Empire that ruled the largest % of world population

Jun 2017
2,773
Connecticut
#51
Continued from previous post

Per areas that would be in Persian Empire

In 650 BC(reason I listed six cities not five is cause Miletus was listed as "Aegean" so Marib is listed as the fifth biggest city in the "Central" region no idea why they split it that way when no second "Aegean" city is listed, anyhow Miletus was in the Persian Empire)
Nineveh 120K
Memphis 65k
Babylon 60k
Miletus 50k
Sais 48k
Marib 45k


In 430 BC(there's three cause the other two listed under Central were European cities again if I can find the general idea will tell you where the other cities of the Persian Empire rank but must be noted neither of these are the capital and I remember one of those Pasagrade or Perseopolis can't remember which as 70k though don't expect you to take my word for it putting it out there cause I remember)
Babylon 200k
Memphis 100k
Ectbatana 90k

In 200 BC
Alexandria 300k
Seleucia 200k
Antioch 120k

But per this data clear India's largest centers on average were smaller than their Indian counterparts. And that supporting my premise that Indias population was smaller in 500 BC than in the Mauryan time, major Indian cities were smaller in 650 BC and 430 BC prior to Mauryan time with few major cities existing in the former time. Doubt very strongly that Indian cities were more populated smack in the middle of those two periods.

Now here's China. Also possible some of these cities might be in Japan, Korea or Indochina they are listed as Asian not Chinese, some I can tell some I can't so up to you to let me know of that if I catch them I omit them. Pyongyang for example is listed in earlier eras for example though at this point something must have happened as it is no longer present.

650 BC
Lintzu 80k
Loyang 70k
Kingchow 43k
Hsintien 40k
Changan 33k

430 BC
Yenhsiatu 180k
Loyang 100k
Hsueh 75k
Soochow 60k
Lintzu 60k

200 BC

Changan 400k
Pingcheng 88k
Soochow 66k
Loyang 60k
Nanking 56k


Anyhow should be clear the Chinse population was larger during their imperial period than during 500 BC. Same as India. These data sets are the reasons why I'm so very skeptical of what I saw as drastic overcounting in terms of China and India in 500 BC. In later periods China and India does match and surpass Middle East, this is not those times and predates the empires under which this occurs.
 
Jun 2017
2,773
Connecticut
#52
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.

regards
Anyhow added said Chinese cities. Had to split in two posts because of 10k word limit.
 
#53
all these estimates are rubbish, it is just a fantasy tbh, how much of these estimates are based on archaeology and how much based on indirect data and assumptions, as i stated, archaeology in india is still in its infancy stage

seconly, presently, kausambi archaeological findings have been challenged, the dates which should be 1000 BC have been assumed and made into 200 BC, it is my personal findings.

if we just concentrate on the periodic data from herodotus, the bubble of west asian urbanization and population is easily busted. one small indian territory was making one third revenue contribution, until and unless one assumes that it was made to pay more due to achaemenid tyranny in the region.

coinage in india may predate all the chinese and the european/lydian counterparts as well, india was minting coins earlier than them as archaeological evidences show, so good urbanization in india at that period/ early 1st mil BC is very much possible.

one also needs to taken into account indian density, indian cities were possibly much more dense compared to their west asian counterparts, from india we have architectural reliefs, but not from western asia, indian cities were more dense per area compared to the rest.

regards
 
#54
there is also the stupid economic graph of two thousand years, perpetually declining in case of india and china, this is entirely based on assumption by assuming per capita income of indians and indian and chinese population, there is infact no other data to back this trash economic graphs

1560245915932.png
 
Jun 2017
2,773
Connecticut
#55
all these estimates are rubbish, it is just a fantasy tbh, how much of these estimates are based on archaeology and how much based on indirect data and assumptions, as i stated, archaeology in india is still in its infancy stage

seconly, presently, kausambi archaeological findings have been challenged, the dates which should be 1000 BC have been assumed and made into 200 BC, it is my personal findings.

if we just concentrate on the periodic data from herodotus, the bubble of west asian urbanization and population is easily busted. one small indian territory was making one third revenue contribution, until and unless one assumes that it was made to pay more due to achaemenid tyranny in the region.

coinage in india may predate all the chinese and the european/lydian counterparts as well, india was minting coins earlier than them as archaeological evidences show, so good urbanization in india at that period/ early 1st mil BC is very much possible.

one also needs to taken into account indian density, indian cities were possibly much more dense compared to their west asian counterparts, from india we have architectural reliefs, but not from western asia, indian cities were more dense per area compared to the rest.

regards
No they aren't. They come from the most reputable scholars on these sources. Population demography for cities is going to inherently be better than entire countries.

If we're talking mythology Herodotus doesn't provide data we're going off interpretation of words. Herodotus is one man in one time and the only reason he's relied on as heavily as he is, is because we don't really have a choice in many areas of history and it's either his anecdotes or nothing. We either rely on Herodotus and his peers or we have virtually nothing about a great deal of the world. Archaeology and ancient sources close to said situations are much more credible than that of a random Greek man from the period. Unless something directly contradicts Herodotus it doesn't even really poke a hole in evidence discovered at the site(again Herodotus period or not was not at sites nor was he trying to catalog the exact populations of places, in terms of India he was speaking off of information he learned from somewhere else and the biases of the Athens he lived in must be taken into account).

In terms of urbanization in India in the early 1st millenium it is telling that there weren't even enough major cities(in 650 BC) to make a top 5 list and the gap between the second largest city and the third(again let's the data and we'll know which) was just so immense the third wasn't seen as worth listing.

Perhaps Indian populations were more dense, but A doubt Chandler failed to account for this and B that wouldn't effect if India's population got smaller or larger over time. It'd just mean the numbers are wrong not which way they were going. A large part of our argument is about which way they were going cause them going the opposite way(down from 500 BC to 250 BC) is necessary for those nonsensical observations to be correct.
 
Jun 2017
2,773
Connecticut
#56
there is also the stupid economic graph of two thousand years, perpetually declining in case of india and china, this is entirely based on assumption by assuming per capita income of indians and indian and chinese population, there is infact no other data to back this trash economic graphs

View attachment 20565
There's nothing here true or false that relates to the Persia 44% narrative from 500 BC. India and China are climbing down from the period we all agree they gained population and wealth during. Truth is narrative or not the first major Chinese and Indian empires were after 500 BC and for the numbers contradicting this narrative and saying it's blatantly false to be true India and China would have to be declining from a period that predates urbanization, which makes no sense.

How various larger Chinese and Indian empires wealth fluctuated is irrelevant to that question. The first major empires and mass urbanization at least on the scale of the Mide East came later. We can argue East v Middle East or Europe all day long and do but those arguments are centered around the empires that need to be smaller than pre imperial China or India to make this narrative work.

Persia being 44% of the world population can not be verified, no specific figure anyone has posted on this thread can be. However the notion 44% is a clearly inaccurate ballpark estimate and couldn't be true is false and is based on a huge overestaimation of the Chinese and Indian populations that contradicts the best demography information we have.
 
#57
mate you have your arguments, i have presented mine, im not sure what is the data which chandler has used, but archaeology as i already stated is still at its infancy in india, there were quite a lot of urban centres in india during the period you stated as 650 BC, kausambi, rajgir, ahichchahhatra, ayodhya, banares, taxila, ujjain etc to say the least, there are evidences of coinage in india even before western asia, why they have been thought as having low population or not mentioned for that period is beyond me, only the scholar who has made the list can sort this out. the scholar only listing two indian cities is beyond my understanding when we already have many others

for kausambi the figures maybe wrong because the indian historiography which is west based puts kausambi walls around 600 BC which is contrary to the achaeological evidence of 1000 BC.

for me the only credible data is from herodotus which is not a fantasy otherwise wiki article wont mention it esp in achaemenid empire article, so if that data is not discredited, it would mean a minor NW india was making one third revenue contribution to the achaemends which means it hosted one third population or a low population of enormous wealth, there is no third way about it.

here in this guardian list even sravasti and rajgir have been listed as most populous at one time period

From Jericho to Tokyo: the world's largest cities through history – mapped

another data is megasthenes mentioning the size of mauryan army, again, these are all historical data which i can accept because this is what the western historians use when they make such historical argument.

regards
 
Last edited:
Mar 2012
4,340
#58
Continued from previous post

Per areas that would be in Persian Empire

In 650 BC(reason I listed six cities not five is cause Miletus was listed as "Aegean" so Marib is listed as the fifth biggest city in the "Central" region no idea why they split it that way when no second "Aegean" city is listed, anyhow Miletus was in the Persian Empire)
Nineveh 120K
Memphis 65k
Babylon 60k
Miletus 50k
Sais 48k
Marib 45k


In 430 BC(there's three cause the other two listed under Central were European cities again if I can find the general idea will tell you where the other cities of the Persian Empire rank but must be noted neither of these are the capital and I remember one of those Pasagrade or Perseopolis can't remember which as 70k though don't expect you to take my word for it putting it out there cause I remember)
Babylon 200k
Memphis 100k
Ectbatana 90k

In 200 BC
Alexandria 300k
Seleucia 200k
Antioch 120k

But per this data clear India's largest centers on average were smaller than their Indian counterparts. And that supporting my premise that Indias population was smaller in 500 BC than in the Mauryan time, major Indian cities were smaller in 650 BC and 430 BC prior to Mauryan time with few major cities existing in the former time. Doubt very strongly that Indian cities were more populated smack in the middle of those two periods.

Now here's China. Also possible some of these cities might be in Japan, Korea or Indochina they are listed as Asian not Chinese, some I can tell some I can't so up to you to let me know of that if I catch them I omit them. Pyongyang for example is listed in earlier eras for example though at this point something must have happened as it is no longer present.

650 BC
Lintzu 80k
Loyang 70k
Kingchow 43k
Hsintien 40k
Changan 33k

430 BC
Yenhsiatu 180k
Loyang 100k
Hsueh 75k
Soochow 60k
Lintzu 60k

200 BC

Changan 400k
Pingcheng 88k
Soochow 66k
Loyang 60k
Nanking 56k


Anyhow should be clear the Chinse population was larger during their imperial period than during 500 BC. Same as India. These data sets are the reasons why I'm so very skeptical of what I saw as drastic overcounting in terms of China and India in 500 BC. In later periods China and India does match and surpass Middle East, this is not those times and predates the empires under which this occurs.
Chandler's book is hardly "the most reputable" source on demographic history of China and is a league below the reliability of Ge Jianxiong's estimates when it comes to solid source foundation and methodology used. You are essentially comparing a children's book to a professional demographic estimate. From the bland generalizations mentioned by Chandler, I doubt it even uses primary sources. By using demographic norms for peace time growth and war time decline, Ge estimates that early Han population growth was around 7.12%, while the Qin Han transition saw a 70-80 percent population drop, while the population remained at an equilibrium from the late 4th century BC until the Qin wars of conquest from 232 BC onwards.

I've already covered the details of Ge's estimate here; In your opinion, what were the greatest Middle Eastern Empires ever?

Please show me the methodology (or source origin) behind Chandler's estimates. Changan having 400,000 in 200 BC is a clear projection of the 2 AD census, the Han population in 200 BC might have been as low as 18 million according to Ge Jianxiong because of the devastation of the Qin-Han transition; so its a stretch to assume that Changan was already as big then as it was in 2 AD.


I have a firm grasp of the primary sources of the Warring States and Qin period and I don't recall any census other than that of Linzi and Xianyang, so please tell me how the figures for the Chinese cities were even derived.

If you say excavated area, then the Warring States Linzi's excavated area is just as large as Luoyang of later times, and the Shiji mentions 70,000 households (~400,000 people) and was noted in multiple places that it was the largest city in China at least since the 4th century BC. So please tell me how Chandler got 60,000 for Linzi from when recorded census mentioned around 400,000 in 333 BC and excavated area is also no smaller than later cities with half a million people, because it seems to me that Chandler's guestimates is sheer blind backward projection based on unverifiable assumptions.
Xianyang's excavated area is 48 sq km, also larger than Han Changan, and Qin Shihuang moved 120,000 households to the vicinity (not including local inhabitants) compared to only 80,000 household mentioned in the Han Shu census for Chang An. So in both the census mentioned in primary sources and excavated area, Qin Xianyang should be larger than Han Changan. There is absolutely no evidence to assume the Han capital was bigger than the Qin capital.


Also, while urbanization might reflect population size to an extent, it is by no means directly related to it. Late Medieval Europe was already more populous than the Roman Empire, but its urbanization rate was much smaller, and the largest cities were only a couple of ten thousand, no where near the size of Rome or Alexandria.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2012
4,340
#59
There's nothing here true or false that relates to the Persia 44% narrative from 500 BC. India and China are climbing down from the period we all agree they gained population and wealth during. Truth is narrative or not the first major Chinese and Indian empires were after 500 BC and for the numbers contradicting this narrative and saying it's blatantly false to be true India and China would have to be declining from a period that predates urbanization, which makes no sense.

How various larger Chinese and Indian empires wealth fluctuated is irrelevant to that question. The first major empires and mass urbanization at least on the scale of the Mide East came later. We can argue East v Middle East or Europe all day long and do but those arguments are centered around the empires that need to be smaller than pre imperial China or India to make this narrative work.

Persia being 44% of the world population can not be verified, no specific figure anyone has posted on this thread can be. However the notion 44% is a clearly inaccurate ballpark estimate and couldn't be true is false and is based on a huge overestaimation of the Chinese and Indian populations that contradicts the best demography information we have.
I'm still waiting for an actual verifiable scholarly source for the 44% figure, not wikipedia or the amateur websites on the internet. The urbanization figures given by Chandler is also unverifiable. While China might have been somewhat more urbanized in later times, urbanization is in no way directly related to population size, as it has more to do with increasing volume of trade and monetization. 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.


So I don't know why you are still insisting that Chinese population exploded during the Han when all you have are questionable methodology for estimates of city sizes (which doesn't even directly reflect population size itself), when Ge Jianxiong has provided detailed comparative census samples from three areas in the Warring States and Han period (Linzi, Changan, and Qu ni county) respectively and pointed out that their population is in fact comparable in these two eras, suggesting that total population size also didn't differ significantly (45 million for the warring states and excluding the extreme south, somewhat below 60 million during the Han).
 
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Mar 2012
4,340
#60
for me the only credible data is from herodotus which is not a fantasy otherwise wiki article wont mention it esp in achaemenid empire article, so if that data is not discredited, it would mean a minor NW india was making one third revenue contribution to the achaemends which means it hosted one third population or a low population of enormous wealth, there is no third way about it.
Lets not jump to the 1/3 revenue figure, for while India provides close to 1/3 of the revenue in Babylonian silver, there are also other tributes not included from the other areas. For example, in addition to 1,000 talents of Babylonian silver, Babylonia also provides 500 eunuch boys, while for Egypt, in addition to its 700 talents of silver, it also provided an unknown sum from fish lake as well as 120,000 bushels of grain. Unless someone gives the conversion of how much that translates to talents of Babylonian silver, the total quantity of Egyptian revenue is unknown; and Egypt has always been known to be the most important part of the Persian Empire, not India, so while India might have been the most populous part of the Persian Empire, I'll want to see more evidence that its importance exceeded that of Egypt.
 

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