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Greco-Roman vs. Han Chinese Extant Architecture

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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Greco-Roman vs. Han Chinese Extant Architecture
    Posted: 29-Sep-2006 at 23:42
So the great Gun Power Ma has nothing to say about the Han era models BigL has posted, showing at least smaller representations of architectural feats during the ancient Han period? Curious...
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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2006 at 00:56

Hopefully when they open the QIn Shinhuang Tomb they will find the fabled model Empire, showing the model of the QIn Empire.Then maybe people will lessen there bias.

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  Quote Hrothgar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2006 at 01:11
Originally posted by Kids

Hrothgar is also being bias/Eurocentrictoward Chinese culture; see his posts from the following:



"One simply cannot compare the quality and quantity of European sculpture/architecture with Chinese. Heck, I lived in Lausanne for a year and that small city in Switzerland alone has more architectural heritage than displayed in all of Beijing"




"In terms of architectural heritage and works of art i think Europe has no peer.i went to China two summers ago and really, outside of the tourist traps of the Great Wall, the forbidden palace, and some museums, there's really nothing noteworthy"



"I don't see what the big fuss about Chinese pagodas is, when there are

so many beautiful estates and castles in Europe that often you just hiking french country side you can find an abandoned one. Here's what a quick google example brings up.

My opinion, architecture was much more celebrated in the west than in the east."

    


Edited by Hrothgar - 30-Sep-2006 at 01:12
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2006 at 01:30
Once again, this is a very well-executed job, Gun Powder Ma. Clear cut organization and nice presentation style with lots of cool pics.
 
However, one quote from the section about the water mills in Barbegal, France seriously bothered me.
 
"At their time, the Romans were the only ones able to build geared vertical water wheels."
 
This is historically false, as I've already proven to you in another thread at simaqianstudios (while using your other name, Tibet Libre).
 
Here's an excerpt from that conversation we had, just to set the record straight once and for all. Here's the first post by me...
 
I'm still not sure if the Romans ever employed water power beyond crushing grain and producing flour or using water wheels in mining projects (for example, the early 4th century AD site at Barbegal in southern France, where 16 overshot water wheels were used to power an enormous flour mill or the various mining sites, like those found in modern-day Spain), but the Chinese also used water power for crushing grain (the edge-runner mill around the 5th century AD, with a cam on the axle of a wheel that lifts a rod up and down and pounds grain continuously if powered by a water wheel), as well as powering piston bellows for creating more durable iron and even steel. During the Eastern Han Dynasty (23 - 220 AD), under the guidance of the engineer named Tu Shih, the Chinese employed horizontal water wheels to power double sets of piston-bellows in injecting continuous streams of air into the Chinese blast furnace, as recorded in the year 31 AD. Chinese water wheels were most typically horizontal, but vertical water wheels were known. Documentation and illustrations of these devices were also made throughout the ages in Chinese manuscripts, as well as the use of trip hammers for pulverizing items like iron bits for making bolts and metal buttresses for construction in a proto-industrial-era mass production.

Eric

Ok, so far so good, but then you said this...
 
Add to that the reference to saw mills in the 4th century (poem of Ausonius).

Roman watermill technology featured beside horizontal wheels also

- geared undershot wheels
- geared overshot wheels
- turbines

Since the Greeks were the first to the invent watermill, there is a fair chance that the Greco-Romans kept the technological lead throughout antiquity.


The last part of which, I rebutalled...
 
Ah yes, I believe it was the Augustan-age Greek epigrammatist Antipater of Thessalonica in the 1st century BC who made one of the very first Western references to a waterwheel in a poem of his, praising it in his time for being a remarkable innovation for reducing the toils of women in grinding grain:

"Cease from grinding, oh you toilers; women slumber still, Even if the crowing rooster calls the morning star. For Demeter has appointed nymphs to turn your mill, And upon the waterwheel alighting here they are. See how quick they twirl the axle whose revolving rays spin heavy rollers quarried overseas. So again we savor the delights of ancient days, Taught to eat the fruits of Mother Earth in ease."

The reference to the Eastern-Han-era Chinese engineer Tu Shih employing horizontal waterwheels powering double-piston bellows to blast furnaces producing cast-iron (and steel) I mentioned was 31 AD, just several decades after Antipater's poem was written. So where did you get this idea that Greco-Romans kept a technological lead throughout antiquity? Greco-Roman hydraulic technology was certainly advanced and put to remarkable use in proto-industrial-age production, but it does not overshadow concurrent advances made in the east. It is still unclear with solid dates when the Greeks/Romans made their first watermills, and when the Chinese made their first watermills, considering the already clear technological advancement and sophisticated application they provided when the Greek Antipater and Chinaman Tu Shih wrote of their use.

In addition, does anyone know when the Persians adapted windsails to horizontal waterwheels? I read that somewhere, but it lacked a date. I've heard of the phrase 'Persian Wheel' before, just like I had the 'Norse Wheel.'

Eric
 
So please, go back into your post, for the sake of historical accuracy, Gun Powder Ma, and edit that statement about the Romans being the only ones with geared vertical waterwheels. It's not true. I'll admit the horizontal waterwheel was not as efficient as the vertical, and that the horizontal water wheel was more often used in ancient China than the vertical, but the vertical waterwheel was used as well, regardless.
 
For information on this, refer to these:
 

Edelberg, Lennart and Schuyler Jones, 1979, Nuristan, Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, Graz, Austria.

Gies, Frances and Joseph, 1994. Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages, Harper Perennial, New York.

Reynolds, Terry S.,1984. "Medieval Roots of the Industrial Revolution," Scientific American, July pp.122-130.

An interesting quote from that internet source (with these book and article sources listed), is here:
 
Chinese waterwheels were typically horizontal. The vertical wheel, however, was known. It was used to operate trip hammers for hulling rice and crushing ore (see illustration 4). The edge-runner mill was another commonly used crushing device. With the latter a circular stone on edge running around a lower millstone was used to pulverize. The edge runner appeared in China in the 5th century AD. Both the trip hammer and edge runner were not used in Europe until eight centuries later.
 
Please consider revising,
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 30-Sep-2006 at 01:56
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2006 at 08:02
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

Please consider revising


I will. I was aware that the vertical waterwheel was also known in Han China, but somewhere I have read that they were not geared. Now do not ask me how to drive a vertical waterwheel without gears. Perhaps one should look up whether gears - first invented by the Greeks - were known at all in Han China. For Eastern Han (1-200 AD) I think there is evidence, but I am not so sure about the Western Han (200-1 BC).  Anyway, I am going to take out my assertion until I get confirmation either way.

Puh, I still have to add in the list a few more Roman building actvities like granaries, quays, sidewalks and canals. Little hint...you can come up there with pics of the Sui Canal which is pre-Tang period, isn't it. Wink


Edited by Gun Powder Ma - 30-Sep-2006 at 08:03
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  Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2006 at 11:48

the nine dragon wall







the stone lions

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  Quote Omnipotence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2006 at 12:40
There's really not a lot of Han-era architecture that survived, since they are made of wood. The best representation would be those clay models of Han era architecture BigL posted beforehand on page one. But I like how Chinese architectural styles allows a building to be torn down and rebuilt on another spot(no nails you see). That's pretty cool.
 
Unusually the multi storied houses were usually for poorer people.
 
I would say that that is pretty usual. Remember that there weren't elevators back then, so taller houses means you have to climb a bunch of stairs. Thus the bottom buildings would be more expensive than those at the top. Thus it would be usual that poorer people would live in multi storied houses. I remember that 10 yrs ago in China people still prefer to live at the bottom of apartments rather than at the top. A white foreigner, however, spent big money to live at the top floor, which left all the neighbors extremely confused. I'm guessing that he wants a good view, but people in Beijing really didn't give a crap about a good view.
 
This is historically false, as I've already proven to you in another thread at simaqianstudios (while using your other name, Tibet Libre).
 
Gun Powder Ma, didn't you say you were of Han ethnicity during our first argument?


Edited by Omnipotence - 01-Oct-2006 at 01:44
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2006 at 13:05
Those pics were nice, Siege Tower, but I believe that Nine Dragon Wall as well as the bronze and stone statues are all early Ming Era creations. For the sake of Gun Powder Ma's timeline (anything before 600 AD), then look towards these pieces of art and craftsmenship (and I'm going to post these pics assuming that everyone knows and has seen the 8,099 terracotta statues of the Qin Terracotta Army in the First Emperor's tomb:
 
Ritual vessel (<i>chia</i>)
 
Shang Dynasty Bronze Ritual Vessel (Chia), 12th century BC
 
Ritual wine vessel (huo) in the form of an elephant
 
Shang Dynasty Bronze Ritual Wine Vessel (Huo) in the form of an elephant with separate elephant lid, 12th-11th century BC
 
Halberd
 
Shang Dynasty Halberd, 12th-11th century BC, crafted of bronze, turquoise and jade
 
Ritual wine server (huo)
 
Shang Dynasty Bronze Wine Server (Huo), circa 1200-1100 BC
 
Blade
 
Shang or Western Zhou Bronze Ceremonial Blade, 11th century BC
 
Chariot fitting: axle cap
 
Shang Dynasty Bronze Axle Cap Chariot Fitting, 1600-1050 BC
 
Ritual vessel
 
Western Zhou Bronze Ritual Vessel, late 11th century - early 10th century BC
 
Ritual vessel (yu) and cover
Western Zhou Dynasty Bronze Ritual Vessel (Yu) and Cover, late 11th century/early 10th century BC
 
Possible chariot fittingChariot fitting: linchpin
 
First one: Bronze Chariot fitting from the Shang Dynasty, 1600-1050 BC, and the next: Bronze Chariot Linchpin Fitting from the Zhou Dynasty, 1050 - 221 BC
 
A Tiger
 
Western Zhou Dynasty Bronze Tiger, 9th century BC
 
Ceremonial basin (<i>Chien</i>)
 
Eastern Zhou Dynasty Bronze Ceremonial Basin (Chien), 5th century BC
 
Sleeve Weight
 
Eastern Zhou Dynasty Sleeve Weight, 5th-4th century BC, iron, gold, inlaid with jade
 
Belt Hook
 
Eastern Zhou Dynasty Jade Belt Hook, 4th-3rd Century BC
 
Comb
 
Eastern Zhou Dynasty Jade Hair Comb, 5th-4th century BC
 
Ring
 
Eastern Zhou Dynasty Glass Ring, 5th-4th century BC
 
Mirror
 
Eastern Zhou Dynasty Bronze Mirror, 5th-4th century BC
 
Ceremonial stemmed oval offering cup
 
Eastern Zhou Dynasty Ceremonial Stemmed Oval Offering Cup, 5th-4th century BC, made out of lacquer
 
Wooden tray covered with lacquer
 
Eastern Zhou Dynasty Wooden Tray Covered in Lacquer, 4th-3rd century BC
 
Green-glazed hu-shaped jar
 
Western Han Dynasty Green-Glazed Hu Shaped Jar, circa 100 - 9 BC, stoneware with green glaze (celadon)
 
Green-glazed covered tripod
 
Western Han Dynasty Green-Glazed Covered Tripod, 2nd Century BC, stoneware with green glaze (celadon)
 
Incense burner (boshan xianglu)
 
Western Han Dynasty Incense Burner (Boshan Xianglu), 2nd century BC, carfted of bronze, gold, silver, turquoise, and carnelian
 
Ding Tripod Vessel
 
Eastern Han Dynasty Ding Tripod Vessel, early 1st-3rd century AD, earthenware with copper-green lead-silicate glaze
 
Mirror
 
Western or Eastern Han Dynasty Bronze Mirror, 206 BC- 220 AD
 
Tomb jar
 
Eastern Han Dynasty Tomb Jar, early 1st century - 3rd century AD, earthenware with copper-green lead-silicate glaze 
 
Tomb jar
 
Eastern Han Dynasty Tomb Jar, early 1st century - 3rd century AD, earthenware with copper-green lead-silicate glaze 
 
Tomb dish or lid
 
Eastern Han Dynasty Tomb Dish, early 1st century - 3rd century AD, earthenware with copper-green lead-silicate glaze
 
Ritual disk, Bi
 
Eastern Han Dynasty Jade Ritual Disk (Bi), 2nd century AD
 
Yue ware basin
 
Western Jin Dynasty Yue Ware Basin, 265-316 AD, glazed stoneware
 
Mirror
 
Bronze Mirror, period of division (220-589 AD)
 
Padmapani
 
Bronze Padmapani, 453 AD
 
Buddhist stele of a seated bodhisattva (Maitreya) flanked by standing bodhisattvas
 
Marble Buddhist Stele, dated 556 AD
 
Buddhas of the Past and Present
 
Northern Wei Dynasty Bronze Gilt Buddhas, c. 475-534 AD
 
Head of Guanyin
 
Northern Wei Dynasty Head of Guanyin, 493-534 AD, limestone carving
 
Head of the Buddhist disciple, Ananda
 
Northern Qi Dynasty Head of Buddhist Disciple, Ananda, 6th century AD, limestone carving
 
Standing figure of a bodhisattva in high relief from Gongxian Cave 1, Henan.
 
Northern Wei Dynasty Figure of Bodhisattva, circa 525 AD, carved sandstone
 
Buddha draped in robes portraying the Realms of Existence
 
Northern Qi or Sui Dynasty Buddha in Robes, 550-618 AD, gray limestone carving 
 
Bottle and Stand
 
Northern Qi Dynasty Bottle and Stand, 6th century AD, earthenware with copper-green lead-silicate glaze
 
 
Jar with two loop handles
 
Sui Dynasty Jar, 581 - 618 AD, stoneware with glaze over white slip
 
And although this is not before 600 AD, I can't resist posting these Tang era silver items, they're awesome! Silver-smithing apparently reached a zenith during that time frame...
 
Cup
 
Tang Dynasty Silver Cup, early 8th century
 
Melon-shaped box with cover
 
Melon-Shaped Silver Box with Cover and Serpent Handle, early 8th century
 
 Small cup with cover
 
Tang Dynasty Small Silver Cup with Cover (top view), 9th century
 
Box in the form of a clam-shell
 
Tang Dynasty Silver Box in the form of a Clam Shell, early 8th century
 
And remember the lacquer stand from the 4th century BC? Compare that to the fine lacquer work of the early 15th century Ming Dynasty (Yongle Reign Period)...
 
Lacquer box 
 
Eric 


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 30-Sep-2006 at 14:37
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  Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 00:19

What fits under the category of architecture? Don't forget China already had suspension bridges which does not exist in the West, and since Gun powder Ma brought up canals, there were actually plenty of large scale canals build in China before the Grand canal. Some examples are the Lin Qu canal.

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  Quote Omnipotence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 01:38
 

Edited by Omnipotence - 01-Oct-2006 at 01:41
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 03:25
What fits under the category of architecture? Don't forget China already had suspension bridges which does not exist in the West, and since Gun powder Ma brought up canals, there were actually plenty of large scale canals build in China before the Grand canal. Some examples are the Lin Qu canal.
 
But of course! It's quite a great leap to not build canals at all and then all of the sudden build the longest canal in the world (which it still is, even today, after roughly 1,400 years). Hell, it's quite impossible to contemplate how the ruthless dictatorial regime of the First Qin Emperor would have been able to effectively administer central power and suppression of internal rebellion had he not broken the rifts between the old Warring States and built tons of miles of new Imperial roads and canals linking the river systems of China. By doing this, he not only facilitated greater interstate trade and reciprocity between the once rival regions of ancient China, but it was also an effective measure of sending his troops around to do his bidding and secure the empire effectively by allowing his troops to march and sail at top speeds by following standard road systems and new canals that opened up easier access to every corner of the realm. Very smart move on his part, aside from the mercury digestion. Lol. I never thought I'd say it, but mercury death in this instance was a good thing for China, the succeeding Han certainly would have argued so, if they had known at the time that it was mercury that led to his insanity and death.
 
I was aware that the vertical waterwheel was also known in Han China, but somewhere I have read that they were not geared. Now do not ask me how to drive a vertical waterwheel without gears. Perhaps one should look up whether gears - first invented by the Greeks - were known at all in Han China. For Eastern Han (1-200 AD) I think there is evidence, but I am not so sure about the Western Han (200-1 BC).  Anyway, I am going to take out my assertion until I get confirmation either way.
 
Hmm, I can't think of an example in the Western Han Dynasty or before of gears in China, but I've already shown an example of one application of gears here, the chain pump of the Eastern Han Dynasty, which pretty much accomplished the same thing that the earlier Archimedes Screw did, lift substance (dirt, water, sand, diet cola (lol), etc.) from a lower elevation to a higher one:
 
The Chinese chain pump was most often used in irrigation works from the Eastern Han Dynasty onwards, but there is evidence to suggest that the first chain pump existed in ancient Egypt long before the Eastern Han model of China. Instead of wooden pallets and such like the Chinese used, the ancient Egyptians used earthenware pots that were carried around and around by wheels that fed the water through drainage pipes in their ancient plumbing system. Pretty impressive stuff. But of course, pipes used for plumbing and waste management of latrines, bathhouses, and such were also utilized by the Babylonians, the natives of Crete and the Greeks, the ancient Indians at Harappa, extensivley by the Romans, the Chinese, yada, yada, so on and so forth.
 
 
The link above is an awesome site describing Roman plumbing and bathhouses, along with other interesting historical tidbits, like this one:
 
An artificial lake created for Augustus measured 1,800' long x 1,200' wide. One of his favorite spectator sports was watching actual battles between opposing fleets of ships, manned by criminals and slaves of the emperors. By Nero's time of 37-68 A.D., a "sea" fight for his amusement would utilize 19,000 men on 100 ships. They fought in gladiator fashion, i.e., until one was killed in combat, or spared by the emperor.
 
Anyways, while this thread is on the subject of architecture, here's the basic typology of Chinese architectural structures, but it is by far not limited to this list (giving just the basics here).
 
A lou is a multistory building
A tai is a terrace
A ting is a pavilion
A ge is a two-story pavilion
A ta is a Chinese pagoda
A xuan is a veranda with windows
A xie is pavilions or houses on terraces
A wu is rooms along roofed corridors
 
On fortifications, here's an always thoughtful post by Yun from Chinahistoryforum.com:
 
The Chinese had a different concept of fortification. Unlike medieval European noblemen, who built their homes up into castles, the Chinese local centre of power was the provincial capital city, which would itself be walled and defended. Since every major Chinese city was walled to protect its governor, the surrounding populace would seek refuge in that city in the event of war, while a rebel army would also have to besiege and take it in order to capture control of the province.

The Japanese daimyo during the Sengoku period were more similar to the European aristocrats, building their headquarters into large castles and also having other minor castles at strategic points. The Koreans, besides their walled cities based on the Chinese model, also had a unique model of Sansong (mountain fortresses), which utilised their rugged terrain to have chains of low fortifications snaking along ridges and mountain ranges, like miniature Great Walls.

A fortress is generally on a larger scale than a castle, while a fort or stockade is on a smaller scale. The Chinese did build many local forts (wubi 坞壁) for self-defence during the chaotic first half of the Age of Fragmentation, when pillaging 'barbarian' cavalry ranged across the northern countryside and village militias had to fight them behind the safety of improvised fortifications. Many of these forts would have been of wood and bamboo rather than the stone and rammed earth of larger walled cities.

The Northern Wei also set up the Six Garrisons (Liu Zhen 六镇) along their northern border to guard against the raiding Rouran, but it is not known how well-fortified they were, since they were originally meant more as forward bases for counteroffensive strikes rather than as static strongpoints for withstanding sieges. The northern nomads avoided siege warfare and were highly mobile, so it was usually more effective to use walls against them rather than isolated forts that they could bypass easily. The Northern Wei, Northern Qi and Sui all rebuilt parts of the Han Great Wall or constructed new walls to defend against the Rouran and later the Turkut. The medieval Europeans were never able to build such lines of walls after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, because of the lack of a central authority to initiate and finance the construction. But the Romans themselves had been avid wall-builders, as seen from the example of Hadrian's Wall in Britain, and the walls of Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire were built up over the centuries to be extremely formidable.

So the building of castles (as in Western Europe and Japan) is not so much an indication of an advanced military as of the fragmentation of local political authority. Whenever the central government became stronger, castles would be torn down because they represented a potential challenge to central control. No such problem existed for the walled cities of imperial China, because they were an essential apparatus of government control over local populations.
 
And once again:
 
One more thing I should point out is that large Chinese cities sometimes had a citadel - a much smaller but more strongly-fortified place either at one corner of the city, or just outside it. This had a similar function to the keep or donjon of an European castle - the garrison could retreat into it if the rest of the city became indefensible or the outer walls were breached. In the case of the Western Jin capital city Luoyang, its citadel was Jinyong Cheng 金墉城, the Iron-Walled Citadel, at the northwestern corner of the city. It was the last line of defence for the capital, and also the place where important prisoners were held. For the capital of the Wu, Eastern Jin and Southern Dynasties, Jiankang (present-day Nanjing), the sh*tou Cheng 石头城 or Stone Citadel served a slightly different purpose. It lay just west of the capital city, on the bank of the Yangzi River to guard the point where an invading fleet sailing down the Yangzi would have to land its troops to make a direct assault on Jiankang.

Ruins of the Nanjing Stone Citadel:


user posted image
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 01-Oct-2006 at 07:30
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  Quote dick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 12:53
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

 
But of course! It's quite a great leap to not build canals at all and then all of the sudden build the longest canal in the world (which it still is, even today, after roughly 1,400 years). Hell, it's quite impossible to contemplate how the ruthless dictatorial regime of the First Qin Emperor would have been able to effectively administer central power and suppression of internal rebellion had he not broken the rifts between the old Warring States and built tons of miles of new Imperial roads and canals linking the river systems of China. By doing this, he not only facilitated greater interstate trade and reciprocity between the once rival regions of ancient China, but it was also an effective measure of sending his troops around to do his bidding and secure the empire effectively by allowing his troops to march and sail at top speeds by following standard road systems and new canals that opened up easier access to every corner of the realm. Very smart move on his part, aside from the mercury digestion. Lol. I never thought I'd say it, but mercury death in this instance was a good thing for China, the succeeding Han certainly would have argued so, if they had known at the time that it was mercury that led to his insanity and death.
 
I was aware that the vertical waterwheel was also known in Han China, but somewhere I have read that they were not geared. Now do not ask me how to drive a vertical waterwheel without gears. Perhaps one should look up whether gears - first invented by the Greeks - were known at all in Han China. For Eastern Han (1-200 AD) I think there is evidence, but I am not so sure about the Western Han (200-1 BC).  Anyway, I am going to take out my assertion until I get confirmation either way.
 
Hmm, I can't think of an example in the Western Han Dynasty or before of gears in China, but I've already shown an example of one application of gears here, the chain pump of the Eastern Han Dynasty, which pretty much accomplished the same thing that the earlier Archimedes Screw did, lift substance (dirt, water, sand, diet cola (lol), etc.) from a lower elevation to a higher one:
 
The Chinese chain pump was most often used in irrigation works from the Eastern Han Dynasty onwards, but there is evidence to suggest that the first chain pump existed in ancient Egypt long before the Eastern Han model of China. Instead of wooden pallets and such like the Chinese used, the ancient Egyptians used earthenware pots that were carried around and around by wheels that fed the water through drainage pipes in their ancient plumbing system. Pretty impressive stuff. But of course, pipes used for plumbing and waste management of latrines, bathhouses, and such were also utilized by the Babylonians, the natives of Crete and the Greeks, the ancient Indians at Harappa, extensivley by the Romans, the Chinese, yada, yada, so on and so forth.
 

 
 
One thing people here tend to ignore is that an invention is only useful if it is widely applied throughout the society, which the Greeks never managed to do. Lots of Archimedes invention never spread out throughout Greek world. In China, because of strong central authority(or authorities), lots of high level technology were spread through a much wider domain. Greek city states are much smaller than Chinese kingdoms, they usually held one or several cities at most, while most Chinese states during the warrring states period held at least upwards of 100. The blast furnace production and canal projects for example, were on a scale unseen in the west because the central government had a monoply in these constructions. Only the Roman empire manged to create a central administration, though their roads might have been somewhat more impressive than their Chinese counterparts, their canal system were dwarfed by the Chinese in scope and efficiency. According to estimation, China had 2,500 km of canal system, thats many times more than what the Romans had. Roman applied physical technology were also relatively backwards in comparison to China's(especially in the area of energy efficiency). What they were strong at were intellectual and architectural engineering.
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  Quote arch.buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 12:55
I dont really know where the focal point of this conversation lies.....but I can say I am a very avid architecture lover. Looking at the two different types of architecture from two very different civilizations can tell us a lot about their everyday life. Which architectual style is superior? Depends on what you mean by superior? As far as what type of architecture fit their culture and way of life better? I would say they are equals, none being any more superior. Speaking in generality....Roman architecture is obviously superior as far as endurance and in influence. Romans also were superior in dome construction. To me, this is in no way being biased its simply fact. Now, if were talking aesthetically then that lies within every individuals own opinion.  
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  Quote dick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 12:58
Hey, as the historian Adshead analyzed, the Romans were more lavish and probably displayed a greater degree of magnificence. But in overall applied physical technology or living standard, the Han probably had it beaten.
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  Quote arch.buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 13:02
Speaking architectually, the Romans were superior. I though thats what this thread was about.
Be a servant to all, that is a quality of a King.
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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 13:25
"I though thats what this thread was about"
 
About what? About Roman being superior to Chinese? 
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  Quote arch.buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 13:38
No, the architectual comparison between the two.
 
Thats just simply my opinion, in general of course. Please refer to my first post.
 
Be a servant to all, that is a quality of a King.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 16:05
Originally posted by arch.buff

Speaking architectually, the Romans were superior. I though thats what this thread was about.
 
But it seems the scope here went beyond that.
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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 16:14
Originally posted by dick

Hey, as the historian Adshead analyzed, the Romans were more lavish and probably displayed a greater degree of magnificence. But in overall applied physical technology or living standard, the Han probably had it beaten.
 
No he said that they had a similiar standard of living,Adshead argument was based on the romans having more miles of roads and the mediteranean ocean as lanes for Superior communication.
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  Quote DayI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2006 at 10:23
from exterior i like the Roman style (compared to han), from interior i like Han style. Roman buildings inside is darky but chinese han ones did allways use bright colors to light it up.

anyway thanks for posting pics!
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