Did the ancient Chinese have the command and control system and logistics to control and supply hundreds of thousands of men in a single battlefield

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I also thought you read my posts on Ge Jianxiong before and knows his methodology by now. Ge Jianxiong compared the population of Linzi and Changan during the Han to the Warring States and found that the population during the Warring States was comparable. He also compared the population of Qu Ni county and found the Qin equivalent to be comparable, if not bigger than the Han.

According to Shiji when Gaodi Liu Bang passed the Qu Ni county, he ``asked his minister ´how many people are in Qu Ni´, the Yu Shi replied ´during the Qin there wereover 30,000 households, now because of the numerous battles, most perished and now there is only 5,000 household.´ ``

In another word, the county of Qu Ni´s population declined by some five sixth during the Qin-Han transition, and its actually above average in terms of not losing population compared to other counties, which according to Ge's estimates, declined by some 70 to 80 percent.
Now in 2 AD at the end of the Western Han when we have our first national census, the region of Zhongshan kingdom, where Qu Ni county is located had an average registered household¨per country of 11,490, so the Qu Ni county under the height of the Han probably haven´t even reached the amount of people it had under the Qin.
As stated earlier, in the county of Linzi, during late Warring State period, it had a recorded household figure of 70,000 (shiji, Suqin liezhuan). Under Han Wudi, it increased to 100,000. However, under Han Shu Dilishi, in 2 AD, the population of the entire Qi prefecture(jun) where Linzi county is located only had 154826 household, where the average county only had 5,000 households, so Linzi county probably still had no more than 100,000 household at this date.
From a case study examination of these three locations; Qu Ni county, Linzi county and the capital Changan, Ge Jianxiong demonstrated that the population of these places during the Qin and Warring States was no lower than it was under the Han at its height in 2 AD, if not higher. The size of the Qin and Warring States army was also no smaller than those of the Han at its height and the population the Qin mobilized for forcible relocation, and building projects were all larger than those under the Han at its height.

The three case samples show that Warring States China's population was comparable to those of the Han in 2 AD, with a registered population of around 60 million. The Han also had the extreme southern provinces of Fujian, Guandong, Yunnan etc. But these are very lowly populated provinces at the time with a registered population of merely a few million, and considering that there are also hidden households and populations not counted in the Han census, we are still talking about near 60 million even excluding these commanderies in the south.
Ge may have established that there wasn't much of a population change, but that still doesn't mean that the Han census is accurate. At best, the Han census reflects all of the Han empire (especially since the Han at that point ruled a vast realm that included even areas outside of current China), and not solely the area of the warring states.

The Qin had at least 10-15 million, the Chu had 8-9 million, the Zhao had 5-6 million, and these are the only states mobilizing armies over 300,000 by the mid 3rd century BC in records (and the Zhao only did it once). It's also meaningless to compare sheer numbers, as the distance armies march also factors into mobilization. The further an army has to march, the more astronomical the logistic personnel becomes. If you add in supply personnel, then Napoleonic armies should be even bigger. Napoleon's army of 650,000 marched hundreds of kilometers into Russia, whereas most warring states armies were fighting just a dozen of kilometers from home at most. In many cases, they were merely defending their own territory.
This point about mobilisation is interesting and I concede there. I also see you clarify just how rare it was for armies that big to be mobilised and that basically only Qin and Chu when at their biggest were doing so. However, I still see any number bigger than 200 thousand to be exaggerated, and I don't agree those population numbers are low ends or conservative estimates.

No modern historian I know believes Persia actually has 1 million men standing army. If you believe that, I don't know why you find it hard to believe large warring states polities can mobilize half a million men, if their population is already 1/4-1/2 that of Persia's. Napoleonic France could mobilize nearly three times as much men as pre-1793 France because of universal mobilization, and Persia isn't even as bureaucratized whereas late 18 century France had essentially the same complexity in bureaucracy as Napoleonic France.
Late Medieval France couldn't even mobilize 1/10 the size of the army of Napoleonic France even though it had nearly 2/3 of its population.
I didn't say I believe that either or that this was the case. All I said was that it is more believable given the great size of the Persian Empire.

Warring States China is probably more urbanized than medieval Europe (urbanization by itself also doesn't directly gauge population density, late Medieval Europe was already more populous than the Roman Empire, but no city was as even close to as populous as Rome or Alexandria) and Chinese productivity per area in field was always greater than the west because of loess and that its prominent crop was millet whereas in the west its wheat.


Productivity per mu of field for different Chinese dynasties from Pu Fengxian (in jin);

Eastern Zhou: 91
Qin and Han: 117
AOF: 122/215 (122 for the north, 215 for the south)
Sui and Tang: 124/328
Song and Yuan: 140/343
Ming(1600): 155/337
Qing(1800): 155/337

1 jin = 0.5 kg

The Roman productivity was roughly the same, or even slightly higher than early medieval fields on a per acre basis.
Nathan Stewart calculates that if hypothetical family(5 members) required 1384 to 1591 kilograms(3051-3508 pounds) of wheat per year for food, it will have had to work 20.8 to 23.9 iugera(13-15 acres) of land with a 1 to 3 yield ratio.
The 117 jin/mu for the Han would be roughly 3 times as high as the Roman production per acre given by Stewart.


As Ge Jianxiong argued, the agriculture support capacity in the Warring States period already hit a peak in northern China, and northern China's population did not change drastically from the late Warring States until the middle of the Ming, when new world crops such as potato was introduced in mountainous areas previously unaccessible to agriculture; peaking at about 50 million people.
I wasn't talking about early medieval Europe, but late medieval Europe of the 14th century. You clearly know more about Chinese agriculture, so I'm not going to press more on that specific issue. That still however doesn't mean that China had anything more than just a somewhat higher population density in the Warring States period to the areas ruled by the Persian Empire. Qin and Chu at their biggest before Qin Shi Huang may rival and surpass even the biggest satrapies, but it is exaggeration to say it would be by much.
 
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It is based on a century old source. There are plenty of outdated facts being used in academia without updates and scrutiny, I don't know why you even use the fact that its still being cited as an argument. Old estimates of Qin population for example, rely also on nothing but guesstimates and multiplying the recorded number of soldiers by 5 to determine the total population, the methodology, if it can even be called that, is not scientific in the least, but was re-cited until the 21st century, before Ge Jianxiong actually used something resembling demographic methodology. As for archaeology, please show us excavated cities in the Persian Empire that has area larger than Xianyang or Linzi, or agricultural techniques that are comparable to those used in the Han period.




No I didn't. I've already given the scholarly estimates of Rozman, Maddison, and Zhao (showing the urbanization rate of Han China to be 3.8 % when counting cities larger than 10,000 or 15% when defining cities as having population larger than 2,000), as well as the excavated areas of Linzi, Luoyang, and Changan. Records are not perfect, but they are far better than whatever you've provided, which is absolutely nothing. So provide the source on urbanization rate of the Persian Empire and how its greater than contemporary China or stop wasting our time. So far, the only thing you have is that the Persian cities are big, with absolutely no estimates or source citation behind them and that is unacceptable.




They are not bigger than Afghanistan, they are at best close in size, whereas the Qin in the middle of the 3rd century BC is almost twice that size. In any case, you have nothing at all to doubt Qin population size, when I've already shown you the methodology of Ge Jianxiong.





I've seen plenty of historians claiming this or that city to be the biggest in the world (Linzi is also one such a city), but without a comparative study, these comments are meaningless. However, nothing in the classical west reached the excavated area of cities like Chang An, nor do we have a census that come close to the population of Xianyang, Linzi, or the other major Han cities, many of which reached over 200,000 in population. In any case, this focus on urbanization is missing the point. You do not need a high level of urbanization to have a high population density, for Late Medieval Western Europe was never as urbanized as the Roman Empire and had nothing close to the size of Rome or Alexandria, but still had a population of some 75 million, greater than Roman Europe.
1574326432018.png

Urbanisation rates of the Persian Empire should be at least equal to those of the Qin and Han empire according to this graphic. In fact, there's a decline in the years of the Qin empire in comparison to the years of Darius the Great. Also, late medieval Western Europe was definitely more urbanised than Roman Europe. In fact, the Romans de-urbanised Britain, Iberia, Gaul and Illyria in their devastating wars of conquest and repression. Gaul alone lost around 2 million people out of a population of up to 6 million, and that was before the full transition from republic to empire. It would be further de-urbanised by the civil wars of the crisis of the third century with many cities sacked and burned if not outright razed. Only Italy was highly urbanised.
 

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heavenlykaghan

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Ge may have established that there wasn't much of a population change, but that still doesn't mean that the Han census is accurate. At best, the Han census reflects all of the Han empire (especially since the Han at that point ruled a vast realm that included even areas outside of current China), and not solely the area of the warring states.
It is commonly thought that the census of 2 AD generally reliable, and if it wasn't, the tendency is to estimate up, not down, because of hidden households and those not counted in the census (such as palace servants or frontier tribesmen). The areas of the Han outside of the Warring States had very small populations (that is, the extreme southern provinces, Hexi, and Central Korea), and number no more than 6-7 million in the Han Shu census, and when taking account of hidden households, the population should still be in the vicinity of some 55 million even excluding these places.


This point about mobilisation is interesting and I concede there. I also see you clarify just how rare it was for armies that big to be mobilised and that basically only Qin and Chu when at their biggest were doing so. However, I still see any number bigger than 200 thousand to be exaggerated, and I don't agree those population numbers are low ends or conservative estimates.
Are you saying they are not capable of mobilizing 200,000 or are you saying the recorded figures are somewhat exaggerated (due to the reasons I stated before), because there is a difference. If you are saying the former, then I still don't see why you think the Persian Empire can mobilize half a million, while the Qin and Chu, which had 1/4-1/2 of the population of the Persian Empire, cannot mobilize such armies, when they had universal conscription. Many large armies of the Warring States also had alliances, for example, the Han and Wei army numbered 240,000 was annihilated by the Qin in 293 BC.



I didn't say I believe that either or that this was the case. All I said was that it is more believable given the great size of the Persian Empire.
I already mentioned universal conscription, I don't know why you are ignoring this fundamental fact. France, with a population of some 28 million in 1800 had no problem mobilizing armies of over 400,000, with a total standing force of over 1.5 million at one point. Prussia, with a population of only 9.5 million in 1800, had over 300,000 soldiers.

The development of Self-strengthening reforms may be seen as a process of "punctuated equilibrium," as discussed in Chapter One. The process witnessed incremental changes in the Spring and Autumn period and then experienced a "punctuation" or revolution at the interval between the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. During the early centuries, the pressure of war already compelled various great powers to gradually expand their army size, promote population growth, stimulate agricultural production, and hire talents of more humble origins. In the fifth century BC, the civil war that carved up Jin also accelerated various reform measures that had been slowly developing earlier. The process experienced another "punctuation" when the Qin introduced universal conscription in 356 BC. In Europe, there was a similar process of incremental changes in the early modern period and punctuations during the revolutionary era. - War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe, pg 60


With the capacity for direct rule, Revolutionary France was prepared to take another measure that was common in the late Warring States period but unprecedented in the early modern Europe: the introduction of universal military conscription in 1793. The levee en mass soon revolutionized the character of international competition by facilitating significant reduction of war costs, drastic expansion of army strength, and dramatic improvement of fighting capability. Compared with employment of mercenaries, the use of national armies allowed the state to draw upon virtually the whole adult male population at little-and relatively constant-cost - War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe, pg 128-130


So in comparison to Napoleonic France (and other European states), the Qin and Han had
1) comparable levels of urban population
2) comparable level of grain output per acre, making it easier for foraging
3) A Weberian like Central Bureaucracy and a universal conscription system
4) intensive amount of grain storage in the Han dynasty, which can act similarly to forward supply depots of Napoleonic France
5) evidence that both Han and Napoleonic France practiced dividing armies into separate routes, so the amount of foraged area can be maximized
6) Comparable population size


You cannot ignore the Levee en masse and bureaucratic centralization, because France in 1300, with a population of close to 20 million, had trouble even mobilizing 50,000 soldiers, let alone 500,000.



I wasn't talking about early medieval Europe, but late medieval Europe of the 14th century. You clearly know more about Chinese agriculture, so I'm not going to press more on that specific issue. That still however doesn't mean that China had anything more than just a somewhat higher population density in the Warring States period to the areas ruled by the Persian Empire. Qin and Chu at their biggest before Qin Shi Huang may rival and surpass even the biggest satrapies, but it is exaggeration to say it would be by much.
The Qin had at least over 15 million people by the late 3rd century BC when it set out to conquer the other six states. That's half of the population of the Persian Empire, no Satrap came even close to that.
 
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heavenlykaghan

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Urbanisation rates of the Persian Empire should be at least equal to those of the Qin and Han empire according to this graphic. In fact, there's a decline in the years of the Qin empire in comparison to the years of Darius the Great. Also, late medieval Western Europe was definitely more urbanised than Roman Europe. In fact, the Romans de-urbanised Britain, Iberia, Gaul and Illyria in their devastating wars of conquest and repression. Gaul alone lost around 2 million people out of a population of up to 6 million, and that was before the full transition from republic to empire. It would be further de-urbanised by the civil wars of the crisis of the third century with many cities sacked and burned if not outright razed. Only Italy was highly urbanised.
I do not see the urbanization rate of the Persian Empire given for this map. Maddison gave the Roman urbanization rate as high as 5 percent (counting cities of 10,000 or more) and more urbanized than medieval Europe. There is not a single late medieval European city (prior to the Black Plague) which even approached Rome or Alexandria in size; the vast majority of the major cities are not even 200,000, whereas the Roman Empire had a handful of cities of that size.
 
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I do not see the urbanization rate of the Persian Empire given for this map. Maddison gave the Roman urbanization rate as high as 5 percent (counting cities of 10,000 or more) and more urbanized than medieval Europe. There is not a single late medieval European city (prior to the Black Plague) which even approached Rome or Alexandria in size; the vast majority of the major cities are not even 200,000, whereas the Roman Empire had a handful of cities of that size.
It gives the density of urbanised settlements for given periods, speaking about territorial empires since 1000 BC. So yes, it is actually including the urbanisation rate of the Persian Empire (together with whatever other empire it may have been contemporary with). Look at the graphic again. The period of the late Warring States and the Qin dynasty actually sees a reduction in urbanisation, while it reaches a peak around the 6th and 5th centuries, the eras of Cyrus and Darius the Great. I was also comparing to Roman Europe since you're the one who made this comparison, but even then, most of the empire was in Europe, which had the destructive campaigns I mentioned, even in places like Greece where they destroyed Corinth in 146 BC and then further devastated it in the civil war between Pompey and Caesar, while the real major urban centres outside of Italy were in the east, mainly in Asia and Egypt, which arguably did have a greater population density than pre-Black Death late medieval Europe at least prior to the third century crisis. Even in North Africa, the Romans destroyed Carthage and the settlement they built over it was never big.

It is commonly thought that the census of 2 AD generally reliable, and if it wasn't, the tendency is to estimate up, not down, because of hidden households and those not counted in the census (such as palace servants or frontier tribesmen). The areas of the Han outside of the Warring States had very small populations (that is, the extreme southern provinces, Hexi, and Central Korea), and number no more than 6-7 million in the Han Shu census, and when taking account of hidden households, the population should still be in the vicinity of some 55 million even excluding these places.
Doesn't the Han also already include significant parts of Northern and Central Asia by this period? It was the time after they vassalised the Xiongnu after all and campaigned as far as the Greek kingdom of Da Yuan. Although those areas were certainly underpopulated compared to other parts of the empire, when adding to the 6-7 million it still should reach almost 10 million people, so the vicinity is more somewhere in the 50 million than 55, not far from the number I'm putting forward as the maximum for Warring States China, and which even if admitted as the number of only the seven warring states ignoring the rest of China, should produce an average of just over 7 million people, with the biggest states like Qin at its greatest extension prior to the unification of Qin Shi Huang getting over double that amount or about 15-16 million. But again, this should be seen as the maximum. One can reduce the number of the Han census by up to 20 million people (thus from 60 million to 40 million) assuming miscounting and lower number of people per households, meaning the area of the warring states could be as low as 30 million.

Are you saying they are not capable of mobilizing 200,000 or are you saying the recorded figures are somewhat exaggerated (due to the reasons I stated before), because there is a difference. If you are saying the former, then I still don't see why you think the Persian Empire can mobilize half a million, while the Qin and Chu, which had 1/4-1/2 of the population of the Persian Empire, cannot mobilize such armies, when they had universal conscription. Many large armies of the Warring States also had alliances, for example, the Han and Wei army numbered 240,000 was annihilated by the Qin in 293 BC.
I'm saying their numbers are somewhat exaggerated and that therefore at most they can only mobilise 200 thousand people when in duress, though I wasn't thinking of alliances when I said that. Like I keep saying, even universal conscription and Weberian central bureaucracy need population in order to mobilise greatly, and one needs to add resources as well. Centralised bureaucracies will not prevent economic collapse if they go around mobilising extreme numbers regularly, especially if they lose a battle. And again, I don't believe the Persian Empire could actually mobilise nearly half a million (not the full half a million, I meant something more in the order of 300 thousand men), I'm saying it's only more plausible given its territorial extension and high urbanisation, which leads credence to a population of nearly 50 million as a high end. I'm of the opinion that even with that high end, it wasn't capable of mobilising nearly half a million. Darius III only mobilised a force of about 200 thousand against Alexander when combining all the three great battles against him, and couldn't come to the relief of Tyre and Gaza either, though it's true all of this was after a period of internal chaos in the Persian Empire. Darius may well have mobilised up to double the amount had the Persian Empire been more stable.
 
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I already mentioned universal conscription, I don't know why you are ignoring this fundamental fact. France, with a population of some 28 million in 1800 had no problem mobilizing armies of over 400,000, with a total standing force of over 1.5 million at one point. Prussia, with a population of only 9.5 million in 1800, had over 300,000 soldiers.

The development of Self-strengthening reforms may be seen as a process of "punctuated equilibrium," as discussed in Chapter One. The process witnessed incremental changes in the Spring and Autumn period and then experienced a "punctuation" or revolution at the interval between the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. During the early centuries, the pressure of war already compelled various great powers to gradually expand their army size, promote population growth, stimulate agricultural production, and hire talents of more humble origins. In the fifth century BC, the civil war that carved up Jin also accelerated various reform measures that had been slowly developing earlier. The process experienced another "punctuation" when the Qin introduced universal conscription in 356 BC. In Europe, there was a similar process of incremental changes in the early modern period and punctuations during the revolutionary era. - War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe, pg 60


With the capacity for direct rule, Revolutionary France was prepared to take another measure that was common in the late Warring States period but unprecedented in the early modern Europe: the introduction of universal military conscription in 1793. The levee en mass soon revolutionized the character of international competition by facilitating significant reduction of war costs, drastic expansion of army strength, and dramatic improvement of fighting capability. Compared with employment of mercenaries, the use of national armies allowed the state to draw upon virtually the whole adult male population at little-and relatively constant-cost - War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe, pg 128-130


So in comparison to Napoleonic France (and other European states), the Qin and Han had
1) comparable levels of urban population
2) comparable level of grain output per acre, making it easier for foraging
3) A Weberian like Central Bureaucracy and a universal conscription system
4) intensive amount of grain storage in the Han dynasty, which can act similarly to forward supply depots of Napoleonic France
5) evidence that both Han and Napoleonic France practiced dividing armies into separate routes, so the amount of foraged area can be maximized
6) Comparable population size


You cannot ignore the Levee en masse and bureaucratic centralization, because France in 1300, with a population of close to 20 million, had trouble even mobilizing 50,000 soldiers, let alone 500,000.
I'm not ignoring that fact. Like I said above, in order to achieve great numbers even with universal conscription you still need the population to do so. None of the warring states, not even the biggest like Qin and Chu, achieved the population of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, and like I said, there's even the possibility that the whole of the imperial territory of the Qin dynasty had more or less the same population of Revolutionary France, or at least of Napoleonic France. The Qin Empire when not suffering from a civil war may well have mobilised a number approximating Napoleon's Grande Armee against Russia.

There's also a further element, which is population density. France when it introduced universal conscription had a population density of around 30 people per Km2. The warring states meanwhile was at best only a bit over half. The Han Empire in fact had even less population density, although its greater size and resources compensate for that. Also, no, Napoleonic France was definitely more urbanised. Its population density alone proves that. We're talking about a state with enormous shipyards, mass cannon and bullet casters, mass musket manufacturing and much bigger and also better and proportionally more buildings. Hence why I also initially said Western Europe was semi-industrial.

The Qin had at least over 15 million people by the late 3rd century BC when it set out to conquer the other six states. That's half of the population of the Persian Empire, no Satrap came even close to that.
Again, that's its maximum, not the least, and no, it's not when we have a high end that is nearly 50 million people. Even some high ends for Egypt put it at 10 million, so in fact they did approximate it, and then under the division of Great Satrapies of the map I gave, Arachosia which would include Pakistan and northern India, definitely had at least the same population if not more. You want to discount the high end of the Persian Empire while bloating the low end of China. Your reasoning for not counting the Persian high end amounts to discrediting the work of the Encyclopedia Iranica, which has regular updating and is examined and peer reviewed by literally hundreds of scholars in diverse backgrounds. Their agreement with Eduard Meyer can't be discounted just like that.


Edit: I botched the population density of Napoleonic France. It's not 30 people per square kilometre, it's 60.
 
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HackneyedScribe

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Where does the graph say anything about the urbanization rate of the Persian empire?

Also, heavenlykaghan gave a detailed reason why the higher end population estimates of the Warring States is more accurate, whereas the lower end estimate is not. He explained the methodology behind how both estimates where made.
Whereas what is the methodology behind the population estimate behind the Encyclopedia Iranica?
 

Willempie

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The real issue is imo not whether they could muster those armies. From what I see in this thread that isn't really an issue. The Chinese (and Persians) seem to have enough population.
The question is whether they could direct that army, meaning they could supply, command and keep it from going for the emperor with a popular general.
 
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Where does the graph say anything about the urbanization rate of the Persian empire?

Also, heavenlykaghan gave a detailed reason why the higher end population estimates of the Warring States is more accurate, whereas the lower end estimate is not. He explained the methodology behind how both estimates where made.
Whereas what is the methodology behind the population estimate behind the Encyclopedia Iranica?
It lists the settlement density and settlement size of "territorial empires" which would include the Persian Empire. The Persian Empire had nearly 1 settlement for every square kilometre, and the average size of said settlements approximates 1,000 hectares.

And yes, he did, but most of it is based on textual, not archaeological evidence, and even then it largely establishes that the population didn't change much from the 3rd century BCE to the 1st century AD, rather than establishing the actual size of it. This is what Encyclopedia Iranica says on the topic:

Darius ruled about 50 million people in the largest empire the world had seen (Meyer, p. 85). His subjects (kāra) or their lands (dahyu) were several times listed, and also depicted, in varying order at Bīsotūn and Persepolis (Junge, 1944, pp. 132-59; Kent, 1943; Ehtécham, pp. 131-63; Walser; Hinz, 1969, pp. 95-113; Calmeyer), but the definitive account is carved on his tomb (EIr. V, p. 722 fig. 46). In the relief on his tomb Darius and his royal fire are depicted upon the imperial “throne” supported by thirty figures of equal status, who symbolize the nations of the empire, as explained in the accompanying inscription (DNa 38-42). The text reflects Darius’ status, ideals, and achievements. He introduces himself as “Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan [=Iranian], having Aryan lineage” (DNa 8-15; Kent, Old Persian, p. 138). Next “the countries other than Persis” are enumerated in what is clearly intended to be a geographical order. According to Herodotus (3.89), Darius “joined together in one province the nations that were neighbors, but sometimes he passed over the nearer tribes and gave their places to more remote ones.” Applying this scheme to the lands recorded in the record relief, it is possible to distinguish, beside Persis, six groups of nations, recalling the traditional Iranian division of the world into seven regions (Shahbazi, 1983, pp. 243-46 and fig. 3; cf. Plato, Leges, 3.695c, where it is reported that power was divided among seven leading Persians). The sevenfold division of Darius’ empire, revealing his geographical conception, is as follows: (1) the central region, Persis (Pārsa), which paid no tribute, though some of its districts sent commodities (Herodotus, 3.97; Koch; cf. Briant, pp. 342-501), possibly to pay for garrisons; (2) the western region encompassing Media (Māda) and Elam (Ūja); (3) the Iranian plateau encompassing Parthia (Parθava), Aria (Haraiva), Bactria (Bāxtri), Sogdiana (Sugda), Chorasmia (Uvārazmiya), and Drangiana (Zrankā; cf. Herodotus, 3.93, according to whom these lands paid little tribute); the borderlands: Arachosia (Harauvati), Sattagydia (atagu), Gandara (Gandāra), Sind (Hindu), and eastern Scythia (Sakā); (5) the western lowlands: Babylonia (Bābiru), Assyria (Aθurā), Arabia (Arabāya), and Egypt (Mudrāya); (6) the northwestern region encompassing Armenia (Armina), Cappadocia (Katpatuka), Lydia (Sparda), Overseas Scythians (Sakā tyaiy paradraya), Skudra, and Petasos-Wearing Greeks (Yaunā takabarā); and (7) the southern coastal regions: Libya (Putāyā), Ethiopia (Kūša), Maka (Maciya), and Caria (Karka, i.e., the Carian colony on the Persian Gulf; Schaeder, 1932, p. 270; Shahbazi, 1983, p. 245 n. 28; Figure 2).

Most of the satraps were Persian, members of the royal house or of the six great noble families (Meyer, pp. 47 ff.; Schaeder, 1941, p. 18; cf. Petit, pp. 219-26). They were appointed directly by Darius to administer these tax districts, each of which could be divided into subsatrapies and smaller units with their own governors, usually nominated by the central court but occasionally by the satrap (see ACHAEMENID DYNASTY ii). To ensure fair assessments of tribute, Darius sent a commission of trusted men (cf. OPers. *hamara-kāra-; Stolper, 1989, p. 86; Dandamayev, 1992, p. 36) to evaluate the revenues and expenditures of each district (cf. Plutarch, Moralia 172F; Polyaenus, Stratagemata 7.11.3). Similarly, after the Ionian revolt his brother Artaphernes calculated the areas of Ionian cities in parasangs and fixed their tributes (OPers. bāji-; see BĀJ) at a rate “very nearly the same as that which had been paid before the revolt,” a rate that continued unaltered down to Herodotus’ time (Herodotus, 6.42). Contemporary Babylonian documents attest the existence of a detailed land register in which property boundaries, ownership (of cattle and probably other movable goods, as well as of urban and rural real estate), and assessments were recorded (Stolper, 1977, pp. 259-60; Dandamayev, 1992, pp. 11-12). In the Persepolis Elamite texts officials who “write people down” and “make inquiries” are mentioned (see Tuplin, p. 145, with references). To prevent concentration of power in one person, each satrap was normally accompanied by a “secretary,” who observed affairs of the state and communicated with the king; a treasurer, who safeguarded provincial revenues; and a garrison commander, who was also responsible to the king. Further checks were provided by royal inspectors with full authority over all satrapal affairs, the so-called “eyes” and “ears” of the king (Meyer, pp. 39-89; Kiessling; Schaeder, 1934; Ehtécham, pp. 56-62; Frye, 1984, pp. 106-26; see also Hirsch, pp. 101-43; Tuplin; Petit, pp. 109-72).


Edit: Here's the article with the graphic I cited:
 
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HackneyedScribe

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Feb 2011
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The Persian Empire had nearly 1 settlement for every square kilometre, and the average size of said settlements approximates 1,000 hectares.
I don't think you're reading it right.
1 settlement for every square kilometer means 1 settlement for every 100 hectares.
Average size of said settlements hence need to be much less than 100 hectares, if average size of settlments is 1000 hectares then that's impossible for both statements to be true.

From the link provided there's also this link which says:

Fig 3. Urban Settlements used in this paper.
The green circles represent all sites over 10 hectares from 6000–1200 BC, red represents the dataset of urban sites over 100 ha dating between 1200 BC and 1000 AD. Background SRTM DEM courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.


Darius ruled about 50 million people in the largest empire the world had seen (Meyer, p. 85). His subjects (kāra) or their lands (dahyu) were several times listed, and also depicted, in varying order at Bīsotūn and Persepolis (Junge, 1944, pp. 132-59; Kent, 1943; Ehtécham, pp. 131-63; Walser; Hinz, 1969, pp. 95-113; Calmeyer), but the definitive account is carved on his tomb (EIr. V, p. 722 fig. 46). In the relief on his tomb Darius and his royal fire are depicted upon the imperial “throne” supported by thirty figures of equal status, who symbolize the nations of the empire, as explained in the accompanying inscription (DNa 38-42). The text reflects Darius’ status, ideals, and achievements. He introduces himself as “Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan [=Iranian], having Aryan lineage” (DNa 8-15; Kent, Old Persian, p. 138). Next “the countries other than Persis” are enumerated in what is clearly intended to be a geographical order. According to Herodotus (3.89), Darius “joined together in one province the nations that were neighbors, but sometimes he passed over the nearer tribes and gave their places to more remote ones.” Applying this scheme to the lands recorded in the record relief, it is possible to distinguish, beside Persis, six groups of nations, recalling the traditional Iranian division of the world into seven regions (Shahbazi, 1983, pp. 243-46 and fig. 3; cf. Plato, Leges, 3.695c, where it is reported that power was divided among seven leading Persians). The sevenfold division of Darius’ empire, revealing his geographical conception, is as follows: (1) the central region, Persis (Pārsa), which paid no tribute, though some of its districts sent commodities (Herodotus, 3.97; Koch; cf. Briant, pp. 342-501), possibly to pay for garrisons; (2) the western region encompassing Media (Māda) and Elam (Ūja); (3) the Iranian plateau encompassing Parthia (Parθava), Aria (Haraiva), Bactria (Bāxtri), Sogdiana (Sugda), Chorasmia (Uvārazmiya), and Drangiana (Zrankā; cf. Herodotus, 3.93, according to whom these lands paid little tribute); the borderlands: Arachosia (Harauvati), Sattagydia (atagu), Gandara (Gandāra), Sind (Hindu), and eastern Scythia (Sakā); (5) the western lowlands: Babylonia (Bābiru), Assyria (Aθurā), Arabia (Arabāya), and Egypt (Mudrāya); (6) the northwestern region encompassing Armenia (Armina), Cappadocia (Katpatuka), Lydia (Sparda), Overseas Scythians (Sakā tyaiy paradraya), Skudra, and Petasos-Wearing Greeks (Yaunā takabarā); and (7) the southern coastal regions: Libya (Putāyā), Ethiopia (Kūša), Maka (Maciya), and Caria (Karka, i.e., the Carian colony on the Persian Gulf; Schaeder, 1932, p. 270; Shahbazi, 1983, p. 245 n. 28; Figure 2).
I don't see how the paragraph would support the first sentence that Darius "ruled about 50 million people". The only source is from a + century old source and the methodology of this source isn't known.
 
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