Republic finishes in 570 BC, and I immediately revolt, pulling a nice 2.5 turn anarchy. The republic of France begins in 510 BC. I set to max research to Literature, due in only 4 turns. Montreal has the Pyramids due in 14; I had a tough time deciding between the Pyramids and Great Library, but the Aztecs made the decision before me by completing the Pyramids before Montreal could. The Great Library finished in 290 BC, and gave me Currency, Monarchy, and Monotheism. I then rushed Montreal's library and cathedral, built the colosseum (didn't have the money to rush it), and started in on the Hanging Gardens.
Chartres was founded in the west to grab the silks. I decided not to wait for the city to build an (expensive) temple, though, and threw a worker colony on one of the silks to get it working now.
Rome demands Literature from me. I was thinking he was bluffing, but he declares war! Okay, bring it on!
This was the scariest moment of the Roman war:
Those two units on the mountain had just withstood no fewer than four attacking swordsmen. All those other units just couldn't quite make it close enough in time. I had to hope that the AI wouldn't have the smarts to capture the worker with the archer, then use the horseman to attack Paris; or to beat the spearman with the archer and then use the horseman to capture Marseilles. Of course, being the AI, it didn't. :) The horseman captured the worker, and I don't remember what the archer did.
But, Rome being Rome, they sucked, and that was about all the forces they ever had. I took Antium easily, and pushed on to capture Rome city, which conveniently finished the Hanging Gardens for me just before.
I made peace two turns later. Rome has Feudalism although nobody else does (how'd THAT happen? They must have still been coasting on the economic advantage from getting Philosophy from a hut and selling it?) Germany is the only other credible researcher, but that's all I need to get the techs from the Great Library. The Aztecs have a lot of land, but haven't gotten into Republic yet, leaving them behind in science.
Montreal built the Great Wall for lack of any other wonder after Rome completed the Hanging Gardens. It then started a Palace for the Sistine Chapel.
In 350 AD, I have 8 turns left on minimum research on Engineering. But, for Montreal to swap to the Sistine Chapel, I've got to suck it up and swap to max research on THEOLOGY (how often do you have to do that with the Great Library?). But then the AIs DO get it in time for me to buy it, dangit. At any rate, Montreal completes the Sistine in 400 AD.
In 420 AD, with about 8 knights at the ready, I declare war on the Zulu, who have neither Iron nor any hope of getting it.
Here's what the world looks like now:
At this point, I had to go play Epic 18 A before that deadline, then I played the shadow of the Aztec Epic 18 B. After those two games, I had no need to see Montreal through to this cultural victory, since the Aztec win in 1832 AD was far faster than this city could do it.
Domination would be easily reached. You can see I'm massing up to roll over pathetic China next. But I'd have to do it all with knights, since under our variant rules getting Military Tradition and cavalry requires researching and switching to Democracy. I didn't feel like doing that and waiting for a long term of anarchy, nor did I really want to conquer everything with knights. So, I retire from this foregone conclusion.
Those wolves just couldn't resist tearing each other apart. :)