ARRRGGGGG!!! I think you all overestimate the AI - even on Emperor.
This is such a good time to take a city or two by force. In a monarchy with crusaders pre-gunpowder. As we wait for ourselves to get gunpowder and/or Leo's, by the time we decide on any movement we'll likely be in a Republic and have to worry then about happiness and the annoying senate.
We have so many defensive units around that it would be easy to throw a few in newly taken cities and home them there. Could be the answer instead of disbanding some of these units.
Ah well, but such is the democratic process.
If this is the decision, then I suggest that the diplo leader gets a poll up and request that we constantly try for peace with the Romans. So long as we don't give anything up, it would be the better choice since we won't be attacking them. This way we don't accidently lose a ship or unit to Roman units we didn't know were there.
It could give us the opportunity to demand tribute later on as well.