If Roman army and Han China's Army fight

Dec 2012
On the contrast, the Han Empire was a real steel age society with blast furnace technology, whereas the Roman Empire was still only mostly using wrought iron or very low carbon iron fueled by less temperature bloomery furnaces. This has already been posted in post 336:

Most classical ancient western tools and weapons found are still wrought iron or very low carbon iron.

To quote Alan W. Pense, "Iron through the Ages" again:

"These products had varying but generally low carbon contents and the occasional slag stringers typical of wrought iron. Average hardnesses were also low for these artifacts, typically less than 200 HV. Based on the microstructures and hardness levels achieved in other artifacts, it is assumed that ways to improve their hardness were known, but deemed to be either too labor intensive or incapable of providing sufficient benefit in performance to merit employing them."

To quote Pense in more detail on a Roman spear blade that had signs of heat treatment:

"These microstructural features suggest that the
temperature during the manufacturing process was
erratic, sometimes subcritical, sometimes above the
critical, and rarely high or long enough to allow
transformations to approach equilibrium.
micrographs also indicate another characteristic of
many of the artifacts, especially the early ones. They
were evidently produced by consolidating many
small pieces of iron together to make the raw material
for production. This must have been a very labor intensive

"Indeed piling was beyond the capabilities of many Celtic smiths who simply made swords out of wrought iron."

From: "Knights and Blast Furnace" Alan Williams. p.9

The difference with ancient Chinese quenching:
“对徐州狮子山楚王陵出土的4件凿刀的金相分析表明,该4件凿刀都经过对刀头的局部淬火处理,以获得刀头硬 、刀体韧的效果。对在山东苍山汉墓出土的环首钢刀、陕西扶风汉墓钢剑和汉代刘胜错金书刀的分析也表明,这些 刀剑仅在刃部观察到马氏体,剑的脊部未见淬火组织,可见我国先民至迟在公元前二世纪已掌握了局部淬火技术。 ”

"In a study of the 4 blades unearthed from Xuzhou, Shizi mountain, the king of Chu's tomb, the edge of the blades were all deferentially quenched, makin the edge hard and the body of the sword soft. In the Huanshou Steel swords found at the Han tomb at Cang mountain, the steel sword found at Shanxi Fufeng and the Cuojinshu swords of Liu Sheng of the Han period also shows evidence of martensite at the blades, the spine of the sword does not have quenching, this shows that the people residing in our country in the past in the 2nd century BC already understood differential heat treatment."
HK do you know when did steel or iron for that matter become the main tool for both civilian usage or military?


Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
The Han navy was in fact permanent. This has already been told to you several times. All conscripted soldiers in the Han Empire are divided into infantry, cavalry, and navy. The Han even have a permanent position called "Marshal of Louchuan" created under Han Wudi and still mentioned in the Hou Hanshu. You cannot have a permanent position and annual conscription of naval soldiers when you do not have a permanent navy; its common sense.

If common sense isn't enough then Li Xian's "Han Guanyi" mentioned a permanent navy clearly;

《汉官仪》:“ 高祖 命天下郡国选能引关蹶张,材力武猛者,以为轻车、骑士、材官楼船,常以立秋后讲肄课试,各有员数。平地用车骑,山阻用材官,水泉用楼船。”

"Gaozu ordered that the commanderies and states in all under heaven to call up crossbowmen, those who are skilled or brave can become light charioteers, cavalrymen, generals, or Louchuan (naval units), permanently be trained every spring and each will include some numbers of members."

You said the Han did not get rid of piracy problems. Getting rid of piracy is relative, unless you think there are no piracy problems in the Mediterranean at all under Roman rule? If you don't think so, then you are contradicting yourself, nor can you in fact prove that anymore than you can prove that piracy was a bigger problem for the Han because Han sources certainly don't talk about them like Ming sources do.

Han ships went to seas when they invaded Chaoxian, Dongyue, and Nanyue. The Han navy which invaded Nanyue was 100,000 in size. Han ships found with rudder came from Junks, which could go on the seas if they wanted to;

Guangzhou, birthplace of world?s earliest rudder Culture www.newsgd.com

You can ignore the details, but you are claiming that the Roman ships were better, so I like to see some characteristics of Roman ships that are more important than rudder or water tight compartments. Not to mention Han also developed multi-masted ships by the end of the regime and had the potential to be even bigger. The Nanzhou Yiwuzhi of the 3rd century already described a four masted ship that could carry 700 people.
Some claimed that Han ships reached even India.
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