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Rome vs. Han continue

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: All Empires Community
Forum Name: Historical Amusement
Forum Discription: For role playing and alternative history discussions.
Printed Date: 08-Dec-2022 at 05:05
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Topic: Rome vs. Han continue
Posted By: honeybee
Subject: Rome vs. Han continue
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 01:09
since this is closed, it would be moved to historical amusement, I'm going to start one here since its quite interesting.

Posted By: warhead
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 01:22

"so to sum up 15 pages of this thread

Western Person: My great empire could beat your great empire!

Chinese Person: nuh-haww, my great empire beats yours!

Western: your wrong slanty eyes!

CHinese: unwashed barbarian you shall die!

Western: poopy head!

Chinese: stupid face!

Western: China totally sucks

CHinese: Rome is so gay (not entirely false statment)

Western: yeah, well Rome had like NUKES!

Chinese: yeah well China had like LASER NINJA EUNUCHS! (also probably not entirely flase)

Western: nu-huh

Chinese: uh-huh

Western: yeah, well your mom is stupid!

(at this point, warheads famous -at least among moderator circles-hot headedness cannot tolerate it anymore, and as usual...)

Manchu-Chinese:  F!!K! S&^T! A$$! BLAAHHHH RABIES ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


The only half-baked ideology is your own. In fact I've clearly presented my sources where the Roman defending debators are lacking theirs. When asked for their source they only cower away and change topic.

Posted By: warhead
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 01:23

This site might provide another source while waiting. -



"I have found it necessary to question one important conclusion of the Chinese metallurgists: this concerns the process by which iron was smelted from ore in early China. A group of Chinese metallurgists, writing under the pseudonym Li Zhong (1975), have proposed a method for distinguishing artefacts made from bloomery iron from those made from fined iron. The bloomery process, which produces wrought iron directly from ore, was the only process used in the ancient West for the smelting of iron. In late Medieval times the process of producing cast iron in a blast furnace and fining this to produce wrought iron was introduced and in time replaced the bloomery process. In China actual blast furnaces and fineries have been excavated from as early as the first century B.C. (e.g. Gongxian 1962; Zhao Qingyun et al. 1985; WW 1978.2: 28ff), but these are the earliest iron-production furnaces so far known in China, and we have no direct evidence concerning what processes may have been used for iron production in China before this time.

In the fining process cast iron is heated to a pasty state (a temperature well over 1000deg.C) and stirred about with an iron rod under an oxidizing blast of air. This removes most or all of the carbon from the iron, so that the result is steel or wrought iron. The process has been used in China almost up to the present; see the descriptions of the traditional process translated in Wagner 1985: 22-25, 60-69, esp. 66. A useful textbook on most aspects of pre-industrial iron-production technology is Rostoker & Bronson 1990.

The Li Zhong group propose that microscopic examination of sl*g inclusions in wrought iron artefacts can be used to determine whether the raw material used by the smith in making the artefacts was bloomery iron or fined iron. Using this method they find that the wrought iron and steel artefacts from the Yan grave described above were all made from bloomery iron. I have argued in my forthcoming book (Wagner 1993, chapter 6, section 6.4) that the proposed method is inadequate, and that the question of whether the bloomery was ever used in ancient China remains unanswered. In renewed study of the question it will be important to consider Jerzy Piaskowski's very recent proposal (1992) of a method along similar lines.

In my own discussion of the question of bloomeries in ancient China I emphasize the great sophistication of early Chinese copper-smelting and bronze-casting techniques. Careful and highly technical consideration of these suggests that an iron technology which grew out of this bronze technology would most probably be one based on the production of cast iron in blast furnaces rather than the production of wrought iron in bloomery furnaces. Thus it is quite possible, as Joseph Needham suggested long ago (1958: 15; 1980: 520), that the bloomery was never known in China.

A question of terminology must be mentioned briefly here. The traditional Chinese word for the process I call "fining" is chao , whose basic meaning is "stir-frying", a process in Chinese cooking which the iron-production process resembles . The word has unfortunately been translated into English in numerous different ways, e.g. "roasting", "parching", "puddling", "refining", "fining". "Fining", the word I have chosen here, is a nineteenth-century English word for a broad range of iron-production processes which work in the same general way. Readers of the available literature in English on ancient East Asian iron-production processes are hereby warned to be aware of the different terms used for the same process. Similarly they should be aware that bloomery iron is often called "sponge" iron.

Another means of producing wrought iron raw material from cast iron was used in the Han and somewhat later times. Whereas in the fining process the iron is heated so hot that it is in a pasty state and can be stirred about, it is also possible to use a lower temperature and decarburize the iron in the solid state. Cast iron from the blast furnace is cast into thin plates, typically on the order of 10 x 20 cm and 0.4 cm thick (e.g. KGXB 1978.1: 21, pl. 2.4). These are heat-treated, presumably in a kiln, in an oxidizing atmosphere, perhaps at a temperature of 750-850deg.C for a period of days. This process removes the carbon and results in wrought-iron plates which can be easily formed by the smith by either hot or cold hammering. This process was probably less fuel-efficient than fining, but may have been more labour-efficient and, perhaps most important, lent itself to large-scale production by unskilled labourers with quality control by sampling rather than piece-by-piece testing. We shall see below certain artefacts found in Korea and Japan which resemble these Chinese artefacts and may be imports from the large-scale iron industry of Han China. "

Posted By: Tobodai
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 01:25
oh warhead, your actually very good at citing sources and being logical, you were only the last line of dialougue.  For all your greatness you do tend to lose your cool, the other chinese dialougue is not you, its coolstorm or soemone lik ethat.

"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
-Alexander Hamilton

Posted By: warhead
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 12:37

Now I'm swinging the hammer.

"Also, Warhead, your arguement doesn't hold weight until you can give data on how widespread the usage of steel or high quality Iron was. "

S.A.M. Adshed's book China in world history 2nd edition.

The whole book is comparative and begins from 200 b.c. to 1976 In page 10 of comparison:

"Chinese agriculture was further differentiated from Roman by China's superiority in mettallurgy in antiquity particularly iron...This mettarlugical superiority both affected agriculture and war. The Chinese arable farmer , in addition to his other advantages, had more and better iorn implements than their Roman counterpart. If China clung to infantry where Constantinople switched to cavalry, it was partly because the Chinese footsoldier was better armed and was better able to cope with his equestrian opponents than the Roman legionary, for example it was doubtful if Roman artisans could have produced the precision-made bronze trigger mechanism required for the Chinese crossbow.......The capacity to cast iron, in turn, raised the level of steel production both in quantity and quality. Wrought iron is low in carbon, cast iron is high in carbon, and steel lies in between. For premodern siderurgy it was easier to decarbonize than recarbonize. So, by the Han period, the Chinese, starting with cast iron, could produce considerable quantities of good steel by what was, in essence the Bessemer process of oxygenation, liquifying the iron while simultaneously blowing away part of the carbon; while the west, starting with wrought iron, could only produce limited amounts of poor steel by heating the iron in charcoal. "

And here is some reference to the Arab steel you spoke of;

"The Damascus and Toledo blades, which were later to so impress the Crusaders, were the products of transplanted Chinese technology and when Pliny the Younger spoke admiringly of Seric iron, he was probably thinking of Chinese steel."

Enough weight for you? Or are you still stubbornly defending Roman weaponry like the other Roman defenders in which their arguments is entirely based on assumption and ignorance despite what Needham, Adshead, Shapiro, Wagner, and pelntity others say about the superiority of ancient Eastern iron.

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 13:10
the previous Rome vs Han topic was closed, and that wasn't without a reason.


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