Most populous cities of the ancient world

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,301
What about eastern Asia ?... population there was (and still is) significantly larger than in Europe.. thanks mainly to rice.... Any "mega" cities there ?
 
Mar 2015
923
Europe
What about eastern Asia ?... population there was (and still is) significantly larger than in Europe.. thanks mainly to rice.... Any "mega" cities there ?
The population of Changan in Western Han was estimated at 200 000...250 000. And no, it was not thanks to rice - it was in North China, too dry for rice, growing millet and wheat.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
About the population of Rome under Augustus, may be there is a way to state a minimum: the Emperor once made a mass donation to the plebs, to 320,000 citizens to be accurate. Since the women hadn't involved, it's reasonable to consider the double [applying the laws of great numbers to demography, in a wide population men and women are present in almost the same numbers], that is to say 620,000 inhabitants, as a minimum number. Anyway we should add the children, the high class and the slaves who lived with the free men.

If we make the hypothesis that the number of the slaves in the city was similar to the number of free men [and it's an acceptable hypothesis] it's not difficult to reach a number near 1,000,000 in the age of Augustus.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,301
About the population of Rome under Augustus, may be there is a way to state a minimum: the Emperor once made a mass donation to the plebs, to 320,000 citizens to be accurate. Since the women hadn't involved, it's reasonable to consider the double [applying the laws of great numbers to demography, in a wide population men and women are present in almost the same numbers], that is to say 620,000 inhabitants, as a minimum number.
I dont necessarily disagree with you, but I just want to make a comment that the hypothesis female pop = male pop may not be right in the case of a society like Rome... While at birth the numbers are similar, with a war like society where only men go to war and perform military service (and die in battle) you could have a large disparity

For example lets assume 100 000 females and males.....

If 30% of males go into the army (and that may entail being assigned to far away lands) and/or die in battle (and roman military service was 25 years if I am not mistaken, so even if only 2.5 % of males are taken each year, at the end of 12 years the cumulative effect will be high), then you would be left with 70 000 males and 100 000 females , or a ratio of almost 1.5 females to males...


Augustus created a standing army, made up of 28 legions, each one consisting of roughly 6000 men. Additional to these forces there was a similar number of auxiliary troops. Augustus also reformed the length of time a soldier served, increasing it from six to twenty years (16 years full service, 4 years on lighter duties). Unlike the Republican legions, which were more temporary citizen-levies for the duration of particular wars, Augustus created a professional army with legions becoming permanent units composed of career soldiers. Under the late Republic, a Roman citizen (i.e. male of military age: 16–46 years) could legally be required to serve a maximum of sixteen years in the legions and a maximum of six years consecutively. The average number of years served was about ten. In 13 BC, Augustus decreed sixteen years as the standard term of service for legionary recruits, with a further four years as reservists (evocati). In AD 5, the standard term was increased to twenty years plus five years in the reserves.

Augustus’ the legions were transformed from mixed conscript and volunteer corps soldiers serving an average of 10 years under the Republic, to all-volunteer units of long-term professionals serving a standard 25-year term. (Conscription was only decreed in emergencies).

Augustus prohibited serving legionaries from marrying, a decree that remained in force for two centuries. This measure was probably prudent in the early imperial period, when most legionaries were from Italy or the Roman colonies on the Mediterranean, and were required to serve long years far from home.


 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,832
Europix
I dont necessarily disagree with you, but I just want to make a comment that the hypothesis female pop = male pop may not be right in the case of a society like Rome... While at birth the numbers are similar, with a war like society where only men go to war and perform military service (and die in battle) you could have a large disparity

For example lets assume 100 000 females and males.....

If 30% of males go into the army (and that may entail being assigned to far away lands) and/or die in battle (and roman military service was 25 years if I am not mistaken, so even if only 2.5 % of males are taken each year, at the end of 12 years the cumulative effect will be high), then you would be left with 70 000 males and 100 000 females , or a ratio of almost 1.5 females to males...


Augustus created a standing army, made up of 28 legions, each one consisting of roughly 6000 men. Additional to these forces there was a similar number of auxiliary troops. Augustus also reformed the length of time a soldier served, increasing it from six to twenty years (16 years full service, 4 years on lighter duties). Unlike the Republican legions, which were more temporary citizen-levies for the duration of particular wars, Augustus created a professional army with legions becoming permanent units composed of career soldiers. Under the late Republic, a Roman citizen (i.e. male of military age: 16–46 years) could legally be required to serve a maximum of sixteen years in the legions and a maximum of six years consecutively. The average number of years served was about ten. In 13 BC, Augustus decreed sixteen years as the standard term of service for legionary recruits, with a further four years as reservists (evocati). In AD 5, the standard term was increased to twenty years plus five years in the reserves.

Augustus’ the legions were transformed from mixed conscript and volunteer corps soldiers serving an average of 10 years under the Republic, to all-volunteer units of long-term professionals serving a standard 25-year term. (Conscription was only decreed in emergencies).

Augustus prohibited serving legionaries from marrying, a decree that remained in force for two centuries. This measure was probably prudent in the early imperial period, when most legionaries were from Italy or the Roman colonies on the Mediterranean, and were required to serve long years far from home.


Studies had shown that in war time, the balance is unbalanced: there are sensibly more boys born than girls.

I would be curious to know if that would apply in the case You mentioned (I never heard of a study on that, maybe You/ someone did?)
 
Mar 2018
984
UK
Studies had shown that in war time, the balance is unbalanced: there are sensibly more boys born than girls.
Do you have a source for that? It seems very surprising that human biology is affected by politics. Not impossible, but surprising enough that I'd like to read the scientific article.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,832
Europix
Do you have a source for that? It seems very surprising that human biology is affected by politics. Not impossible, but surprising enough that I'd like to read the scientific article.
It is surprising, and I didn't found/heard of a scientific explanation. Hypothesis, yes, more of them. (it's why I finished with asking if someone had heard about studies/discussions on it for earlier historical periods).

Statistical studies had found the "unbalanced" ratio for Europe and US in WWI and WWII period, plus the Korean and Vietnam War case too for US.*

OTOH, the phenomenon isn't confirmed Yugoslavian war period, nor for the Golf wars one.**

________________
*Graffelman & Hoekstra - "A statistical analysis of the effect of warfare on the human secondary sex ratio"
Mathews & Hamilton - "Trend analysis of the sex ratio at birth in the United States"

** Polasek - "Did the 1991-1995 wars in the former Yugoslavia affect sex ratio at birth?"
Ansari-Lari M, Saadat M - "Changing sex ratio in Iran, 1976-2000."
 
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Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,778
Slightly more males are born than females but males tend to die at higher rates thru childhood and young adulthood in the modern era. In past eras significantly higher rates of women died in childbirth- between 1-1.5% of women died in childbirth for most of history. If we consider the average family size was 3-5 children that means most women faced 3% mortality risk in passing motherhood which goes a long way to balancing the higher proportion of men dying thru young adulthood as the highest known ratio is 100 girls to 109 boys post war which is only a bit higher than than the normal gender ratio bias in favor of men so 3% is quite huge and would reduce the gender imbalance of men dying at a higher rate from diseases and violence before procreating.
 
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