the local supply. The disadvantage was that Rome was surrounded by several peoples who often attacked her and she often had to defend herself on more than one front.

When Rome expanded into central and southern Italy and became the major military power in the Mediterranean, Italy's position was advantageous. Italy lies in between the eastern and western basins of the Mediterranean, which made it easier to fight in both of these basins and to control both. During the Second Punic War (218-201 BC) between Rome and Carthage, her big rival in the western Mediterranean, Rome was also able to fight a war in Greece (in the eastern Mediterranean) at the same time. In the Third Punic War, Rome destroyed Carthage, which was in Tunisia. In the same year (146 BC) she also annexed mainland Greece.

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does geography help or hurt

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Q: What part did geography play in Rome's ability to build an empire?
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