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[Rome] was a highly aggressive society, but one that understood a vital political truth: military victory can be secured only by reconciliation with the defeated. Although most empire-builders in the ancient world were cruel and unforgiving, this was not altogether an original insight. Thus, after his conquest of the Persian Empire in the fourth century...Alexander the Great promoted leading [locals] to positions of power in his new administration and insisted on harmony between victor and vanquished...he even forced his soldiers to marry local women. What was remarkable about the Romans was the consistency, over many centuries, with which they pursued their policy. They could see that it enabled them not only to foster consent [grow agreement] to their rule among their former enemies but also to constantly enlarge their population and, by the same token, the manpower available to their armies.