Bill the Pill
I understand that Sword of Rome is a sort of evolution of Hannibal: RvsC for 4 players and Pax Romana is sort of a monster with civ. flavour. I really like civilization type of games and I do love Annibal as well.
I played Pax Romana once, but I didn't see the "civ. flavour" you refer to. I liked Sword of Rome better, as it is a card-driven game rather than Pax as a game with cards, but I will pick up the second ed. of Pax when it comes available. Remember Sword of Rome is in the pre-Rome-as-great-power days, not even controlling the Italian pen., while Pax covers that era all the way down to Caesar, so the games don't exactly overlap historically all the time. And with C3I, there are some alternative, three player scenarios to try, as well.