Due to these two factors the early settlers of the Peninsula
turned inward, over land, for trade instead of to the sea like
the Greeks. As a result most of the peoples of the Peninsula
mixed together and there were no separate Italian city-states
but a unified Roman Empire. Thus eventually all the peoples shared
a common culture and government.
In addition to the geography promoting a common culture and
unity, the position of the Italian Peninsula jutting out into
the middle of the Mediterranean sea made Rome vulnerable to
attack but it also eventually allowed Rome to control all of
the land that the Mediterranean touched and thus build a huge
empire. At its height, the empire stretched from Great Britain
in the north and Spain in the west, to North Africa in the south,
and to present-day Iraq in the west.