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Upon reaching Tarentum he began to make preparations to carry on the war with activity. The Tarentines soon found they had obtained a master rather than an ally. He shut up the theatre and all other public places, and compelled their young men to serve in his ranks. Notwithstanding all his activity, the Romans were first in the field. The Consul M. Valerius Laevinus marched into Lucania; but as the army of Pyrrhus was inferior to that of the Romans, he attempted to gain time by negotiation in order that he might be joined by his Italian allies. He accordingly wrote to the Consul, offering to arbitrate between Rome and the Italian states; but Laevinus bluntly told him to mind his own business and retire to Epirus. Fearing to remain inactive any longer, although he was not yet joined by his allies, Pyrrhus marched out against the Romans with his own troops and the Tarentines.

As this "illustrious Prince King Lucy"--Lucius Verus--flourished in the latter part of the second century, and is credited with the erection of our first Christian Church on the site of St. Martin's, at Canterbury, it seems clear that even in those early days Christianity was making progress in Britain. From the time of Julius Agricola, who was Roman Commander from 78 to 84, Britain had been a Roman province, and although the Romans never conquered the whole of the island, yet during their occupation of what they called their province (the whole of Britain, excepting that portion north of the Firths of Forth and Clyde), they encouraged the Christmas festivities and did much to civilise the people whom they had conquered and whom they governed for more than three hundred years. They built towns in different parts of the country and constructed good roads from one town to another, for they were excellent builders and road-makers. Some of the Roman emperors visited Britain and others were chosen by the soldiers of Britain; and in the reigns of Constantine the Great and other tolerant emperors the Britains lived like Romans, adopted Roman manners and customs, and some of them learned to speak the Latin language.

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