By Ian Fletcher

Following the conflict of Bussaco on 27 September 1810 Wellington's seriously outnumbered troops started to withdraw in the direction of Lisbon. via the night of nine October the British and Portuguese started to withdraw at the back of a line of protective works that have been equipped to the north of Lisbon. those weren't the rudimentary box works that the French expected, yet a huge community of forts, batteries and redoubts whose development have been began the former November - the traces of Torres Vedras. This 30-mile-wide line utilised the area's average defences, damming rivers, scarping hillsides, blocking off roads and setting up forts upon just about all of the hills. This identify describes its layout, production and effectiveness within the face of French assaults.

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At the very time when Romans were putting their small city into republican order and warring states fought each other in China, Alexander the Great subdued peoples and kingdoms from the eastern Mediterranean into central Asia and the Indies. What made these two empires so enduring and so influential in the political history of the world? Part of the answer is that both Rome and China produced effective so­ lutions to the fundamental problem of how to govern and exploit diverse populations. Some of their strategies resemble each other; others defined distinct repertoires ofrule.

Both the inclusion of civilized critics and the exclusion of those who did not see the virtues of the Roman way created a widely shared elite culture-a world of imagined and real connections to the empire and its ideals. I Religion The capacity of Roman conquerors to absorb, inflect, but not fully homog­ enize is evident in their response to other people's faiths. In the beginning, Imperial Rule in Rome and China 37 the Romans themselves were polytheists-believers in many gods-as were most of their imperial subjects, except for Jews and, later, Christians.

1 ) . The system was kept going by imperial officials, but also by merchants, ship commanders, and other purveyors who transported products-food, luxury goods, primary materials, arms-across seas and overland to purchasers or official suppliers. The large and integrated economic space had a profound effect on how people lived. Local elites ran the slave plantations that produced much of the empire's grain, and made fortunes-large and small-out of their impe­ rial connections. Daily life even in distant places and even for the humble was made more comfortable than before Roman rule; olive oil and wine were shipped around the Mediterranean and influenced what much later became known as Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, and Spanish cuisines.

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