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Top Ten Empires by Percentage of World Population

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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Top Ten Empires by Percentage of World Population
    Posted: 03-Aug-2011 at 02:13
Comparison between the populations of modern and ancient lands should be based on the civilized and uncivilized lands, like modern and ancient America, the clear fact is that the civilized lands usually attract more people from all around the world.
 
We know where the first civilizations were formed and these regions could be certainly the most populated parts of the world, 2500 years ago, two continents were "uncivilized" and the most civilized parts of three other continents had been conquered by Persians, so the ancient Persian Empire can't be compared to other empires which ruled just some parts of the civilized lands.
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  Quote Guaporense Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Aug-2011 at 20:41
The Roman Empire ruled a larger proportion of the civilized world than the Persians. As can be attested by ancient historians.

The Persians didn't rule the following civilized lands: most of India, China, Italy, Carthage's empire and most Greek cities. The bulk of the civilized world was not ruled by Persia.
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  Quote Guaporense Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Aug-2011 at 20:43
Polybius Histories, book 1, chapter 2:

"We shall best show how marvellous and vast our subject is by comparing the most famous Empires which preceded, and which have been the favourite themes of historians, and measuring them with the superior greatness of Rome. There are but three that deserve even to be so compared and measured: and they are these. The Persians for a certain length of time were possessed of a great empire and dominion. But every time they ventured beyond the limits of Asia, they found not only their empire, but their own existence also in danger.The Lacedaemonians, after contending for supremacy in Greece for many generations, when they did get it, held it without dispute for barely twelve years. The Macedonians obtained dominion in Europe from the lands bordering on the Adriatic to the Danube,—which after all is but a small fraction of this continent,—and, by the destruction of the Persian Empire, they afterwards added to that the dominion of Asia. And yet, though they had the credit of having made themselves masters of a larger number of countries and states than any people had ever done, they still left the greater half of the inhabited world in the hands of others. They never so much as thought of attempting Sicily, Sardinia, or Libya: and as to Europe, to speak the plain truth, they never even knew of the most warlike tribes of the West. The Roman conquest, on the other hand, was not partial. Nearly the whole inhabited world was reduced by them to obedience: and they left behind them an empire not to be paralleled in the past or rivalled in the future. Students will gain from my narrative a clearer view of the whole story, and of the numerous and important advantages which such exact record of events offers."

He was a Greek historian that had his homeland conquered by the Romans, writing in the mid 2nd century BCE already spoke of Rome as the ultimate empire. He didn't know of China and considered India to be outside of the Roman world.


Edited by Guaporense - 03-Aug-2011 at 20:46
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Aug-2011 at 03:03
Originally posted by Guaporense

The Roman Empire ruled a larger proportion of the civilized world than the Persians. As can be attested by ancient historians.

The Persians didn't rule the following civilized lands: most of India, China, Italy, Carthage's empire and most Greek cities. The bulk of the civilized world was not ruled by Persia.
 
Roman Empire was always one of empires, not an absoulte superpower empire like the Achaemenid empire, at the same time of the Romans, from Kashgar in the north of China to Yemen in the south of Arabian peninsula, belonged to the Sassanid empire.
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  Quote shokdee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2011 at 06:28
Originally posted by honeybee

  we can estimate ... the maximum carrying capacity

This is pure "kookery" Confused     (quoting Webster Tarpley).


Giammaria Ortes: The Decadent Venetian Kook Who Originated The Myth of "Carrying Capacity"
by Webster Tarpley, The American Almanac, June 20, 1994
http://american_almanac.tripod.com/ortes.htm


Edited by shokdee - 06-Aug-2011 at 06:41
Monkey see monkey do be doobie do
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  Quote Guaporense Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2011 at 21:42
Carrying capacity is perhaps a useful concept but it is not fixed, as technology and the intensity of land use and the importation of foodstuffs can greatly change the number of people that can be feed on a certain quantity of land.
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  Quote Guaporense Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2011 at 21:51
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

Originally posted by Guaporense

The Roman Empire ruled a larger proportion of the civilized world than the Persians. As can be attested by ancient historians.

The Persians didn't rule the following civilized lands: most of India, China, Italy, Carthage's empire and most Greek cities. The bulk of the civilized world was not ruled by Persia.
 
Roman Empire was always one of empires, not an absoulte superpower empire like the Achaemenid empire, at the same time of the Romans, from Kashgar in the north of China to Yemen in the south of Arabian peninsula, belonged to the Sassanid empire.


Did you read my source? Polybius never described the Persian as an absolute superpower, that "superpower" was crushed by Macedonia in 3 years and that was defeated by a handfull of Greek city states during the Persian wars. Persia was big on the map, but that doesn't mean it was an ultimate superpower like Rome was.

The Roman Empire was much more powerful than the Persian Empire in relative terms. The Sassanids were small in importance, with about 1/10 of the population of the Roman Empire, they were not ruled by Rome because the low population density meant that the costs of conquering the Sassanids were greater than the benefits of occupation. And still the Sassanids emerged during the decline of the Roman Empire, during their peak, from 50 BCE to 150 CE the Roman Empire ruled the ancient world in a way that no other state ever did. Yes, there were other states outside the roman empire, but in the mediterranean world system Rome was the ultimate arbitrer. It was a world with 1 sovereign state: Rome.

Not before nor after there was an empire like Rome's in the world of Europe and the Middle East. Only the Chinese empires were comparable to Rome in the sense that they ruled an entire civilization.
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  Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2011 at 11:36
Originally posted by Guaporense

The estimates that put Persian population at 18 million are very conservative. They base their estimates on the distribution of the modern world population and they regress modern numbers to the ancient dates, assuming a certain world population. For instance, China is though to have 20-25% of the world population in many points in history, so they assume that China had 30 million people right in 300 BCE, when the world had 150 million people.

However the distribution of the world population 2400 years ago was very different. For example, Greece was much more densely populated in classical times than in the early 20th century. In 350 BCE it has been estimated that the region of Boeotia in central Greece had 200,000 inhabitants, while in the 1889 census the same region had 42,000 inhabitants and today it has 130,000 inhabitants. Greece as a whole had 9 million people in 350 BCE (counting Magna Graecia, Greece proper, Western Asia minor and the greek colonies spread throughout the mediterranean), or about 6% of the world's population at the time. We know that because Mogens Herman Hansen has used modern methods for estimating the population of Greece using the walled area of cities and knowing that as a city state culture, most greeks lived in cities.

Classical Greece depended on imported grain and the heavy use of fertilizers to maintain their high population density. Their economy was very advanced, probably much more advanced than China and India at the time.

Polen data shows that agricultural production in the eastern mediterranean peaked in the period from 500 BCE to 200 BCE. So at the time of Alexander his part of the world was very densely populated. So the Persian Empire probably had a bigger proportion of the world population than suggested by the 18 million figure. Egypt alone had at least 5 million people and probably 7-8 million, not 3.5 million and the Persian Empire had probably 35 million people. About 25% of the world's population. Also, with a territory of 7-8 million square kilometers, a population of 18 million would be too small to allow a population density for this empire to effectively rule over their domain.


The Roman Empire probably had 70 million people, but estimates vary from 60 million to well over 100 million. Considering that Greece achieved 9 million people, the whole Roman Empire could have acheived over 100 million. So they are a serious candidate for an empire with more than 40% of the world's population inside their borders.


Thats not how they derived that figure and I suggest you actually read the book. Also, the 30 million figure for Warring States China is made by a number of professional demographic historians in China from works such as the Zhongguo renkou tongshi by examining the military mobility ratio. It is not an assumed estimate.
 
Estimates which are academical puts the Achaemenid population between 17-35 million and no higher(any higher estimate are not actually made by demographic historians so they have no weight).
 
As for the Roman Empire, it is also highly unlikely to have 40% of the world's population, if we take the high count, we also have to increase the world's total population to 300 million-400 million according to UN estimates, so the Roman Empire still had at most no more than 1/3, and most likely less than a quarter.
 
As of now, the only Empire where we are quite certain to have achieved close to 40% of the world's population is the Qing. If we add in vassal states, it would have had over 40% percent.


Edited by honeybee - 16-Oct-2011 at 21:56
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2011 at 01:53
Originally posted by Guaporense

Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

Originally posted by Guaporense

The Roman Empire ruled a larger proportion of the civilized world than the Persians. As can be attested by ancient historians.

The Persians didn't rule the following civilized lands: most of India, China, Italy, Carthage's empire and most Greek cities. The bulk of the civilized world was not ruled by Persia.
 
Roman Empire was always one of empires, not an absoulte superpower empire like the Achaemenid empire, at the same time of the Romans, from Kashgar in the north of China to Yemen in the south of Arabian peninsula, belonged to the Sassanid empire.


Did you read my source? Polybius never described the Persian as an absolute superpower, that "superpower" was crushed by Macedonia in 3 years and that was defeated by a handfull of Greek city states during the Persian wars. Persia was big on the map, but that doesn't mean it was an ultimate superpower like Rome was.

The Roman Empire was much more powerful than the Persian Empire in relative terms. The Sassanids were small in importance, with about 1/10 of the population of the Roman Empire, they were not ruled by Rome because the low population density meant that the costs of conquering the Sassanids were greater than the benefits of occupation. And still the Sassanids emerged during the decline of the Roman Empire, during their peak, from 50 BCE to 150 CE the Roman Empire ruled the ancient world in a way that no other state ever did. Yes, there were other states outside the roman empire, but in the mediterranean world system Rome was the ultimate arbitrer. It was a world with 1 sovereign state: Rome.

Not before nor after there was an empire like Rome's in the world of Europe and the Middle East. Only the Chinese empires were comparable to Rome in the sense that they ruled an entire civilization.
 
It is better to not talk about the Achaemenid times because Romans were not civilized and probably lived in the caves in that time, but about Romans and Sassanids, what has been passed into European cultural memory is just "humiliation", for example they remember that Roman empror who was used as a stepping stool for the Persian king of kings!
 
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  Quote Starsucks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Oct-2011 at 16:23
The fact the Persians, in some manifestation (Parthians, Sassanids) or another were a thorn in the side of the Roman Empire for multiple centuries is one of the most overlooked aspects of world history! They had some incredible battles, and without the Persians to stop them, the Romans may have easily spread Western culture throughout the Middle East and to the Indian subcontinent.
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