Alexander has been dead for a generation, his Empire dispersed and his deeds have merged with myth. New powers have arisen from the vacuum. Near the pillars of Hercules Carthage has emerged as a regional super-power and the fledgling Rome has finally crushed the rebellious Samnites and holds the Italian core in its iron fist. To the east, in Alexander's old empire the sons of the last of the successor dynasties squabble over fabulously rich lands. Ptolemy II rules Egypt and spars with Antiochus I of the eastern Empire of Seleucia. Antigonus II has seized Thrace from the ill fated son of Lysimmachus and aims to be crowned king of Macedon. Pyrrhus I of Epirus is the current king of Macedon in name only, and has temporarily turned his eye to the Greek colonies in Italy. The world is in flux from the Indus to the Atlantic, it is a time of change, new empires are rising to challenge the established order and for the first time for generations the barbarians are forging south, forced from their northern borderlands and intent on richer lands to pillage and settle. It is 280 BC and the age of the Empires of the Middle Sea.
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