- Mar 2013
Mongols also controlled a huge number of depopulated regions and their wars in China weren't so clean though not quite as bad as a couple of internal Chinese civil wars.
The figure 44% came from wikipedia originally, which had been taken down and the figure wasn't remotely academical. If one reads the citations, figures were taken from data as unreliable as magazines and generic history books and mixed with estimates given by other sources rather than from a single coherent professional demographic estimates.The Persian empire at it's height was said to have ruled around 44% of the world population in 480 BC, skip ahead to Alexander's conquest in 323 BC and this would imply he ruled close to half the world's population if the population % of the region had not changed. Is there any other ruler/empire that comes close to this percentage?
Would Persia still be the largest ruler of world population by these statistics?The population of India and China are most likely higher than those given by McEvdy and Jones. They gave India a population of below 30 million before the Mauryan period, whereas Maddison gave 55 million and Biraben gave 70 million. The population of China has also been underestimated as Ge Jianxiong's newest studies over a decade ago pointed out; with a population closer to 45 million than 30 million in 300 BC. A more realistic estimate of the world population in 500 BC is probably 130-150 million. If we accept the high account, then Achaemenid Persia had around just over 1/4 to around 1/5 of the world's population.
No, even at over 1/4, it barely fringes the top 10, as there were plenty of Empires that had over 1/4 of the world's population, most of them being empires that ruled China or India, including the Mongol and British Empires.Would Persia still be the largest ruler of world population by these statistics?
So maybe you should list the empires ruling the largest proportion of the world's population in your opinion, since you seem to have more up to date information.No, even at over 1/4, it barely fringes the top 10, as there were plenty of Empires that had over 1/4 of the world's population, most of them being empires that ruled China or India, including the Mongol and British Empires.
The Qing probably ruled the largest percentage of the world's population in history and we have relatively reliable statistics for that too. According to the estimates of Zhongguo renkou tongshi volume 6 written by Cao Shuji, China during the Qing had around 340 million in 1800, giving it over 36% of the entire world's population, to this we must add Inner Asia and perhaps the vassal of Korea which would add another 20 million people to the Empire giving the Qing 38-39% of the world's population.
So maybe you should list the empires ruling the largest proportion of the world's population in your opinion, since you seem to have more up to date information.
And reliable numbers of the world population.As if we have reliable numbers for the older empires.
And as noted by others, also the estimates of the population of the ancient Empires vary a lot [I mean academic estimates].Here is a list of world population estimates by scholars:
https://books.google.com/books?id=I242EL00ieAC&pg=PA230&lpg=PA230&dq=world+population+estimates+biraben&source=bl&ots=Irp4cXTvj9&sig=NjJWexh3MzdJdv70evs5bsqQWYc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSg_Tvw63TAhUT0WMKHbxNCwwQ6AEIOzAD#v=onepage&q=world population estimates biraben&f=false
There are still huge discrepancies in estimate for the population in 1 AD, ranging from as low as 168 million to as high as 297 million, but estimates for the middle ages seem to converge more with the discrepancy being no more than 20%, ranging from 253-310 million in 1000. However, this could just be mutual influence of estimate; population before the early modern era outside of China and a few small polities lacks empire wide census.
Furthermore, the population in places like Australia and much of Africa are negligible before the modern period, even America probably didn't have populous empires until the late middle ages and wouldn't contribute significantly to the overall estimate.
Unusual use of the word 'usurp'. That's normally internal.You're wrong about Alexander. He was the ruler of a small kingdom and the protector of Greece. He then invaded Persia and usurped the throne of the King of Kings.
But the Persian Achaemenid Empire was smaller in Alexander's time than when it was largest, and thus didn't rule as high a proportion of the world's population. Also civilization was spreading and lands outside the Persian empire were becoming more densely populated.
Note that the Wikipedia list of largest empires lists the Achaemenid Empire in 500 BC at 5.5 million square kilometers or 2.12 million square miles, 3.69 percent of the world land area and the Macedonian Empire in 323 BC as 5.3 million square kilometers or 2.01 million square miles or 3.49 percent of the world land area.
So even though Alexander usurped the throne of a ready made empire and then spent years establishing control of many of its far flung provinces, he still didn't rule all the lands ruled by the Achaemenid Empire at its height.
Thus Alexander should have ruled over a smaller percentage of the world's population than Darius I the Great.
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