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

heavenlykaghan

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Mar 2012
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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.
The graph shows nothing about the population figure of said cities and Hackneyedscribe already covered it. We have no reliable estimates for Warring States urbanization simply because the sources and archaeology isn't sufficient, although its being speculated that urbanization did increase during the Han. However, there is absolutely no sufficient evidence to compare the urbanization ratio of the Persian Empire with contemporary China and hence its meaningless to make a comparison. In any case, the urbanization ratio of Italy alone in the Roman Empire was higher than medieval Europe, yet the population of Italy in 1300 CE is around 12.5 million while the population of Roman Italy in 1 CE is only around 8-9 million.


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.
First, the population of Central and Inner Asia isn't in the census registration of 2 AD, which only covers the parts of the empire under direct bureaucratic control of the counties, so its irrelevant what it was. Second, the population of the Tarim Basin was very sparse, being estimated at around half a million by Cao Jinchun's "Demographic History of Different Provinces of China" in 2007. Details of provincial estimates are already made by numerous historians and Ge Jianxiong stated the maximum population capacity of northern China was around 50 million and that it remained the same from the Warring States down to the middle of the Ming, there is no need for you to do any guesstimates.
This implies that northern China during the Warring States could already have been 50 million and states such as Qin and Chu extended to large parts of southern China too, so the limit would be even beyond that. In any case 45 million is a rather conservative estimate on Ge Jianxiong's part based on his own methodologies, which leans toward the fact that the population of Warring States China wasn't too different from those under the Western Han at its height.

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.
You seem to just arbitrarily draw upper limits with no proper methodology. There is no reason to believe that yes, even the entire Persian Empire can mobilize larger forces than the state of Qin, Chu, or even Zhao in the 3rd century BC. You have yet to prove, with scholarship using proper methodology that Persian urbanization rate is higher than these states or that its population is 50 million.
The later figure is even more unlikely when you consider that even as late as 1900, the population of the region outside of Pakistan which constituted the entire Persian Empire was just over 50 million, even when places like Iran (where we have Islamic figures), Central Asia (Han records mentioning a population of only around 600,000 for Kangju), Afghanistan, and Egypt (where we have Roman era census showing only around 7 million people) clearly grew in size in the early modern period (broken down below):
Iran: 10 million
Iraq: 2 milion
Turkey: 12 million
Egypt: 10 million
Syria: 600,000
Armenia: 1.3 million
Afghanistan: 3.6 million
Persian Central Asia: 7 million

To say that Achaemenid Persia in the 5th century BC already had a comparable population is suspicious especially without proper methodology.

The state of Qin, thanks to its universal conscription, should already be able to mobilize up to 1/15-1/10 of its population for war, as many later states with conscription and a centralized bureaucracy could do. This mean that with a population with some 5-10 million from the late 4th century onwards, the Qin would have no problem having half a million men on total reserve, and mobilize armies over half that size on short campaigns. Lets not forget that the Roman Republic in the early 2nd century BC was able to mobilize more forces and defeat the Seleucid Empire, even when the former only had a population size of around 8-9 million, having just Italy and a bit of Spain, whereas the Seleucid Empire under Antiochus almost re-established Alexander and Darius' empire, with the exception of Egypt, Greece and the extreme east. The Roman could proportionally mobilize larger amount of its forces than the Seleucid, and the Romans didn't even adopt universal conscription like the Qin.
 
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heavenlykaghan

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Mar 2012
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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.
The Qin easily had 1/2-2/3 the population of Napoleonic France, and Napoleonic France had well over a million soldiers on total reserve at one point, and mobilized armies of 200,000-300,000 on more than one occasion. Even Prussia, with a population of just 9-10 million, could mobilize armies of up to 150,000. The Entire Qin Empire had over 40 million people, that's about 50% more than Napoleonic France. Furthermore, Warring States warfare and mobilization rate was arguably more brutal and on a larger scale than even Napoleonic France, because there was no checking mechanism (merchants etc.) against state power as Europe had at the time. The largest amount of soldiers any Warring States polity mobilized was the Qin army of 600,000 led by Wang Jian against Chu, and that was in 225, after the Qin already conquered Wei and Han; population of the Qin was well over 20 million by that time. The largest force mobilized before that was in Chang Ping, where both Qin and Zhao probably had some 400,000 or more (on paper). The battle exhausted both states. These figures might be interpreted as figures on registrar, logistic personnel included, etc. but its unquestionable that large states could mobilize armies of over 200,000 on major occasions.



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.

Did I not compare urban population between Napoleonic Europe and Han China? Even if there was some difference, it wasn't significant in order of magnitudes. States with mass cannons and industrial weaponry only imply that more work force are needed to make them, and hence less soldiers available for war. States with the greatest mobilization potential are not the most complex, but often the most simplistic ones; which is why nomadic states could often mobilize as much as 1/4 of their population for war.


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.
It's the average, not the maximum and I already gave the reason, read again. There is absolutely nothing scholarly acceptable in estimates of 50 million for the Persian Empire; Schiedel's high end estimate only gives the Achaemenid a population of 30-35 million, and if we use McEvdy and Jones, we are talking about a population as low as 17.5 million, comparable to the Qin population in 250 BC. We have actual Roman era census for Egypt giving figures such as 7-8 million, Achaemenid Egypt wouldn't be more populous, and most likely less. Egypt is also the most populous satrap in the Persian Empire, having around 1/5 of its population.

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.
No, I am discounting outdated, non-demographic methodological estimates of the Persian Empire as well as outdated, non-professionally demographic estimates of Warring States China. The Persian figure I gave by Schiedel was the high end estimate, those given by McEvdy and Jones are the low end. Being peer reviewed means nothing unless the peer reviewer is a professional demographic historian and covers that specific demographic fact, and I would like to see peer reviews of that demographic figure. The figure of 45 million was conservative estimate of Ge Jianxiong, by his very own standards in mentioned in his book (zhongguo renkoushi). Other "estimates" giving numbers like 20-30 million are devoid of any reasonable methodology. Why don't you get more familiar with the methodology involved before posting?
 
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The graph shows nothing about the population figure of said cities and Hackneyedscribe already covered it. We have no reliable estimates for Warring States urbanization simply because the sources and archaeology isn't sufficient, although its being speculated that urbanization did increase during the Han. However, there is absolutely no sufficient evidence to compare the urbanization ratio of the Persian Empire with contemporary China and hence its meaningless to make a comparison. In any case, the urbanization ratio of Italy alone in the Roman Empire was higher than medieval Europe, yet the population of Italy in 1300 CE is around 12.5 million while the population of Roman Italy in 1 CE is only around 8-9 million.
The settlement density (about 0.8 hectare for every km2) compared with the size of the largest settlements (some over 1,000 hectares for the period of the Persian Empire, that is, nearing the size of classical Rome) do provide information to at least make population estimates, "aggregate site areas provide approximations of local area populations". The article cites another that estimates 8 million neolithic Europeans, when the settlement density was less than 0.2 hectares per km2, meaning 4 people living for every said 0.2 hectares. Using this, we can indeed estimate around 50 million people living in the Persian Empire, as the settlement density increased to 0.8 and thus the number of people to about 6 or 7. Again, I see this as a high end, but the point is that I don't think McEvdy and Jones were accurate when they estimated just 35 million as their high end for such an enormous urbanised area. And notice how little the population increased in Italy in a period of over a millennium. Not even all of Roman Italy was equally urbanised anyway. The large area in and around Cisalpine Gaul was far less urbanised than central and southern Italy. You don't find anything close to Rome or Pompeii there. Indeed, there was an inversion in population in the Middle Ages, as the most urbanised centres moved north (Florence, Milan, Pisa, Genoa, Venice). Spanish-ruled southern Italy was only about 3 million people in the 16th century, and even accounting for the bubonic plague, the population couldn't have been much higher in the early 14th century before the plague struck.


You seem to just arbitrarily draw upper limits with no proper methodology. There is no reason to believe that yes, even the entire Persian Empire can mobilize larger forces than the state of Qin, Chu, or even Zhao in the 3rd century BC. You have yet to prove, with scholarship using proper methodology that Persian urbanization rate is higher than these states or that its population is 50 million.
The later figure is even more unlikely when you consider that even as late as 1900, the population of the region outside of Pakistan which constituted the entire Persian Empire was just over 50 million, even when places like Iran (where we have Islamic figures), Central Asia (Han records mentioning a population of only around 600,000 for Kangju), Afghanistan, and Egypt (where we have Roman era census showing only around 7 million people) clearly grew in size in the early modern period (broken down below):
Iran: 10 million
Iraq: 2 milion
Turkey: 12 million
Egypt: 10 million
Syria: 600,000
Armenia: 1.3 million
Afghanistan: 3.6 million
Persian Central Asia: 7 million

To say that Achaemenid Persia in the 5th century BC already had a comparable population is suspicious especially without proper methodology.
I'm not establishing any arbitrary upper limits because the number of 50 million comes from a scholarly source. You back project too much when in demography it is well-known that back projections of such a long time are not helpful. Just like countries such as the Philippines grew from barely 1 million people to over 100 in five centuries, areas like the Persian Empire could have reached a point of equilibrium and not increase their size as much. And let's not exclude Bulgaria, Ukraine, Greece, northern Sudan, and even northern India which you arbitrarily excluded from that estimate, because it can easily double the number for the year 1900. The Persian Empire was not just the Middle East. I know that the Persian territories today don't have the same population size nor density as China, but this is a result of Greek and Roman warfare, the Mongol invasion, the bubonic plague, and constant warfare against the Habsburgs, Russians and British. Equally as important is how the Ottomans and Iranians were cut from international trade by Europeans since at least the 17th century, which is why they didn't enjoy any demographic benefits like those enjoyed by India and China who became important components of early globalisation. Even the possible demographic benefit of introducing New World crops was offset because of this. And the Kangju mentioned by the Han is at the periphery of the Persian Empire, whereas the border areas with Iran and the Caspian sea were indeed highly urbanised, as I have already mentioned various times before. This area is the size of such massive settlements for the time like Gornu Tepe. A more representative example are the Da Yuan, which the Han seem to have described as densely populated.

The state of Qin, thanks to its universal conscription, should already be able to mobilize up to 1/15-1/10 of its population for war, as many later states with conscription and a centralized bureaucracy could do. This mean that with a population with some 5-10 million from the late 4th century onwards, the Qin would have no problem having half a million men on total reserve, and mobilize armies over half that size on short campaigns. Lets not forget that the Roman Republic in the early 2nd century BC was able to mobilize more forces and defeat the Seleucid Empire, even when the former only had a population size of around 8-9 million, having just Italy and a bit of Spain, whereas the Seleucid Empire under Antiochus almost re-established Alexander and Darius' empire, with the exception of Egypt, Greece and the extreme east. The Roman could proportionally mobilize larger amount of its forces than the Seleucid, and the Romans didn't even adopt universal conscription like the Qin.
The Romans did not just have a bit of Spain, they had virtually half of Iberia plus all other territories of the Carthaginian empire as at least vassals by the Battle of Magnesia. The Romans also included virtually all of the Adriatic coast and a huge portion of the interior too when they went to war against Antiochus. They couldn't have less than 5 million people as a low end. And yes, Antiochus reestablished Darius's empire with the exception of such massive territories as Egypt, Pakistan, northern India, and also excluding European Scythia and northern Sudan (which the Persians may have vassalised in their entirety). He barely ruled half of the empire at most. He didn't even rule all of Achaemenid Central Asia since he failed in his campaign against Euthydemus and was forced to recognise his independence. Suffice to say that while the Seleucids were indeed bigger at that point, the Romans weren't that much smaller either, at most four times less in territory and population, and taking into account the greater distance the Seleucids had to march to meet the Romans. The numbers for both armies at Magnesia also did not get anywhere close to 100,000, at best only over half of it.


The Qin easily had 1/2-2/3 the population of Napoleonic France, and Napoleonic France had well over a million soldiers on total reserve at one point, and mobilized armies of 200,000-300,000 on more than one occasion. Even Prussia, with a population of just 9-10 million, could mobilize armies of up to 150,000. The Entire Qin Empire had over 40 million people, that's about 50% more than Napoleonic France. Furthermore, Warring States warfare and mobilization rate was arguably more brutal and on a larger scale than even Napoleonic France, because there was no checking mechanism (merchants etc.) against state power as Europe had at the time. The largest amount of soldiers any Warring States polity mobilized was the Qin army of 600,000 led by Wang Jian against Chu, and that was in 225, after the Qin already conquered Wei and Han; population of the Qin was well over 20 million by that time. The largest force mobilized before that was in Chang Ping, where both Qin and Zhao probably had some 400,000 or more (on paper). The battle exhausted both states. These figures might be interpreted as figures on registrar, logistic personnel included, etc. but its unquestionable that large states could mobilize armies of over 200,000 on major occasions.
Napoleonic France had 30 million people, so the Qin Empire only had a bit over 25%, while France had a far larger population density (15 for the Qin vs 60 for the French). If logistic personnel is included, it's likely that the numbers of 400,000 and 600,000 included the whole armies prior to mobilisation, and as you say, there's the caveat of these being nominal (and ideal) numbers on registrar. So not only wouldn't they be the number of people going into the battlefield but we can also substract the nominal and ideal count based on not having the proper population and population density as well as exhaustion and possible economic collapse, which could reduce them to as much as less than half.
 
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Did I not compare urban population between Napoleonic Europe and Han China? Even if there was some difference, it wasn't significant in order of magnitudes. States with mass cannons and industrial weaponry only imply that more work force are needed to make them, and hence less soldiers available for war. States with the greatest mobilization potential are not the most complex, but often the most simplistic ones; which is why nomadic states could often mobilize as much as 1/4 of their population for war.
Ancient Germanic peoples should have then be regularly mobilising armies of over 200 thousand, but I'm aware of only one such instance, when the Cimbri and Teutones invaded Italy, and that after they had also recruited people from southern Germania and Gaul. We also don't hear of them campaigning for nearly half a century after their defeat. You also changed argument here. First you said universal conscription under a complex system of bureacracy, now you're saying higher mobilisation occurs with states of lower complexities that lack said bureaucracies. And yes, you tried to compare the urban population of Napoleonic France and Han China but that's why I mentioned why they're not comparable. France had a much higher population density than Han China (60 people per square kilometre against just 15), while the point about semi-industrial manufacturing is that they necessarily occur in urban centres and shows how a much higher percentage of both territory and the population were urbanised compared to the Han, otherwise Napoleon's army wouldn't be as well armed as it was. We're also talking about a state that had been deforesting itself since the 16th century to build massive fleets to compete with the navies of Spain, England and Holland and keep overseas colonies, with shipyards all over France's coasts. And urbanisation is not just the percentage of people living in cities either but also the size of urban settlements and their complexity.

It's the average, not the maximum and I already gave the reason, read again. There is absolutely nothing scholarly acceptable in estimates of 50 million for the Persian Empire; Schiedel's high end estimate only gives the Achaemenid a population of 30-35 million, and if we use McEvdy and Jones, we are talking about a population as low as 17.5 million, comparable to the Qin population in 250 BC. We have actual Roman era census for Egypt giving figures such as 7-8 million, Achaemenid Egypt wouldn't be more populous, and most likely less. Egypt is also the most populous satrap in the Persian Empire, having around 1/5 of its population.
And I don't trust Schiedel. He is not taking into account the settlement density, settlement size, division of labour, the diverse population of the Persian Empire, the enormous size of the Persian Empire, the detailed and numerous tablets and inscriptions keeping count on people and land size. It's likely he is excluding European Scythia (Ukraine), northern Sudan and significant portions of Central Asia and India ruled or vassalised by the Persians from his estimate as well. And the Great Satrapy of Arachosia was arguably more populated than Egypt since it includes the highly dense areas of India, even its sub-satrapies like Hindush and Sattagydia should at least be nearly the same, while other sub-satrapies like Lydia should not have been that far behind Egypt either. Arrian whose account is based on the eye-witness testimony of Ptolemy and Nearchus mentions how urbanised and full of people were the areas explored by Alexander

No, I am discounting outdated, non-demographic methodological estimates of the Persian Empire as well as outdated, non-professionally demographic estimates of Warring States China. The Persian figure I gave by Schiedel was the high end estimate, those given by McEvdy and Jones are the low end. Being peer reviewed means nothing unless the peer reviewer is a professional demographic historian and covers that specific demographic fact, and I would like to see peer reviews of that demographic figure. The figure of 45 million was conservative estimate of Ge Jianxiong, by his very own standards in mentioned in his book (zhongguo renkoushi). Other "estimates" giving numbers like 20-30 million are devoid of any reasonable methodology. Why don't you get more familiar with the methodology involved before posting?
I again pointed out that the Encyclopedia Iranica is a collaborative effort, so yes, it does include professional demographers, while I mentioned above how Schiedel is most likely not considering the entirety of the Persian Empire while also undervaluing just how rich, urbanised and complex it was (and I also already explained why this same area is became less dense as time progressed). The low end for the Qin Empire as a whole also comes from Edgar Kiser, who in fact gave 20 million, and as if it wasn't enough, only gives a high end of 30 million.
 
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The graph shows nothing about the population figure of said cities and Hackneyedscribe already covered it. We have no reliable estimates for Warring States urbanization simply because the sources and archaeology isn't sufficient, although its being speculated that urbanization did increase during the Han. However, there is absolutely no sufficient evidence to compare the urbanization ratio of the Persian Empire with contemporary China and hence its meaningless to make a comparison. In any case, the urbanization ratio of Italy alone in the Roman Empire was higher than medieval Europe, yet the population of Italy in 1300 CE is around 12.5 million while the population of Roman Italy in 1 CE is only around 8-9 million.
The settlement density (about 0.8 hectare for every km2) compared with the size of the largest settlements (some over 1,000 hectares for the period of the Persian Empire, that is, nearing the size of classical Rome) do provide information to at least make population estimates, "aggregate site areas provide approximations of local area populations". The article cites another that estimates 8 million neolithic Europeans, when the settlement density was less than 0.2 hectares per km2, meaning 4 people living for every said 0.2 hectares. Using this, we can indeed estimate around 50 million people living in the Persian Empire, as the settlement density increased to 0.8 and thus the number of people to about 6 or 7. Again, I see this as a high end, but the point is that I don't think McEvdy and Jones were accurate when they estimated just 35 million as their high end for such an enormous urbanised area. And notice how little the population increased in Italy in a period of over a millennium. Not even all of Roman Italy was equally urbanised anyway. The large area in and around Cisalpine Gaul was far less urbanised than central and southern Italy. You don't find anything close to Rome or Pompeii there. Indeed, there was an inversion in population in the Middle Ages, as the most urbanised centres moved north (Florence, Milan, Pisa, Genoa, Venice). Spanish-ruled southern Italy was only about 3 million people in the 16th century, and even accounting for the bubonic plague, the population couldn't have been much higher in the early 14th century before the plague struck.


First, the population of Central and Inner Asia isn't in the census registration of 2 AD, which only covers the parts of the empire under direct bureaucratic control of the counties, so its irrelevant what it was. Second, the population of the Tarim Basin was very sparse, being estimated at around half a million by Cao Jinchun's "Demographic History of Different Provinces of China" in 2007. Details of provincial estimates are already made by numerous historians and Ge Jianxiong stated the maximum population capacity of northern China was around 50 million and that it remained the same from the Warring States down to the middle of the Ming, there is no need for you to do any guesstimates.
This implies that northern China during the Warring States could already have been 50 million and states such as Qin and Chu extended to large parts of southern China too, so the limit would be even beyond that. In any case 45 million is a rather conservative estimate on Ge Jianxiong's part based on his own methodologies, which leans toward the fact that the population of Warring States China wasn't too different from those under the Western Han at its height.







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.




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.
The paragraphy I cited supports that population size by pointing out to the vast territory of the Persian Empire, as far as northern India, eastern Europe and northern Sudan while also including virtually all of Central Asia excluding Kazakhstan and even a huge portion of the latter anyway, which is also backed by the detailed information about the peoples it ruled and land size contained in numerous tablets, the enormous number of cities and its extensive bureaucracy and division of labour.

It also references the article on Achaemenid administration, which goes into further detail about what I just said. As for the graphic, I'll just repeat what I told heavenlykhagan:

The settlement density (about 0.8 hectare for every km2) compared with the size of the largest settlements (some over 1,000 hectares for the period of the Persian Empire, that is, nearing the size of classical Rome) do provide information to at least make population estimates, "aggregate site areas provide approximations of local area populations". The article cites another that estimates 8 million neolithic Europeans, when the settlement density was less than 0.2 hectares per km2, meaning 4 people living for every said 0.2 hectares. Using this, we can indeed estimate around 50 million people living in the Persian Empire, as the settlement density increased to 0.8 and thus the number of people to about 6 or 7. Again, I see this as a high end, but the point is that I don't think McEvdy and Jones were accurate when they estimated just 35 million as their high end for such an enormous urbanised area.
 

HackneyedScribe

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1. Which article claims Neolithic Europe has settlement density of 0.2 hectares per km2?
2. How did the article conclude that 0.2 hectares is equivalent to 4 people?
3. If settlement density increased 4x, how did you conclude population density increased 6-7x?

Also, the Achaemenid empire is half the area of Europe. So after multiplying population by 6-7, shouldn't the result be halved afterwards?
 
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1. Which article claims Neolithic Europe has settlement density of 0.2 hectares per km2?
2. How did the article conclude that 0.2 hectares is equivalent to 4 people?
3. If settlement density increased 4x, how did you conclude population density increased 6-7x?

Also, the Achaemenid empire is half the area of Europe. So after multiplying population by 6-7, shouldn't the result be halved afterwards?
This is the article: Eight Million Neolithic Europeans: Social Demography and Social Archaeology on the Scope of Change–From the Near East to Scandinavia. It's citation number 13 here. The number of 0.2, comes from the article itself, look at the graph about settlement density again, which gives 0.2 or less for the prehistoric period. The 4 people per 0.2 hectare is my own calculation. Multiply the 10 million square kilometres of Europe's area by the settlement density of 0.2 hectares per square kilometre, which is 2 million habitable hectares, then divide the 8 million population by the 2 million hectares. I said 6 or 7 because an actual fourfold increase would be 16 people, or over 100 million people for the Persian Empire at its peak is preposterous. The increase in people per hectare is definitely not completely linear.

And no, the Persian Empire is not half the area of Europe. It's nearly 8 million square kilometres at its peak, or virtually 80% of Europe's area.
 

HackneyedScribe

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10 million sq km for Europe with an 8 million population means .8 people per square kilometer (100 hecatres). If its settlement distribution is 0.2 hectares per square kilometer (100 hectares), then that's .8 people per .2 hectares, or 4 people per hectare. Sounds about right.

However, the settlement density for the Middle East seem to be only taken for 9 places of the Northern Fertile Crescent. With settlement density of .8 ha per square kilometer rather than .2 ha, that's 3.2 people per square kilometer rather than .8 people per square kilometer. At 8 million square kilometers, the Achaemenid empire would have a population of 25.6 million. I don't know how you got 100 million people.
 
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10 million sq km for Europe with an 8 million population means .8 people per square kilometer (100 hecatres). If its settlement distribution is 0.2 hectares per square kilometer (100 hectares), then that's .8 people per .2 hectares, or 4 people per hectare. Sounds about right.

However, the settlement density for the Middle East seem to be only taken for 9 places of the Northern Fertile Crescent. With settlement density of .8 ha per square kilometer rather than .2 ha, that's 3.2 people per square kilometer rather than .8 people per square kilometer. At 8 million square kilometers, the Achaemenid empire would have a population of 25.6 million. I don't know how you got 100 million people.
Don't know why you got 3.2 people. The fourfold increase in hectare (from 0.2 to 0.8) would apply a fourfold increase of four people for every 0.2 hectare to 16 people for every 0.8 hectare. Multiply the Persian Empire's density of 0.8 hectares for 8 million square kilometres and you get 6.4 million hectares. Multiply that by 16 and you get 102 million people. That's why I said the number of people doesn't increase linearly with the number of hectares.

To simplify, using the data of the article, you get that 1 hectare = 20 people. Therefore 0.2 hectares = 4 people, and 0.8 hectares = 16 people.

Edit: At the same time, if you use 0.8 for only the northern Fertile Crescent, which is close to 1 million square kilometres, or 800,000 habitable hectares, you get a number of about 13 million people, which would actually be reasonable for this area of the Achaemenids.
 
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HackneyedScribe

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
6,553
There is no 4 people for every .2 hectare in Neolithic Europe. There is 4 people for every 1 hectare of settlement area. So divide your result of 102 million by 5 and you're much closer to the true result, as per your logic. Here is how I got it:

Your source says that Neolithic Europe had a settlement distribution of .2 hectares per square kilometer, OK.
Europe consists of 10,000,000 square kilometers, so settlement distribution of .2 hectares per square kilometer means 2 million hectares of settlement area.
Your source also says that Neolithic Europe had a population of 8 million people.
Combined with 2 million hectares of settlement area, that amounts to 4 people per single hectare of settlement area.

Now, the Achaemenid empire have an area of 8,000,000 square kilometers.
You used your other source to determine that they have a settlement distribution of .8 hectares per square kilometer. OK.
Using the two numbers above, that means the Achaemenids have a settled area of 6,400,000 hectares of settlement area.
Using the 4 people per single hectare of settlement area derived above, that's 25,600,000 people.

Now I'm not sure if "settlement area" means the same thing for the two sources, but 25.6 million people is just what results if you scale linearly, not 102 million.
 
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