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Old November 16th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #11

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Quote:
Originally Posted by h6wq9rjk View Post

Both cities have similar walled area. Note that in Song China apartment buildings with 4-5+ floors is NOT common. Best evidence: the remarkably well preserved and hugely popular "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" picture. Although it realistically depicts the Northern Song's capital Kaifeng, but due to the cultural similarity and similar technology of building, we can reasonably assume the development density in Lian'an resembles that of Kaifeng.

Click the image to open in full size.

We can see most buildings within the city wall are 1-2 floors tall, with one exception called "Main Shop(正店)" which is 3 floors tall. However "Main Shop" is a large restaurant and cannot represent normal dwellings and apartments in the city. If we take into account the fact that 4-5/f buildings are common in imperial Rome and most Lian'an buildings are 1-3/f tall, and consider density constraint, Lian'an like Rome cannot support 1 million people within its city wall as well.


Northern Song urbanism was radically different from Southern Song. Kaifeng was designed and worked in the same way than Chang'an, a highly organized, administrative city. Hangzhou on the other hand was totally different, more liberal and economy centered, more alike to Rome in some ways, with many densely packed, multi-floors buildings.

To understand this radical change this book is a must Daily Life in China: On the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276 - Professor Jacques Gernet - Google Libros
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Old November 16th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #12
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Northern Song urbanism was radically different from Southern Song. Kaifeng was designed and worked in the same way than Chang'an, a highly organized, administrative city. Hangzhou on the other hand was totally different, more liberal and economy centered, more alike to Rome in some ways, with many densely packed, multi-floors buildings.

To understand this radical change this book is a must Daily Life in China: On the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276 - Professor Jacques Gernet - Google Libros
Thank you for your kind sharing, but it seems that Hangzhou and Rome are also capital cities that are supposed to be administrative centers. Do you think the economic explanation is the reason for similarity between Rome and Hangzhou in size and density?
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Old November 17th, 2012, 04:02 AM   #13

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No, because Rome was an administrative center with little economic value (in terms of production).

Hangzhou on the other hand was, beside its administrative activity, a strong productive center, with a lot of "industrial" and comercial activity. It was a rare example in Chinese history though.

Rome cost money, Hangzhou generates money.


But for some reason, they developed a similar urbanism.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 05:30 PM   #14
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I think I can shed some light on this subject.
It's kind of funny that I, earlier today, asked the forum for information about a translation of a document that is the source of the answer to the population question.
The document is called the Notitia Romae. It is from 325, and lists many things in Rome, from districts, to the number of shops for various things, to the number of libraries, etc.
Using the size of the walls is one way to predict population possibilities but, for Rome, there is other information to go by.
Since we know how much bread and meat was distributed, and we know how much was to be given to a single recipient (6 half-pound loaves per week, etc), we can do some math, and guess population. However, since we don't know whether everyone was counted or included, whether or not the figures are accurate (we only really have one source), we still have to be careful not to put too much stake in these numbers. Still, the numbers are suggestive.
Another thing to note: These numbers come from 325, which is not exactly the height of the empire. The 3rd century was full of civil war, and who knows how that affected the population. I would imagine that during the late 2nd century, Rome could have had more people than in 325. Perhaps it had 1 1/2 million at some point. I wouldn't be surprised.
Rome purposefully kept its numbers higher than was natural, for various reasons like prestige, and I suppose to have human resources on hand to attract investment to Rome that may have gone elsewhere were there another city in which one could find labor more easily.
Only in Rome could you just live off government handouts. That is, until Constantinople, of course, which did the very same thing, being that it was treated like it was another capital just like Rome.
Rome, compared to contemporary cities, would today be the equivalent of a city of 25-30 million. It was huge
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