Empire that ruled the largest % of world population

Mar 2019
1,463
KL
#41
China and India were only starting to do stuff of significance back then, so much lower populations.
i have already posted this stuff else where, this is the herodotus estimate of achaemenid's tribute

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even though achaemenids only had a very minor part of NW india which was the plain area, still the area was making gigantic contribution to the achaemenid tribute alone.

the achaemenids were practically ruling a big giant desert, it is impractical to assume that it had larger population compared with india or even china.

regards
 
Mar 2012
4,354
#42
Click to expand...

Never said there were reliable estimates for India. Part of studying ancient demography especially when you get out of cities into empires is it's a guesstimate. But you can tell what just doesn't fit with the history of a region based on later guesstimates. 50-70 million for India which is above the Mauryan era is not realistic for 500 BC. 25-30 makes far more sense and still might be an overcount
That India's population was probably lower in the Mauryan Era compared to the middle ages from lack of urbanization is true, but by how much is entirely speculative. Herodotus stated that India is the most populous and provides the greatest revenue for the Persian Empire, and Persia only ruled the Punjab region, which was far less populated than Maghada and surrounding areas (much less the rest of India). This should already give you a hint of the large population of the Indian subcontinent at the time.

Per Persia as a whole and regions there is far less evidence there, surprising since the area developed earlier while India and China developed later. But we do have the reputable city data from Tertius Chandler and the biggest cities in the world are in the Persian Empire and there's a lot of them, the idea that India and China can have twice the population as an empire with most of the worlds major cities seems influenced by modern reality more than the past. You can also see China and India's cities swell during the times of their empire and I find the idea that China and India were not considerably smaller in 500 BC than in the Han Era and Mauryan era(both populations which are the size of the Roman Empire's zenith to put that into perspective) to be ridiculous and goes in the opposite direction of not just common sense(earlier development, more major cities, less people) but the most accurate scholarly data we have from the time, the major city data from Chandler It was hard to find sources for not only the Persian Empire but the empire's four predecessors that make up most of it in the general sense. It can not be proven Persia had 44% of the world's population at it's height. But it is not clearly wrong, it is a perfectly plausible number(and Persia's status as the one with the largest population share is not dependent on the specific number if it's close, which is the reason this discussion started, the 44% figure is cited as how impressive Persia is). It could be lower but you know it could also be higher(less likely but plausible) and pre 500 BC the predecessor empires that make up Persia might have gotten into the 50's.

Please show me the comparable data for the biggest cities around the world in the 5th century BC (I want scholarly estimates, not amateur websites in which the source origin cannot even be verified). I have not seen any estimates of Persian cities with close to a quarter of a million people.


The city of Linzi in warring states times had an area within the walled city of 15.5 sq km, which is roughly the same as that of later Rome. It was said that it was so dense people are brushing against each other's shoulders. Linzi had a recorded 70,000 household (some 400,000 people) in the late 4th century BC, and around 100,000 households by Han times.

According to Qiyu section of Guoyu, Guanzhong divided Linzi into 21 Xiang(village). An average Xiang had 2000 households, 21 xiang has 42000 households or around 210,000 people. This was in the Spring and Autumn period around the mid 7th century BC, and Linzi already had around 200,000 people.

In the Zhanguo Ce, Su Qin told Qi Xuanwang in 333 BC: "Within Linzi there are 70,000 househods, your subject has secretly calculated this, if all of the lower households provide three men, three times seven is 210,000(soldiers)."
This mean that of the 70,000 households, each household has around 3 men, it was likely that even in the 4th century BC, Linzi had over 400,000 people.
It was probably the biggest city in the world in that century (before Pataliputra and Alexandria even came to the equation).


In the Han Shu, the population of the Qi prefecture where Linzi is recorded (2 AD) as follows: 154,826 households and a population of 554,444. So there was only around 3.58 people per household in that prefecture. Assuming some errors in counting and that there were actually over 4 people per household, Linzi in Han times probably still had between 400,000-500,000 people, not really larger than its population in the Warring States period.

The Qin capital of Xianyang was even bigger in area than the Han capital of Changan, with around 48 sq km. Whereas Changan under the Han only had a recorded household of 80,000, in Qin times the people forcibly relocated to Xianyang alone numbered 120,000 households, plus the original inhabitants, xianyang might have had more than twice the people as Changan in Han times, having well over 600,000 people in the 210s BC. In the Warring States it should still have had at least over a quarter of a million people.




As for finding China's population in the Warring States not significantly smaller than the Han ridiculous, I suggest you use sources rather than your baseless hunch, because that is exactly what Ge Jianxiong argued with actual data culled from the history books and archaeology.

The above city sizes been roughly the same between the Han and the Warring States, we also have a Qin era census references to the Qu Ni county(xian), with a household of over 30,000 (probably larger than it was during the height of the Han in 2 AD).

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.

See: Ge Jianxiong, zhongguo renkoushi, 2005

In another word, the Qin population at its height was probably only slightly lower than it was under the height of Western Han in 2 AD, which had a registered population of 59,594,978 people. Ge speculated that the population of the Qin was already around 40 million, which in fact declined from the 45 million for the late Warring States period (~300 BC), due to incessant warfare, and even that figure is a conservative estimate and the actual number might have been even higher.


The figure 44% for the Persian Empires comes from Wikipedia mixing up journals and amateur history books, not from any professional estimate, and I have seen no professional estimate of the Persian Empire putting the figure higher than Scheidel's figure of 30-35 million, and if you say otherwise you'll have to cite an actual scholarly source.
 
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Mar 2019
1,463
KL
#43
actually in it infact proposed that in middle ages the indian urbanization declined because of feudalism and lack of centralization and also because of a devastating flood in the 5th or 6th century in the ganges plain, the urbanization in india was at its height during the mauryan period as a matter of fact.

Kausambi, one of the first gangetic cities to get urbanized in the 1000 BC were practically dead by 300-600 AD.

regards
 
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Mar 2012
4,354
#44
There was hardly centralization during the Mauryan Empire in the Deccans and you are focusing on a few locations and not looking at the entire subcontinent. Ashokan inscriptions showed clearly that large parts of India had no state structure, intensive agriculture or urban sites, which is why forest tribes like the Bhojas and Pitinikas were everywhere in the inscriptions. Places like Rajasthan were still largely tribal even until the Gupta period but had states by the start of the 2nd millennium.
 
Mar 2019
1,463
KL
#45
why are you referring to ashokan edicts which are mostly buddhist in nature, why not arthashastra which dates from the contemporary period?

these are the cities during mauryan empire, given these are the excavated ruins or ones mentioned by the indian historians, while indian history was never made in the first place, there might be a lot of other cities as well, why do you think it was ''less urban'', it was probably more urban that its west or east asian counterparts.

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regards
 
Mar 2012
4,354
#46
Because many states mentioned in later times were clearly tribal (Bhojas and Pitinaka) during the times of Ashoka, and the Ashokan inscriptions are primary sources testifying to that:

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I would need some citations of comparative studies, detailed studies of a region's urbanization rate, or at least extensive studies of specific cities before anyone here mentions whether a region is more or less urbanized than another area during this period.
 
Mar 2019
1,463
KL
#47
im not learned on bhoja issue, it might have been a clan based society which majority of rajasthan was despite having multitude of states/cities/urban centres, rajasthan does have city infrastructure going back to indus valley civilization as a matter of fact such as kalibangan etc so i wont be surprised if rajasthan also reveals mauryan period urbanizations or even earlier. i do think you are confusing clans with tribals, since bhoja is known to have governed a big central indian empire in the first mil AD, not to mention rajasthan is mostly desert, there are several mauryan period temples or even pre mauryan period temples excavated from rajasthan as well.

Bhoja - Wikipedia

archaeology has infact proven many states which were never stated for instance mahasthangarh or chandraketugarh cities which were never mentioned in the indian histories, but archaeology is proving them to be the case.

the excavations at north eastern indian state of assam has revealed a mauryan or atleast shunga period ruin from guwahati, again revealing cities even in north eastern india which doesnt exist in the indian history.

indian sites are also plagued by late dating based on colonial era archaeology, a lot of indian cities which have been archaeologically dated earlier are infact dated later by the western dominant scholarship.

regards
 
Jun 2017
2,814
Connecticut
#49
That India's population was probably lower in the Mauryan Era compared to the middle ages from lack of urbanization is true, but by how much is entirely speculative. Herodotus stated that India is the most populous and provides the greatest revenue for the Persian Empire, and Persia only ruled the Punjab region, which was far less populated than Maghada and surrounding areas (much less the rest of India). This should already give you a hint of the large population of the Indian subcontinent at the time.




Please show me the comparable data for the biggest cities around the world in the 5th century BC (I want scholarly estimates, not amateur websites in which the source origin cannot even be verified). I have not seen any estimates of Persian cities with close to a quarter of a million people.


The city of Linzi in warring states times had an area within the walled city of 15.5 sq km, which is roughly the same as that of later Rome. It was said that it was so dense people are brushing against each other's shoulders. Linzi had a recorded 70,000 household (some 400,000 people) in the late 4th century BC, and around 100,000 households by Han times.

According to Qiyu section of Guoyu, Guanzhong divided Linzi into 21 Xiang(village). An average Xiang had 2000 households, 21 xiang has 42000 households or around 210,000 people. This was in the Spring and Autumn period around the mid 7th century BC, and Linzi already had around 200,000 people.

In the Zhanguo Ce, Su Qin told Qi Xuanwang in 333 BC: "Within Linzi there are 70,000 househods, your subject has secretly calculated this, if all of the lower households provide three men, three times seven is 210,000(soldiers)."
This mean that of the 70,000 households, each household has around 3 men, it was likely that even in the 4th century BC, Linzi had over 400,000 people.
It was probably the biggest city in the world in that century (before Pataliputra and Alexandria even came to the equation).


In the Han Shu, the population of the Qi prefecture where Linzi is recorded (2 AD) as follows: 154,826 households and a population of 554,444. So there was only around 3.58 people per household in that prefecture. Assuming some errors in counting and that there were actually over 4 people per household, Linzi in Han times probably still had between 400,000-500,000 people, not really larger than its population in the Warring States period.

The Qin capital of Xianyang was even bigger in area than the Han capital of Changan, with around 48 sq km. Whereas Changan under the Han only had a recorded household of 80,000, in Qin times the people forcibly relocated to Xianyang alone numbered 120,000 households, plus the original inhabitants, xianyang might have had more than twice the people as Changan in Han times, having well over 600,000 people in the 210s BC. In the Warring States it should still have had at least over a quarter of a million people.




As for finding China's population in the Warring States not significantly smaller than the Han ridiculous, I suggest you use sources rather than your baseless hunch, because that is exactly what Ge Jianxiong argued with actual data culled from the history books and archaeology.

The above city sizes been roughly the same between the Han and the Warring States, we also have a Qin era census references to the Qu Ni county(xian), with a household of over 30,000 (probably larger than it was during the height of the Han in 2 AD).

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.

See: Ge Jianxiong, zhongguo renkoushi, 2005

In another word, the Qin population at its height was probably only slightly lower than it was under the height of Western Han in 2 AD, which had a registered population of 59,594,978 people. Ge speculated that the population of the Qin was already around 40 million, which in fact declined from the 45 million for the late Warring States period (~300 BC), due to incessant warfare, and even that figure is a conservative estimate and the actual number might have been even higher.


The figure 44% for the Persian Empires comes from Wikipedia mixing up journals and amateur history books, not from any professional estimate, and I have seen no professional estimate of the Persian Empire putting the figure higher than Scheidel's figure of 30-35 million, and if you say otherwise you'll have to cite an actual scholarly source.
The Punjab region was on the Indus river though I believe? Anyhow Herodotus's observations were still later than the period being discussed. Not too much but a bit later.

The "amateur website" is taking data directly from the Chandler book(which is absurdly expensive and difficult to acquire) and said site was well cited and if there reasons there was no link to citations well that's the reason why. Have never seen a more ferociously guarded piece of should be easy to access IP than that book. The Chandler book is the gold standard on this topic and I will maintain to the death it offers more information per page than any history book ever written. It is the best that can be practically done in terms of giving you that argument. I have a powerpoint with data points from not just that book but others(and thus lets you compared) I will try and find it. The book is largely composed of charts and maps for the time periods on that amateur site, the only difference is that site doesn't have the numbers and just lists the top 10.

Anyway this does better. It's still a limited portion of the data, still just top 10 but it's data nonetheless and the page I'd previously shared lacked such just rankings.

Wayback Machine

This biggest fault here is the data set focuses on certain "snapshots" and 500 BC for whatever reason was not one of them, 430 and 650 BC were and those are the most relevant ones available. 500 BC might be a nice round number but Chandler chose years where things drastically changed from the previous dataset to justify the work(I'm going to assume that anyway makes the most sense). 430 for example is a year before the Athenian plague and the first year of the Peloponesian war while 650 is the year the rebellion in Babylon gets put down pre dates the destruction of Nineveh(these reasons are speculative but are the presumed ones given those are the exact years before the populations of certain major cities would take huge dumps you see the same later with Baghdad).

For those who don't want to look at the whole info I will write it out here. But in 650 BC, only two cities are large enough to actually be listed(are presumed considerably south of 33k which was the smallest other city listed, the third to fifth city were small enough where person making this snapshot thought it not worth putting it) while in 430 BC several are though the largest Middle Eastern cities are considerably larger on average(though the smaller city info's absence certainly doesn't help). It is also most importantly clear that Indian cities are much larger in 200 BC than in either of the previous years which goes in the opposite direction of the notion populations got smaller during the Mauryan period and is what I referred to with that claim contradicting this data. Furthermore any of these Indian cities being in Persian control during said alleged 44% period further helps that case though I don't know you'd need to tell me.

In 650 BC the largest cities in India are the following
Kausambi 55k
Ayodhya 38k

In 430 BC the largest cities in India are the following.

Patna 100k
Benares 54k
Anuradhapura 48k
Svarvasti 46k
Vaisali 45k

In 200 BC the largest cities in India are the following
Patna 350k
Ujjain 94k
Anuradhapura 68k
Paithan 60k
Taxila 60k
 
Mar 2019
1,463
KL
#50
any such population estimation is only a guess, patna/pataliputra has never been excavated. and so the rest of the cities mentioned except sravasti, kausambi, rajghir etc, pataliputra estimate is probably based on greek sources as well since all these ambassadors were landing there.

the benefit of western asian or chinese cities is, most of them from that period have been abandoned so much more accurate estimate.

indian archaeology is also way backward compared to the chinese and the west.

regards
 

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