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Like its Persian predecessor, Alexanders empire reached the western slopes of the high Pamir, but not beyond.At that time, seven warring states were busy fighting each other in eastern Asia.
The rise of the Roman and Chinese empires were arduous and lengthy processes that took at least four centuries.
In the eighth century BCE, the geopolitics of eastern Asia was similar to that of the eastern Mediterranean, which was populated by hundreds of tiny Greek city-states.
The four empires maintained certain world order and stimulated the rise of transcontinental trade later known as the Silk Road.
However, the Roman Empire and Han China never established direct relationship because of the great distance and rival powers between them.
Individual histories for each abounded, but until recently, few attempts existed to compare the two.
It would be frivolous for historians to speculate what would happen if Eurasia were smaller and the Romans found beyond their eastern frontier not Parthia but China.Yet as the New World expands the political horizon, new technologies contract effective political distances even more.In view of contemporary global power balance, comparison takes on new significance.The Roman and Chinese had much similarities but also many differences.Their economies were both agrarian and monetized, but adopted different models of production organization.The unification by Qin was the definitive turning point in Chinese history, which initiated its imperial age.The Republic led Rome to acquire an empire in less than five centuries, before Julius Caesar started the civil war that destroyed it.Initially, their states were all city-sized, but the western city-state and Chinese feudal states had different political structures.In the course of rise to empire, Rome and China each undertook technological and economic development, cultural transformation, political reform, and conquest, which depended much on military organization and the governments capacity to mobilize and direct resources.Five years after the Greeks gathered for their first Olympic Game in 776 BCE, the host of centuries-old city-sized feudal states in China received a new company, Qin, the future empire builder.Eighteen years after the investiture of Qin, tradition had it that Rome was founded on the hills beside the River Tiber.