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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: 18-Aug-2009 at 10:26
I just read it in "List of largest empires" article in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires
 
  1. Achaemenid Empire - 44.0% (49.4 million out of 112.4 million[51] in the 5th century BC/480 BC)
  2. Sassanid Empire, Persia - 37.1% (78 million out of 210 million[52] in the 7th century AD)
  3. Qing Empire, China - 36.6% (381 million out of 1.041 billion in 1820)[53]
  4. Roman Empire - 35.9% (80 million out of 223 million[54] in the 2nd century AD)
  5. Maurya Empire, India - 33.3% (50 million out of 150 million in the 2nd century BC[55])
  6. Umayyad Caliphate - 29.5% (62 million out of 210 million[52] in the 7th century AD)
  7. Mughal Empire, India - 29.2% (175 million out of 600 million[56] in 1700)
  8. Ming Empire, China - 28.8% (160 million out of 556.2 million in 1600)[53]
  9. Han Empire, China - 26.5% (59.6 million out of 226 million[53] in 2 AD)
  10. Mongol Empire - 25.6% (110 million out of 429 million[57] in the 13th century)
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  Quote Behi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2009 at 12:05
something is wrong:
Sassanid Empire, Persia - 37.1% (78 million out of 210 million
Umayyad Caliphate - 29.5% (62 million out of 210 million
 

Umayyad had ~whole the Sassanid territory, Egypt & Arbia
but population is less than Sassanid
3 situations are possible:
1. they killed some millions but world pop. is constant, 210 millions
2. mas immigration, but where are the millions immigrants?
3. Sassanid pop. isn't right
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2009 at 22:38
About modern Iran, I know for sure that the most populated region of this country in the south of the Caspian sea was never conquered by Umayyads.
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  Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2010 at 20:49
I am wondering where the wiki list got the figures of Achemenid and Sassanian Persia from. They cited McEvdy and Jones, however I've checked that book, and the figure they gave for Achemenid Persia was only 17.5 million people out of 100 million so barely 1/5 of the world's population, while Sassanian Persia was given at a figure of just over 8 million (78 million is an impossibility since the population of Iran at the turn of the 20th century is only 10 million!). http://www.populstat.info/Asia/iranc.htm
Similarly the figure given for the Ummayyad at its height by McEvdy and Jones was no more than 35 million people. This is actually quite consistent with recent trends since neither Iraq nor Saudi Arabia's population at the turn of the 20th century reached beyond 2 million. (Iraq has just over 2 milion while Saudi Arabia had 1.5 million people in 1900)
 
  So some scholar has apparently been overestimating middle eastern population. That is coupled by the fact that some wiki members just outright fabricated their sources.
 
Here is a better list(certainly can never be achieved, so this is the best estimations I've came across):
 
 
1) Qing Empire - 36% (440 million out of 1.25 billion) 1850
2) Tang Empire - 35% (80 million/230 million) 750
3) Song Empire - 34% (110 million/320 million) 1100
4) Sui Empire - 29% (60 million / 210 million) 615 AD
5) Ming Empire - 28% ( 160 million / 575 million) 1600
6) Han Empire - 27% (65 million / 230 million) 1 AD
7) Roman Empire - 26% (65 million / 250 million) 150 AD
8) Mongol/Yuan Empire - 25% (110 million / 440 million ) 1300 AD
9) Mughal Empire - 25% (150 million / 600 million) 1700
10) British Empire - 23% (460 million / 2 billion ) 1930
 
The estimation for Indian Empires such as the Mauryan state varies too much because unlike China, India never conducted census. McEvdy and Jones gives a figure of around 29 million for Mauryan Empire under Ashoka or around 1/5 of the world's total.  


Edited by honeybee - 16-Jun-2010 at 21:40
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 00:09
It is meaningless to compare the population of Iran or Iraq in the recent centuries with the ancient or medieval population of these lands, it is said the number of ruined cities in these regions is more than the number of modern cities, and we know some cities were several times larger at that time, for example about Tabriz, you can read here: On the strength of the writings of some famous historians, researchers, and travelers such as Marco Polo, Chevalier Chardin, Harold Lamb, Iean Babtiste Tavernier and Ebne Batute, the old city of Tabriz with a population exceeding 1.2 million in the Middle Ages, was one of the biggest, richest and most important centers of commerce in the world. According to some other reports, there were as many as 200,000 residential houses in the city of Tabriz at the time. The city lies within an active earthquake belt; as a result of this inescapable situation it has suffered severely over the centuries. It was re-built in 791 AD after being devastated by a catastrophic earthquake but similar disasters followed in 858, 1042, 1721 and 1780, to claim the life of thousands of people, leaving a completely ruined city.
 
Achaemenid Persians had conquered almost all major cities of the world, I think the archaeological remnants can easily show where the majority of the peoples lived in the ancient times, it is clear that the civilized world attracts people from all over the globe.
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  Quote TheGreatSimba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 06:15
I very much doubt that Iran or Rome had more people than China or even India - ever. Those two probably dominate the list for most of history. In the East, for example, battles included armies ranging in the hundreds of thousands, while in the West battles were tiny when compared, including usually less than ten thousand men, and on fewer occasions tens of thousands of men. I cant imagine Rome having more people than China.


Edited by TheGreatSimba - 17-Jun-2010 at 06:17
I use CAPS for emphasis, not yelling. Just don't want to have to click the bold button every time.
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 07:26
All of the above figures are merely amusing! There is absolutely no way to compute the numbers from the past, what with earthquakes, massive volcanic clouds, climate change, pestilence, mass murder, floods, tsunami's, etc.!

Thus any numbers rendered are based upon mostly useless assumptions, which are based upon other assumptions, etc.!

Regards,

Edited by opuslola - 17-Jun-2010 at 07:27
http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/
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  Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 07:41
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

It is meaningless to compare the population of Iran or Iraq in the recent centuries with the ancient or medieval population of these lands, it is said the number of ruined cities in these regions is more than the number of modern cities, and we know some cities were several times larger at that time, for example about Tabriz, you can read here: On the strength of the writings of some famous historians, researchers, and travelers such as Marco Polo, Chevalier Chardin, Harold Lamb, Iean Babtiste Tavernier and Ebne Batute, the old city of Tabriz with a population exceeding 1.2 million in the Middle Ages, was one of the biggest, richest and most important centers of commerce in the world. According to some other reports, there were as many as 200,000 residential houses in the city of Tabriz at the time. The city lies within an active earthquake belt; as a result of this inescapable situation it has suffered severely over the centuries. It was re-built in 791 AD after being devastated by a catastrophic earthquake but similar disasters followed in 858, 1042, 1721 and 1780, to claim the life of thousands of people, leaving a completely ruined city.
 
 
 

To imply that ancient Iranian population was greater than that of 20th century Iranian population is ridiculous. The census of 1986 showed that many previously uninhabited or lowly populated regions such as Central Plateau and Baluchestan Va Sistan, the population multiplied by several times in the 20th century thanks to the introduction of new crops and technology where previous settlements were impossible. Other more populous centers such as the Caspian coast and in East Azarbaijan, the average density soared because of increased fertility and life span due to improved sanitation and medicine which was only made possible through 20th century advances. While population might vary in ancient Iran due to warfare and socio economic cycles, it couldn’t have surpassed the growth that was achieved in the 20th century through modern technology. Ancient cities are no where as big as modern ones and what we consider magnificent by ancient standards are usually no more than town sized cities by today’s standard.

To say that Sassanian Persia could have a population greater than modern Iran and Iraq combined is just wishful thinking on the fabricator’s part; but his basic knowledge of demographic is so bad that he is not even good at trying to pretend making a credible figure. (Its already clear that he lied about his source since McEvdy and Jones gave around 8 million for early Sassanian Persia, not 78 million which the Wiki liar just pulled out of nowhere.)

 
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

Achaemenid Persians had conquered almost all major cities of the world, I think the archaeological remnants can easily show where the majority of the peoples lived in the ancient times, it is clear that the civilized world attracts people from all over the globe.
 

A comparison of urbanization rate of the world in such an early time has not really been minutely studied to my knowledge. We do know that warring states China had many cities that are over 100,000 in size, while India had many such large cities as well. Both Linzi and Pataliputra had populations of up to 300,000, the two largest cities in the world at the time. Both India and China at this date probably had larger populations than the Persian Empire since we know that most of Iran is uninhabited at this date. In fact the population of Iran has never broke the 10 million mark prior to the 20th century, and for the most part it was significantly lower, usually around 3-5 million people in ancient times (see McEvdy and Jones). Iraq’s population similarly never broke a few million at most. This stands in contrast to 4th century BC India and China, both having populations which approached 30 million.

 
 


Edited by honeybee - 17-Jun-2010 at 08:38
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  Quote TheGreatSimba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 07:44
I agree, once again, India and China had larger populations than either Rome or Persia. For example, while large Persian or Roman armies may have reached 100,000 men (rarely), Chinese battles commonly included hundreds of thousands of soldiers, which was no unusual in the East.


Edited by TheGreatSimba - 17-Jun-2010 at 07:45
I use CAPS for emphasis, not yelling. Just don't want to have to click the bold button every time.
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  Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 07:51
Originally posted by opuslola

All of the above figures are merely amusing! There is absolutely no way to compute the numbers from the past, what with earthquakes, massive volcanic clouds, climate change, pestilence, mass murder, floods, tsunami's, etc.!

Thus any numbers rendered are based upon mostly useless assumptions, which are based upon other assumptions, etc.!

Regards,
 

 

Actually, we do have archeological evidence in forms of artifacts, city layout and even erosional data, we also have ancient censuses (which is only taken by some countries, China being the best recorded one while India had no census so it is extremely difficult to estimate.). However it is indeed extremely difficult to give even approximate numbers for states prior to the past few centuries. But for the near past, we do have population projection estimates and greater abundance of written sources and they can be somewhat accurate.



Edited by honeybee - 17-Jun-2010 at 08:28
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  Quote DreamWeaver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 08:11
Opusola is somewhat right though, it is very hard to calculate world population within any degree of accuracy for the ancient world.
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  Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 08:25

That’s true, but what we can estimate is the maximum carrying capacity of population in ancient times, but not the actual numbers for the given period. However, for states within the past few centuries we can get a fairly accurate estimate through backward projection of modern population.

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  Quote DreamWeaver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 08:38
Yet it does still largely remain speculation therefore as one can only estimate a maximum at best. Therefore attempting a ranking system can be very deceptive.
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  Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 08:46

A detailed rank for the top dozen is indeed problematic, however I don’t think listing the possible candidates is an impossible task.

I also don’t think the fact that the Qing Empire had the most people in world history is a heavily disputed fact. Few older states with their given boundaries could even approach a third of the world’s population let alone surpass it to such an extent.



Edited by honeybee - 17-Jun-2010 at 08:46
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 08:53

honeybee, you are absolutely wrong about the poplation of cities in the ancient and modern times, it is clear that some cities were certainly more populated in the ancient times, for example just the palace of Darius the Great at Susa is larger than the modern city of Susa, archaeologists have discovered several ancient cities in the deserts that no one lived from hundreds years ago, like the large Achaemenid city of Dahaneh Gholaman which is said to be the capital of Zranka Satrapy.

I wonder what you imagine about the Persian empires, for exmple about the Sassanid empire, did you know that Kashgar of China and Gujarat of India were also parts of this empire?
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  Quote DreamWeaver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 08:58
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

honeybee, you are absolutely wrong about the poplation of cities in the ancient and modern times, it is clear that some cities were certainly more populated in the ancient times, for example just the palace of Darius the Great at Susa is larger than the modern city of Susa, archaeologists have discovered several ancient cities in the deserts that no one lived from hundreds years ago, like the large Achaemenid city of Dahaneh Gholaman which is said to be the capital of Zranka Satrapy.

I wonder what you imagine about the Persian empires, for exmple about the Sassanid empire, did you know that Kashgar of China and Gujarat of India were also parts of this empire?


Size does not always = population
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 09:14
Originally posted by DreamWeaver

Size does not always = population
 
What about the number residential buildings?! Maybe they built them just for fun!
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  Quote TheGreatSimba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 09:22
Well, I guess a case can be made for the Achaemenid Empire considering neither India nor China were unified entities.


Edited by TheGreatSimba - 17-Jun-2010 at 09:24
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  Quote DreamWeaver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 10:33
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

Originally posted by DreamWeaver

Size does not always = population
 
What about the number residential buildings?! Maybe they built them just for fun!



Well that would depend upon the number of residents contained there in.
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  Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2010 at 16:35
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

honeybee, you are absolutely wrong about the poplation of cities in the ancient and modern times, it is clear that some cities were certainly more populated in the ancient times, for example just the palace of Darius the Great at Susa is larger than the modern city of Susa, archaeologists have discovered several ancient cities in the deserts that no one lived from hundreds years ago, like the large Achaemenid city of Dahaneh Gholaman which is said to be the capital of Zranka Satrapy.

I wonder what you imagine about the Persian empires, for exmple about the Sassanid empire, did you know that Kashgar of China and Gujarat of India were also parts of this empire?
 
Oh no, its common sense that some cities in the past were larger(also being geographically larger does not mean it had a greater population), but the general trend is that modern cities are much larger, for example, there are several cities in Iran, such as Tehran, Mashhad, Esfahan, Tabriz, and Shiraz with populations around or over a million today.  Tehran has 8 million people, which is far larger than any Persian city in history. In addition, there are over 30 cities with populations of over 100,000. This is alot more populous than any other time in history. Most of these cities grew by several folds from the 1920s -1950s.
 
As for Sassanian empire, really these cities you mentioned are quite small. For example, Kashgar's population was only around a few ten thousands in ancient times, this was recorded in Hou Han Shu. It was more of a town in modern standards. In fact all of Turkestan at the time probably had no more than 3 million people. So no matter how much you count them, to imply that Sassanian Empire had 78 million(I don't even know why you are insisting on this number, I already pointed out that the source which the wiki poster cited from was a lie since I checked it) is saying that the population of the region in the 5th century AD was as large as it was in the 1990s, which is simply absurd.


Edited by honeybee - 17-Jun-2010 at 21:32
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