Terminal City Gamers has a preview of Mare Nostrum:
This game is a direct heir to the "Mammoth" civilization games of yesteryear that mixed military strategy, economic management and diplomacy. Its theme is the study of the first civilizations that spawned around the Mediterranean Sea, the roman's famous "Mare Nostrum". The game's main departure from its ancestors lies in the rules' relative lightness and simplicity, and the significantly shorter amount of time required to play it through.
If it lives up to its promise I could get very excited about this one. Civilization is one of my all-time favourites.