You can't get much more "down to the wire" then that! Congratulations on what sounds like an exciting game.
I'm glad you weren't put into a situation where you had to recapture your capitol. The recapture of cities came up in the intro thread, but I didn't specify on the main Epic's page. Anyway, you would have been free to recapture Lagartero instead of razing it, because you can capture cities if they were originally founded with one of your merged workers. You just couldn't recapture a city if it flipped to you and then you lost it. I probably should have put that up on the page, sorry.
So, I suppose that means you won the game with one city to spare! I wonder- if you would have had two reserved slaves instead of one, would you have been more likely to have fought the Chinese at some point? I know I felt like declaring war on them just from reading your report. But, if you had
fought the Chinese, that might have slowed you down enough that the Romans would have launched first!