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发表于 2018-3-17 22:24 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式


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Whichwas more technologically advanced, the Roman Empire or Han China?

Hoang Nghiem (严黄), Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
Updated Jan 25 · Featured on Quora'sTwitter
Thanks for the A2A Mike Jen, the short answer is that when viewedobjectively from afar, the Roman Empire (27 BC-1453 AD) along with its Easterncounterpart, the Han Dynasty of China (206 BC-220 AD) were roughly equal, withregards to their respective technological levels of attainment.
The Roman Empire at its heights in 117 AD, with a land area of 5million km^2:


Honestly speaking though, how is it possible to truly evenanswer this question? What defines “more” technologically advanced anyway? Thenumber of inventions? Probably not. Then there is the matter of potential:could the runner up society have defeated the current technological hegemon,should it have been convenient for them to? Perhaps. “Necessity is the motherof invention” after all according to the Ancient Greek Philosopher, Plato.
Then there is the matter of accuracy with regards to bias. Isthere a tendency to exaggerate a particular number in order to fulfil a hiddenagenda? After all, when comparing two great fathers of civilization together,things inevitably tend to get a little… heated let’s just say, at least frompersonal experience. It is a matter of cultural, civilizational and perhapseven national pride after all - completely understandable.
Territories of the Han Dynasty at its heights in 100 AD, with aland area of 6.5 million km^2:


Which is not to say that this author will be biased, evendespite the fact that he is of a Han Chinese ancestral composition, for heconsiders personal prejudices (of which he has many) to be a blatant insultagainst “good” history writing. So rest assured, he will certainly try (thekeyword here being “try”) to keep it impartial throughout the course of the entireanalysis.
Now, the way this works is simple, the authorwill attempt to compare both Chinese and Roman endeavors together, throughout avariety of different technological areas. He will however, leave it primarilyup to you; his audience to objectively decide based on the presented factsbelow, as to who was truly more advanced between the two civilizations in aparticular area.


But of course to keep things fair, as he does not completelytrust in his audience to do so, will also offer up his own verdicts on who wasprobably technologically “superior” with regards to the aforementioned matters,at the end of each comparison. Speaking of which, here are the areas oftechnology which shall be compared throughout the following analysis (some ofwhich do overlap it should be noted):
·        Metallurgy
·        Agriculture
·        Hydraulics and Mechanics
·        Medicine
·        Astronomy
·        Naval Technology
·        Aeronautics
·        Materials Engineering
·        Mathematics
·        Civil and Structural Engineering
·         Military Technology
With all that said and out of the way however, it’s time to finally beginthe comparison.
Warning:Long answer dead ahead of 18,900 words.

·         冶金
·         农业
·         水利与机械
·         医药
·         天文
·         海军科技
·         航空学
·         材料工程
·         数学
·         土木与结构工程
·         军事科技


Roman Metallurgy was known to be unbelievably advanced for its time. Atthe peak of its production around 150 AD, Roman Silver production had alreadybeen estimated to have been 5–10 times larger than both “Dark Ages” Europe, andthe mighty Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258 AD)’s Silver production combined at thedawn of the 9th Century AD.
Roman productions also of both Copper and Bronze meanwhile, remainedunsurpassed anywhere in the world until the Industrial Revolution of the mid19th Century. Lead on the other hand, was produced on a scale so large, thatsome Historians have even gone so far as to claim that its production led to,“the oldest large-scale hemispheric pollution ever reported” in the History ofMan.
Case in point, based on the projections of many different sources alike,here is a table below comparing the Han Chinese, and Roman Metal Productions inmetric tonnes; (Source: Comparison between Roman and Han Empires):



In saying that on the other hand, Roman production of coins was farsurpassed by its Han counterparts.
By the mid 3nd Century AD, the Romans had managed to produce roughly 98million coins annually by one academic estimate. This greatly contrasted with the Han Chinese, who at its peak from 118 BC to 5 AD, managed to produce onaverage a magnitude of 220 million coins per year, or roughly 2.24 times morethan the Romans did.
The difference however between the two civilizations; was the compositionof which their currencies were made of. Han coins for one, were either made outof Copper, or Bronze Alloy (Copper mixed with Tin). Roman coins on the otherhand often varied between not just Copper, but Bronze, Silver and Gold alike.This suggests that Han production of Copper, whilst presently unknown at anofficial level, would most likely have outclassed their Roman counterparts by asignificant margin.
The different types of coins which existed under the RomanEmpire:



A Chinese “Wuzhu” coin dating back to the Era of the “MartialEmperor”, Han Wudi (reigned 141–87 BC):


The Roman Empire at this point in time, had also just independentlyinnovated the concept of “Cast Iron Tools”. Archaeological evidence howevermaintains, that this was done quite late in their history during the ImperialEra; sometime within the 4th-5th Centuries AD.
The Han meanwhile did not invent cast iron tools themselves, but had hadit by that point in time for roughly 500 years already; an entire 1,000 yearsbefore the Romans did, and therefore presumably outclassed the latter in castiron based objects, with regards to not only quantity, but even quality aswell.
This is an understatement really, since Cast Iron production was actuallyperfected during the 426 year long reign of the Han Dynasty, through the use ofspecialist furnaces which converted Iron ore into “Pig Iron”, and from thereinto “Cast Iron”, greatly improving civil and military tools alike.
Evidence meanwhile, for large scale mining operations and processingestablishments, have to this day been discovered en masse throughout the formerterritories of Roman Iberia.
Roman ingots of lead from the mines of Cartagena, Spain:



It was a similar case also for the former domains of Britannia inaddition, which was likewise overflowing with natural wealth at the time. Goldfor example has been discovered to have been mined at Dolaucothi in Wales,Copper and Tin in Cornwall, and Lead in Pennines and the Mendip Hills.Britannia’s Iron Production alone in fact, was 2,250 tonnes annually, oralready 50% of Han China’s total Iron production at a national level.
Italian steel meanwhile, limited as it was due to the fact that Romanfurnaces had a limit of roughly 1300°C, roughly 240°C short of the ability tomelt “pure” iron, still to this day is widely considered by Historians all overthe world alike, to have remained unrivalled at its peak. Indeed, even in theface of the aforementioned limitations, they were still able to forge “WroughtIron”, from which a form of steel known as “Wootz” was derived.
Verdict: The Roman Empire would appear to have been more advanced with regards to Metallurgy. The quantity of Roman produced metals, unrivalled until the advent of the Industrial Revolution nearly 1,850 years later gives them a decisive edge over the Han, despite the fact that the Chinese had some notable advantages also. Rome: 1; Han: 0.



 楼主| 发表于 2018-3-17 22:25 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
The dominance of Roman over Han Agriculture however, is not as clear aswas the case previously for Metallurgy.
Roman Agriculture which of course peaked during the course of the Nerva-AntonineDynasty (96–180 AD), greatly varied by region. But based on sources which havebeen ascertained from Wikipedia via Roman agriculture, state that for every average sowing of135 kg of seed per hectare, the following numbers are returned asalphabetically ordered by province (chart is self-created so no sourceavailable):



Self-evidently, the annual output of wheat varied by region,which when averaged, returns a number amounting to 848 kg/ha, for the entireRoman Empire, which is surprisingly comparable to levels finally attained bythe countries of a “Least Developed” status in 1963, which today still accountsfor roughly 25% of all nations in the world as of 2018.
From Egypt alone in fact - the most agriculturally productiveregion in the Roman Empire - 20 million modii (or approximately 174.6 millionkg) of wheat were produced, allowing for at least 2/3 of the city of Rome tohave been fed alone, or 670,000 individuals roughly. If this number is constantfor the population as a whole, then based on the derived calculationsresultant, would amount to an annual national production figure of 15.714billion kg of grain per year, or 225 kg of wheat per person.
The Roman Empire was also quite fortunate to have been able topartly “mechanize” their Agricultural productions most notably in addition. Tothis extent, the Romans used a form of automatic harvester, primarily Oxenpowered, allowing them to have harvested ears of wheat as much as required,whilst also simultaneously rejecting its body at a parallel level.
The aforementioned Gallo-Roman Harvesting Machine, an originalRoman invention (not necessarily used all over the Empire however, presentevidence suggests exclusive use in Gaul only):



The Romans also used extensively utilized mills (found all overModern France and Italy), to grind wheat into flour. The most impressiveremains of these Roman innovations can be seen today in Barbegal, France, inwhich 16 overshot water wheels arranged into 2 equal columns were purposefullypositioned in order to be fed by the main Roman aqueduct. The water would pourdown into a certain mill, which then also acted as the supply for the next onedown in the series also.
The Romans also used extensively utilized mills (found all overModern France and Italy), to grind wheat into flour. The most impressiveremains of these Roman innovations can be seen today in Barbegal, France, inwhich 16 overshot water wheels arranged into 2 equal columns were purposefullypositioned in order to be fed by the main Roman aqueduct. The water would pourdown into a certain mill, which then also acted as the supply for the next onedown in the series also.
Rome’s Agricultural production however falls slightly short oftheir rivals’ supposed numbers, which has previously once been claimed beforeto have lain somewhere in the vicinity of 16 billion kg of wheat per year, ormerely 1.8% more than Rome. Said to have led both the world in annual grainyields at a absolute and per capita level, this would have amounted toapproximately 280 kg of wheat per person, or roughly 11% more than their Romancounterparts.
Abetted by the perfection also of Cast Iron tools from before,the Han saw major advances in Agricultural technology with regards to theChinese invention of the “Multi-Tube Seed Drill”, pictured down below asfollows:



It was a revolutionary tool which made the sowing of seedsquicker, more efficient, and less time consuming. And it was directly as aresult of this innovation, that production yields were maximized thus acting tosustain population growth henceforth.
The Han Dynasty however, did not only invent the Multi Tube SeedDrill to help them in the areas concerning Agricultural production, butlikewise also innovated the concept of the “Replacement/Alternating Field” or“Daitianfa” (代田法) Method of Farming, in which fields were divided into multiplelong narrow trenches, making it easy for the various seeds to be placed intothose said trenches.
In addition, the soil that fell from the mountain tops on whichthe trenches were placed, supported the stalks of the various new plants. As aresult, this method also made it easier to water. It was a development whichallowed Intensive Farming to emerge first in China, before it did in the RomanEmpire. The Chinese invention of the Wheelbarrow around 100 AD likewise,further acted to make Han Agricultural productions more efficient, by making iteasier to travel back and forth during in the intervals between each individualharvest.
A reconstruction of the Chinese invention of the wheelbarrow,originating back to the Early Han Era:



An all new plough was also invented during the Han Era whichrequired only 1 man to control it, 2 oxen to pull it, and was complemented with3 plowshares, a seed box to collect the drills, and a tool which turned downthe soil. This new discovery hypothetically allowed the Chinese to sow apotential 45,730 m^2 in a single day.
Verdict: Tough call, but a point should probably be awarded to theforemostly agriculture centric society of Han, which had also even went so faras to place the farmer near the top of the social hierarchy, second only toImperial Official. Furthermore, it should already be self evident that the Hanmade several more important discoveries to the fields to Agriculture than theirWestern counterparts did. Rome and Han: 1 all.



Hydraulics and Mechanics
The Hierapolis Sawmill was probably one of Imperial Rome’sgreatest innovations in the realm of Mechanical Engineering. The sawmill, locatedin Asia Minor, was water powered and considered still to this day to be theearliest machine in the world to feature a “Crank and Connecting Rod”mechanism. It greatly assisted the Romans in converting wood, into lumber.
An artist’s impression of the Hierapolis Sawmill, anotheroriginal Roman Invention:



It was precisely due to the invention of a Crank and ConnectingRod mechanism, which in time would also lead to the creation also of SteamPower. Created by a Greek Mathematician known today as Hero of Alexandria, hisinvention; the Aeolipile, was considered to be far ahead of its time, as properSteam Power wasn’t invented until at least 1698, with the advent of the SteamEngine.
The way in which it worked, was that a bladeless turbine wouldspin, when the central water container was heated. Torque as a result, wasproduced by the resulting steam which exited from the turbine, reflecting aphenomena still evident today with Jet engines.
An illustration of Hero’s Aeolipile:



Though the Romans didn’t invent the Steam Engine themselves,they did however most notably already have the means to construct oneregardless based on this knowledge.
Apart from the earlier innovations of the Hierapolis Sawmill’sCrank and Connecting Rod Mechanism, and now also Steam Power derived from theAeolipile, the Romans also had intimate knowledge regarding the existence of aCylinder and Piston (used by metal force pumps), aside from non-return valves(utilized by water pumps) and gearing also (which water mills and clocks used).
All the five elements necessary to create a full, working SteamEngine as such, were already in existence by this point in time, long beforesuch a status quo was replicated by their Chinese rivals, on the far side ofthe world, many hundreds of years later.
Rome’s utilization of the Crane meanwhile, also reached itsheyday in the Imperial Era, an image of which can be seen below in thisparticular case of a “Pentaspastos”, or Five Pulley medium sized Crane, whichcould carry a 450 kg load:



Even the simplest Roman Crane however, the Trispastos had amechanical advantage of 3:1 as it came equipped with three pulleys. Assumingthat the average fully matured adult man could lift say 50 kg, then this is tosay that the aforementioned pulley could help him displace a weight amountingto 150 kg.
The largest of the Roman Cranes however, the 10.4 metre highPolyspastos, had 5 pulleys and needed to be crewed by 4 different individuals,which would then allow them to lift a potential 3,000 kg. It could have evenlifted up to 6 tonnes however if the appropriate adjustments were made.
A photo below depicting the large Roman crane known as thePolyspastos:

然而,罗马最大的起重机---- 高达10.4米的“Polyspastos”拥有5个滑轮,需要4个成员来操纵,可吊起3000公斤。如果对其做一些适当的调整,重量甚至可以提升到6吨。

When compared to say Ancient Egypt for example, where 50 menwere required to lift a 2,500 kg load up a ramp, the Polyspastos allowed oneindividual to quickly and easily lift 3 tonnes worth of materials, greatlyincreasing efficiency when it came to matters of construction.
In the East meanwhile at this point in time, the Han Chinesewere also quite busy at work with their own contributions in the areas ofMechanics and Hydraulics.
The mechanical Belt Drive for example, was first introduced toHumanity by the Han Dynasty of China. The belt was an important innovation, asit was then used to assist in the winding of silk fibres, onto the bobbins ofweaver shuttles.
Speaking of which, the “Loom” had also first appeared onto thestage of the world by this point in time. Importantly, it would sooner ratherthan later be used to create the exotic material known as Silk, en masse. Silkwould of course later go on to contribute to the vast wealth of China forthousands of years to come.
A historical depiction of the Han invention of the loom:



The Seismoscope meanwhile, was probably one of the greatestinventions of the Han Dynasty during China’s Early Imperial Era. Earthquakes,which had long plagued Sino civilization from time immemorial, often (asEarthquakes do) strike without warning, and were always highly catastrophic.
Naturally in response to such an annoying threat, a ChineseAstronomer known as Zhang Heng invented the Seismoscope in order to detectwhich direction an Earthquake had, or was currently occurring in, in order toquickly direct relief efforts to the affected areas immediately. In 132 BC forexample, it successfully detected and identified an Earthquake which wasoccuring 500 km in a specific direction, despite the fact that no tremors couldbe felt at the time.
A photo depicting Zhang’s device below (equipped with a “Crankand Catch” Mechanism, whenever an Earthquake was detected from afar, aninverted pendulum would swing to 1 of 8 directions. In response, a metal ballwould then drop into a frog’s mouth, to indicate the direction in which anEarthquake was currently occurring):



Both the Romans and Han however, shared two things in commonwith regards to the field of Mechanical and Hydraulic Engineering: they bothused water mills and chain pumps throughout the duration of their respectiveempires. In the case of the Roman Empire, the set of aforementioned Water Millswhich were introduced back in the previous chapter, has been aptly described by21st Century Historians to be, “the greatest known concentration of mechanicalpower in the ancient world”.
The Han however, took Hydraulic developments one step further,by inventing both a waterwheel powered Mechanical Puppet Theatre which featuredmany self moving automatons, and also the water clock. The water clockfunctioned in that it measured the passing of time, based on the regulated flowof liquid into, or out of a container.
The Han Era Water Clock, used by the Imperial Chinese to measurethe passing of time and was made out of Bronze:



The creator of the Seismoscope, Zhang Heng was also the first toaddress the issue of the falling pressure head, with regards to the inflowwater clock (which gradually slowed the timekeeping process over time) bysetting up an additional tank between the reservoir and inflow vessel.
The creator of the Seismoscope, Zhang Heng was also the first toaddress the issue of the falling pressure head, with regards to the inflowwater clock (which gradually slowed the timekeeping process over time) bysetting up an additional tank between the reservoir and inflow vessel.
Rotary fans most notably also led to the invention of theWinnowing machine, where they were actively also utilized, to separate grainfrom the casing of their seeds. A crank handle and tilt hammer was used toachieve this. Ideally, a cranked fan was to produce an airstream in order topower the utilized rotary fan, which in turn would be used on the harvestedgrain afterwards.
Rotary fans most notably also led to the invention of theWinnowing machine, where they were actively also utilized, to separate grainfrom the casing of their seeds. A crank handle and tilt hammer was used toachieve this. Ideally, a cranked fan was to produce an airstream in order topower the utilized rotary fan, which in turn would be used on the harvestedgrain afterwards.



Verdict: Although the Han definitely made more contributions in thisparticular area, the Romans made quite a couple of highly importantdevelopments also, and thus their capabilities can be considered to have beenequal. The steam powered machine for example, was unbelievably advanced for itstime. Still, the same could technically be said for China’s contributions inthese fields also. Rome: and Han: 2 all.

 楼主| 发表于 2018-3-17 22:27 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
Because the Romans were not so expertly skilled at Medicinethemselves, they often had to borrow experts and field knowledge based on theworkings of the Ancient Greeks. Nonetheless, they were still able to producesome prominent figureheads such as Galen, or Celsus.
Roman Medicine at its heights, was characterized by an everexpanding knowledge on the fields of practical medicine, and saw great advanceswith regards to the field of Surgery. From the second century AD, literarytexts contributed to by many physicians known as the “Medici”, allowed Rome toassist in their understanding of which herbs were appropriate for a specificailment.
Ippomarathron or Fennel for example was known to cure cases ofpainful urination, internal disorders such as stomach pains were meanwhilesuppressed using Ra (Rhubarb), Aristolochia (Birthwort) was used to easebirthing pains, Aloe for wounds and Glikoriza (Liquorice) for calming internalorgans.
Reliefs from well preserved archaeological sites such asPompeii, have been known to have provided experts with tangible evidence,regarding the use of forceps, tweezers, wound retractors, collecting cups,needles and various sized scalpels to assist Roman doctors in surgery.
Roman Surgery tools, commonly used during the first and secondcenturies during the Early Roman Empire:



Using such tools, Roman doctors could perform a wide variety ofsurgeries, including but certainly not limited to: cataract removal, drainingof fluids, trephination, and sometimes even the reversals of circumcision. Itshould be noted however, that like in most other societies at the time, Surgerywas considered to be a last resort, due to the risks involved in such adangerous and unsanitary practice at the time, giving rise to infectionspost-operation.
The first hospitals to appear in Italy were also introducedduring the course of the Roman Empire, alas they were usually only reserved forslaves and soldiers however. Valetudinaria as they were called, were mainlyrectangular and accompanied with 4 wings at any given time. Their maximumcarrying capacity could accommodate up to 500 men, or 10% of an ImperialLegion.
A plan for a Roman Valetudinarium, near Düsseldorf, Germany,dating back to the late 1st century AD:



Roman physicians by this point in time, were also self-aware oftheir own limitations however, with regards to the treatment of certain wounds.Serious injuries to the brain, heart, liver, spine, intestines, kidneys andarteries for example, were widely considered by many at the time to have beenbeyond the expertise of many physicians alike.
Roman Medicine, often defined by common sense and supremepracticality, was sometimes also negated by a lot of pseudoscience at best, andobsolete practices at worst. Doctors would for example interpret a patient’sdreams in order to decide on what treatments a sick person would receive.Furthermore, was the Roman belief that drinking blood fresh from a recentlyslain Gladiator, would cure epilepsy. Needless to say, these treatments wereusually redundant.
On the bright side however, the Romans did also correctlyhypothesize (based on Greek knowledge retrieved from renowned Hellenicphysician, Hippocrates) that the key to living longer lay at the base of a wellbalanced diet. Thanks to the efforts of Galen meanwhile, bandages weresterilized in wine first before being applied onto an injury.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) meanwhile, used still to thisvery day in certain parts of the world, was also likewise utilized during theHan Dynasty 2,000 years ago. Whether there is or is not evidence for theeffectiveness of TCM of course however, remains highly controversial even tothis very day.
Acupuncture (the inserting of needles in order to accelerate thebody’s natural healing processes) was and still is one of these aforementionedcontroversial practices (practitioners of Acupuncture today have claimed thatmany physical and mental illnesses, can be cured by such a practice. Naturally,many others are quite sceptical of such claims, but it presumably would havealso acted well as a placebo, which has been scientifically proven to sometimesbe just as effective as the genuine cure), an acupuncture chart depicting thewhereabouts of an individual’s “Meridian” lines, are seen below as follows:



But apart from these possible trivialities, the Han Chinese alsomade many notable practical contributions to the fields of Medicine however.Pulse diagnosis for one, was practiced by the physicians of the Han Dynastywhich understood that an individual’s health could be ascertained merely bymeasuring their heart rate.
Because of this discovery, it allowed them to recognize that ahealthy person was one who had a low resting heart rate for example. Not onlythat, but this also allowed them to often guess which treatments were requiredto nurse an individual of poor health, back to optimal standards with regardsto physical condition.
Practical advice meanwhile, was given in regards to the act of“Clinical Lancing”, in order to remove an abscess. A Medical text known as the“Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” (黃帝內經) meanwhile,recognized the medical phenomena of the Circadian Rhythm; a biological clockknown to have repeated itself every 24 hours or so. The text also noted thesymptoms and reactions of people with various diseases of the liver, heart,spleen, lung, or kidneys in that aforementioned 24-hour period.
Aside from these practical treatments however, other morequestionable cures which were said to have allowed for the better flow of bloodthroughout the Human body, also existed at the time, chief amongst which wasthe practice of Moxibustion (a process where dried plants are burnt near thesurface of the body, with the intention to also dispel certain pathogenicinfluences):



Still, it was through the efforts of a Chinese physician, ZhangZhongjing who much like his Roman counterparts also notably suggested that poorhealth was as a result of bad dieting, and in followed up in his medical text,the “Essential Medical Treasures of the Golden Chamber” (金匱要略) with advice onwhich foods were rich in which vitamins, in order to treat illnesses naturallywith the resources of nature.
Another Chinese physician known as Hua Tuo, who had studied theYellow Emperor’ Inner Canon, used it to develop a form of anesthesia, which hethen applied to be used for surgical purposes. In addition to that developmenthowever, he also innovated a very particular type of cream which was recordedas having the ability to heal surgical wounds within a month’s time. And yet inanother recorded example, he correctly identified a premature fetal death,which he then removed, curing the mother of her ailments.
Physical exercise meanwhile, was upheld by the Han (much likethe Romans) as a way to stay naturally fit and healthy. Calisthenics wereupheld in the Han Dynasty, as mentioned in the Chinese philosophical books, the“Mawangdui Silk Texts” (馬王堆帛書), which originally hadmany detailed images depicting the most appropriate forms of exercise toincorporate into one’s daily routine, in order live by a healthy lifestyle.Both Qigong and Taichi to this day, are considered to have been derived fromHan Era Calisthenics.
Verdict: When the nonsense half from both civilizations’ understandingof Medicine is taken away, it would appear at first that the two were roughlyequal. But due to the existence of hospitals, and a seemingly superior surgeryknowledge, Rome slight edges out the Han Empire here. Which is not to say thatthe Chinese were necessarily inferior however, it would seem that Chineseunderstanding of natural medicine, often studied at an official level, edgesout their Western counterparts. Rome: 3; Han: 2.


 楼主| 发表于 2018-3-17 22:28 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
As the oldest of the natural sciences, Astronomy has had quitethe long and varied history in both the Roman and Han Empires alike.
The Roman astronomer Ptolemy, was said to have not only studiedthe motions of the heavenly bodies in depth, but had also mapped out roughly1,000 different unique stars. Throughout the duration of Imperial Rome,Sundials were already being used to measure the passing of time, and couldusually be found in most major towns. From the volcanic ashes of Pompeii alonefor example, 35 sundials have been retrieved in modern times by archaeologistsexcavating at the site.
A photograph depicting a Roman Sundial as can be seen below:



Although he wrongly insisted that the Earth stood still, whilstthe Sun moved around it, Ptolemy did however understand the conceptual notionsof “Retrograde Motion”, the observation that despite the fact that planets inthe night sky only rotated around the Earth in one direction, occasionally theywould also appear to journey backwards.
He also subsequently followed up such observations with aplethora of complicated mathematical equations, in order to predict when eachplanet would go into retrograde motion. The Roman historian Cassius Diomeanwhile, records the observations of Halley’s Comet by Roman astronomers.
Most notably, the Romans also knew that the Earth was round.Sailors were already using the stars to navigate the High Seas, and contrary toPtolemy’s own beliefs, certain Roman astronomers had already correctlyhypothesized, that the Earth went around the Sun, rather than vice-versa. TheJulian Calendar meanwhile recorded a year as being 365.25 days long, dividedinto 12 months in a year.
A later European Star Chart based on Ptolemy’s work:



Han Chinese achievements meanwhile in the realm of theAstronomy, were at least as equal to their Western counterparts. The Chineseastronomical text, the “Miscellaneous Readings of Cosmic Patterns and PneumaImages” (天文氣象雜占), made many detailed, visual depictions ofroughly 300 different climatic and astronomical features including clouds,rainbows, stars, constellations, and comets.
A comet which was observed in the Parthian Empire (247 BC–228AD) at the time of the birth of Mithradates II (the same one which theRepublican Romans had also observed prior to the assassination of JuliusCaesar), was also likewise spotted by Chinese Astronomers in 135 BC.
The Han much like their Roman counterparts were also known tohave used the Armillary Sphere (having invented the water powered variantthemselves), in order to be used as a model for the Heavens above, the linesaround the spheres represented the notions of Longitude and Latitude. Shownbelow is the variant designed by Astronomer Zhang Heng (who also invented theSeismoscope mentioned previously):



Halley’s comet, mentioned before as being accounted for byCassius Dio, was likewise spotted by the Han Chinese, roughly 25 years beforetheir Roman contemporaries back in 12 BC. What is now known to be a Supernova ,was also likewise known to have been observed by Han astronomers in 185 BC.
Various comets were also discussed with regards to theirpositions in the sky, and which direction they were then currently moving,along with their colour, size, and for how long a period of time they werevisible; all of which were recorded by the Chinese Historian, Sima Qian in histext, the “Records of the Grand Historian” (史记).
Zhang Heng’s works in accounting for the stars, allowed him toaccount for 2,500 different stars (as opposed to Ptolemy’s 1,000 observedstars), along with 124 constellations, an effort which had been aided by SimaQian in his text, “A Monograph on Celestial Officials” (天官書).
And as for official Taichu Calendar (太初历) which was usedofficially by the Han Chinese meanwhile, whilst not as accurate as the JulianCalendar, still manage to calculate the tropical year, approximating it to 365.385/1539 days, whilst asserting that the duration of the lunar month was 29.43/81 days. Before long however, the former Sifen Calendar (古四分历), which hadbeen introduced roughly 600 years prior by that point in time, was re-adoptedby the Chinese, which made the same estimates as its Julian counterpart haddone in the West, with regards to the length of a specific month and year.
Like their Roman counterparts, the Han Chinese also made fulluse of Sundials as well (this particular one was retrieved from Inner Mongolia,dating back to the 2nd Century AD):



Similar to Ptolemy however, the Han believed incorrectly in aGeocentric Model of the Solar System. Though the Chinese did not know that theEarth was round unlike their Roman counterparts, thanks to the efforts of JingFang, a musical theorist, it was quickly understood that the Moon was onlybright since it reflected the light emanating from the Sun, a belief which wasalso shared by Zhang Heng.
Zhang in addition notedthat sunlight didn’t always reach the Moon, a phenomenon due to thefact that Earth would obstruct the rays during a Lunar eclipse.Solar eclipses, were also observed by the said Han astronomer, whereby sunlightwas prevented from reaching by the moon.
A common thought during the Han Dynasty that rain came from theareas beyond the Earth, was also disproved during this point in time, when anastronomer called Wang Chong argued in favour of an evaporation process, whererain came from water retrieved from the oceans instead, in his book, “BalancedDiscourse” (论衡).
Verdict: Due to the overwhelming number of quality discoveries made bythe the Middle Kingdom, this next point by far goes to Han China. The Chinesewould not have “steamrolled” the Romans, however there can be no doubt that itwould be they which should emerge victorious in the end. It seems veryself-evident that the Chinese was a Space oriented society, with a detailedknowledge of celestial mechanics. Rome and Han: 3 all.



Naval Technology
Roman civilization by the time of the Empire had already hadquite a long and proud maritime tradition, even despite the fact that theRomans were often fairly suspicious of travelling by the sea, since theythought that it was always infested with ocean going monsters at any giventime. As a result, they often preferred to travel by land instead.
Nonetheless, Roman achievements with regards to Naval Technologycan neither be ignored nor underplayed. Shipbuilding to the Ancient Romans wasmore than just a mere science as it often perceived to be today, rather it wasan art first and foremost.
During the Imperial Era, the Romans abandoned their traditionalmethods of building the outer hull first, and instead replaced it with one usedstill to this day; constructing the frame of an ocean going vessel, beforeproceeding onto its hull and other crucial yet “secondary” components.Described to be a more systematic type of method, it dramatically shortened thetime required to adequately construct a solitary ship.
A reconstruction of a Roman anchor:



Warships meanwhile, were designed to be light, yet inhumanlyquick (due to the fact that it operated both on wind power and human labour)and better still, highly maneuverable. Each war vessel came equipped with abronze ram, which was used to smash into an opposing enemy ship, severelyacting to cripple or even, provided the damage was extensive enough, wholly sinkit. Underwater hulls meanwhile often came equipped with a ratio of 6:1 or 7:1.
The Trireme, traditionally the main war vessel of the RepublicanEra (509–27 BC), during Imperial Rome was largely superseded with the vastlysuperior Quadrireme and Quinquereme class warships of the Imperial Navy. Incontrast to the Trireme before which was merely crewed by 180 rowers, the RomanQuinquereme had the capabilities to house a crew of 300 rowers, accompanied by90 oars on each side.
A graphic below depicting the Quadrireme Class Battleship, withits two distinctive “forts” located at the vessel’s bow and stern:



Speaking of which, the crew contrary to popular beliefs, was notmade of slaves, rather they were formed from the ranks of Roman citizens whohad signed up for the Legions, just like any other “normal” enlisted man. Thisdeeply serves to imply the professionalized nature of the Imperial Navy as awhole also in addition.
Anyways, with a length of 45 m, and a width of 5 m, it was ableto easily displace 100 tons of water, and was superior to the Republican EraTrireme with regards both to speed and the ability to perform to an excellentstandard in only the most treacherous of seas.
A mosaic from Tunisia depicting a Trireme Class Battleship,which was still used during the Imperial Era:



Roman military ships in addition were greatly aided in maritimebattles by a boarding device which was used to board hostile ships known as theCorvus. It was a movable bridge which could attach itself to an enemy ship,allowing the Romans to transfer their military experience on land, to theirmartial endeavours at sea. Naturally, this acted only to assure Romansuperiority on the High Seas all throughout the Imperial Era.
Merchant class vessels on the other hand, were just as likely tobe as advanced as their military cousins. Their underwater hulls were usuallysignificantly shorter, with a ratio in some instances of 3:1, speaking of whichwere also usually a lot deeper than the vessels of the military, disallowingthem often to sail close to the coastal regions. Merchants ships were also thenaval, vehicular equivalent of “Marathon” runners, thus they were built to alsobe efficient over long distances, constricting them thus in the sense thatneither speed nor maneuverability were a priority when it came to theconstruction of such vessels.
They also usually came equipped with two huge side rudderslocated off the stern, the likes of such which were controlled by a smalltiller bar linked to a system of connecting cables. And depending on the sizeof these said vessels, often possessed between 1–3 square shaped sails,complemented also by a smaller triangular variant known as the “Supparum” atthe vessel’s bow.
Carrying capacities often oscillated between 100–150 tonnes ofcargo, with the maximum limit allowing some vessels to have been able to holdup to 3,000 amphorae (liquid holding containers). Roman merchant vessels havebeen known to be able to carry up to 600 tonnes of cargo though it should benoted, or to put it another way; the rough equivalent of carrying on board12,000 amphorae. Such behemoths were estimated to be 46 metres in length,besting even the Quinquereme class battleship, which was exactly a metreshorter.
A model of a Roman Merchant Ship:



Chinese Naval Technology on the other hand compared to theirWestern counterparts was relatively non-existent. The Romans, had already had anational standing Navy previously established in the year 311 BC, but itwouldn’t be for another 1,300 years during the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD) untila similar maritime force was created by the Chinese to defend their coasts fromforeign invasions, and ruthless pirates.
Though the Han Chinese didn’t fear ocean travel as the Romansdid, they were mainly a landpower however and as such saw few improvements inthe realm of Naval Technology. An Early Han Era shipyard discovered back in1975 was said to be capable of producing ships for both the Merchant andMilitary navies, each of which was up to 30 metres long, 8 metres wide, andweighed 60 tonnes each. And yet another shipyard meanwhile was discovered tohave existed in Anhui province, which focused specifically on the creation ofmilitary vessels.
The “Junk” for the first time in Chinese history was meanwhileintroduced during the Han Era by the end of the 1st Century AD, and still tothis day is considered to be China’s earliest seaworthy naval vessel. The HanEra Junk had a square ended bow and stern (forcing them to sail in thedirection of the winds), a hull which was flat bottomed, and solid transversebulkheads as a replacement for the structural ribs often found in Romanvessels.
The Junk, which most notably lacked a sternpost, attached thenewly invented rudder to the back of their ships instead. The following Han EraMerchant ship model visually depicts such a notable detail down below asfollows (where the rudder is mounted at the back of the boat):

而中国的航海科技,在当时与罗马比起来,存在感就没那么强了。罗马人早在公元前311年就已建立了一支国家级常设海军。直到1300年后的宋代(公元960 - 1279年),中国人才建立一支类似的海上力量,用以保卫他们的海岸免受外来入侵和无情海盗的袭扰。


Because of the new Chinese invention of the “Stern-MountedRudder” during this point in time meanwhile, which replaced the previously usedSteering Oar, allowed Chinese ships much like their Roman counterparts to bequite capable of travelling unto the high seas at will, in order to exchange domesticallyproduced goods and services, for their internationally produced counterparts.
A Han contemporary, Wan Chen, in his book, “On Strange Things ofthe South” meanwhile, notes that the Han had merchant ships which could carrycrews of up to 700 individuals (twice as much as the largest Roman ships),vessels which could complement a cargo with weights of up to 260 tonnes (farshort of Rome’s largest naval ships, which could carry up to 600 tonnes worthof cargo or 2.3 times more than a “Large” Han ship).
Wang explains with regards to the capabilities of such ships, asfollows below:
"… these ships sail without avoiding strong winds anddashing waves, by the aid of which they can make great speed because theiroblique rig, which permits the sails to receive from one another the breath ofthe wind, obviates the anxiety attendant upon having high masts.”
Though China did not have a standing navy, they did howevermaintain a reserve military force which was capable of waging war at sea,should the occasion have called for it (such forces were used in the invasionsof Vietnam for example back in 111 BC, where Han Marines disembarked on theEastern coasts of the Nam Viet Kingdom (204–111 BC), quickly routing thedefending native forces).
The Imperial Navy itself meanwhile was said to be quite varied.There were 4 major classes of warships during the reign of the Han Dynasty,including the Wing, Stomach Striker, Bridge, and Spire Class battleships.
The “Stomach Striker” Class Warship for one was described to bewhat was essentially a huge mobile battering ram, smashing and decimating otherships on impact both from speed and sheer weight alone despite lacking a ram -a mistake which the Romans would and did not ever make historically during thesame time period. They are depicted below here as follows:



Then there were also “Spire” Class Battleships, which wereessentially oversized floating fortresses; the naval equivalent of siegetowers. They could house up to countless hundreds of men equipped with siegeengines, allowing them to easily overwhelm a fort or city’s defences once theygot up “close and personal”. That was supposing that they ever got therehowever, as their large size often meant that they were also highly impracticalto field, and an easy target to destroy via the launching of many flamingprojectiles en masse and in unison at a single concentrated area.
Their inhumanly large sizes, made for what was essentially“shooting fish in a barrel”; often the foremost priorities of enemy fireships(as self-evident below in this artist’s impression):



If compared to land based military units in fact, the Wing Classwas the equivalent of chariots, Stomach Strikers to battering rams, Spire Shipsto mobile assault towers and Bridge ships to the Imperial Cavalry.
Verdict: As fanciful and exotic as Chinese Naval technology may appearto some, when objectively viewed from an impartial third party point of view,it becomes fairly apparent that Roman ships were usually qualitatively betterthan their Chinese counterparts. The fact also that Rome possessed a standingNavy whilst Han China did not, deeply implies their superiority in the fieldsof Naval Technology, an expertise which they also partially acquired from thePhoenicians and Greeks. The Chinese of course, still did make some outstandingcontributions themselves in this field as well however. Rome: 4; Han: 3.


 楼主| 发表于 2018-3-17 22:30 | 显示全部楼层
The Romans appeared to not have been all too enthusiastic whenit came to the fields of Aeronautical Engineering, and presumably would haveborrowed off the achievements of the Greeks. Although the records available forscholarly use today seldom mention anything with regards to an Imperial Roman“Flying Machine”, we do know that roughly 2,400 years ago, a Greek by the nameof Archytas had already been known to have introduced the notion of a “SteamPowered Pigeon”.
Considered to be the world’s first artificial, self-propelledflying device, Archytas’ Pigeon was hollow on the inside, made out of wood andwas shaped cylindrically with wings projected out to both sides of its body.The front meanwhile, was pointed in the shape of an actual pigeon’s beak. Itwas described to be quite aerodynamic, allowing it to reach maximum potentialwith regards both to velocity and flying distance.
Concept drawings for the original Flying Pigeon, as firstinvented by Archytas:



The opening of Archytas’ Pigeon was then connected to a boiler,which, as it begun to heat up, acted to create more and more steam, eventuallyexceeding the mechanical resistance of the connection, prompting the Pigeon totake flight along a suspended and lengthy wire, for roughly 200 metres beforecoming to a halt. Though thoroughly a Ancient Greek invention, it is quitelikely that the Romans which eventually conquered Greece in its entirety, wouldeventually have come to also be quite familiar with such a concept themselves.
Roughly around the times Archytas in the East meanwhile, theChinese had also been conducting flight experiments themselves, which saw thefirst introductions of a “Bamboo Helicopter”, debuting originally as a child’stoy. The bamboo helicopter flew, when a stick attached to its rotor was spun,creating the lift needed to fly when released from the appropriate heights.
An artist’s impression of Ancient Chinese children playing withthese so called “Bamboo Helicopters”:



As for Aeronautical innovations made during the course of theHan Dynasty itself meanwhile, in great contrast to their Roman counterparts,the Han Chinese were able to make quite a few native developments andinventions themselves.
The Chinese kite, was one of these many aforementioneddevelopments. The kite (whilst invented prior to the Han Era, was meanwhilesignificantly improved during it) was not only created as a means to transportmessages to far off locations, but was also used to scare the enemies of theChinese by mere appearance, as gravity defying objects were not a common sight,equally for all of China’s citizens alike.
In this respect, Kites were thus also made out of bamboo,because the sounds it was reported to make resembled the Chinese words of “fu,fu” (“beware, beware”), actingto further intimidate the soldiers of the opposition. Bamboo also made for astrong, light framework. A kite’s flying line meanwhile was made of Silk, foradded tenacity.
A modern day Chinese Kite, which still partly resembles kitesfrom the Han Era:



An early version meanwhile, of the Hot Air Balloon known as the“Sky Lantern” was meanwhile invented during the last years of the Chinese HanDynasty, by a strategist known as Zhuge Liang.
The Ancient Chinese, for hundreds of years had alreadyunderstood that as the temperature in a certain enclosure accelerated, theresulting heated air subsequently rose to the top, because it was less densethan the air surrounding it. Using this knowledge, they applied these ideas tocreate a Sky Lantern. A paper balloon to this extent was created to engulf asmall lamp which was placed inside it, allowing the lantern to defy gravityaltogether.
Zhuge Liang was the inventor of the aforementioned product,which he used to frighten the enemies of his commander-in-chief, Liu Bei away.Aside from such a major development however, there is also evidence in supportof the notion that the Han Chinese "solved the problem of aerialnavigation" using said balloons, hundreds of years before the rest of theworld did 1,500 years later.
A Modern Chinese “Sky Lantern” (which has changed very littlesince the times of the Han Dynasty):



Verdict: As the Romans have not really been recorded as having had manynative innovations in the fields of Aeronautics themselves, their Han Chinesecounterparts automatically win by default. Even with the Greek invention of theFlying Pigeon however, Rome’s innovations in this particular area, certainlyfall short of the Chinese developments of the Kite and Hot Air Balloon duringthe Han Era. Rome and Han: 4 all.


Materials Engineering

Both the Han and Roman Empires had many unique materials whichtheir respective counterparts did not get around to using in the same timeperiod.
The Romans for one were known to have greatly excelled atproducing Glass derived objects, the likes of such were considered to be vastlysuperior to other comparable wares, which were alternatively made from preciousmetals such as silver or gold. They did not just exist to be used by the RomanUpper Class, but were also mass produced to such an extent by the end of theEarly Imperial Era, that glassware was often also used as cups, bowls, plates,bottles, and other everyday containers.
An example of Roman glassware, as commonly encountered in theImperial Era:




Both the Roman Vitriarii (glass makers) and his complement; theDiatretarii (glass cutters) alike, by the times of the Imperial Era, couldalready use a variety of techniques to transform simple glass vessels intohighly decorative pieces. Though initially Republican Roman glass was oftenopaque, glass making throughout the reign of the Empire had begun to progresssteadily to such an extent, that by the end of the Flavian Dynasty (69–96 AD),colourless glass had begun to emerge for the first time in the History of Man.
During the Imperial Era in addition, Roman glass was also ableto be artificially manipulated to such an extent, that glasses of colour couldalso be produced simply by increasing or decreasing the amount of presentoxygen, whilst the glass was still in production within the furnace itself. Butlater on yet still, the Romans had imminently found a better way to produce colouredglass, and from then on simply added small amounts of metal to the mix, inorder to achieve a certain shade or tint.
They discovered for example, that the adding of Lead, would leadto a yellowish colour. Copper equalled blue, green and red, Cobalt to dark blueand while, whilst adding Manganese to the mix returned the colours of pink andred.
In this way, they were also able to invent “Cameo” Glass, bymixing and experimenting with different types of colours, all infused into one.Such a development in time lead them to create the famous Portland Vase, acameo glass object which was produced in the initial years of theJulio-Claudian Dynasty (14–68 AD), and can be seen below:



Apart from the Portland Vase however, the most famous of objectwith regards to Roman Glassware would had to have been the “Lycurgus Cup”,forged sometime in the 4th Century AD. Created from combining red and greencoloured glass together, the thick layers of the said material which was usedto forge the cup, were take away altogether, to leave behind a figure attachedto the main body of the vessel only by the use of a solitary hidden bridge ofglass.
Most notably, the cup was made from “Dichroic Glass”, which wasspecial because it actually changed colours based on the presence or absence oflight. It is depicted below, it was green when it was placed in the shadows,but red when it was placed in the light (which is why it is often regardedtoday as one of the earliest examples of nanoengineering in history):



Apart from innovations made in the fields of glass, the Romansalso came up with the concept of Roman Concrete (likewise also not used by theChinese), better remembered in antiquity by its proper name: “Opus Caementicium”.Forged through a combination of quicklime, pozzolana, and pumice, RomanConcrete came to be used in a variety of different structures.
For 700 years in fact, concrete was one of the primary materialsused by the Romans to construct their buildings. Not only did it act toliberate the Romans from the use of just stone and brick materials, but it alsoenabled the Romans to come up with entirely new yet extremely complex designfeatures.
Historian Donald Robertson recounts the effects of this newlyintroduced phenomenon as follows:
“Concrete, as the Romans knew it, was a new and revolutionarymaterial. Laid in the shape of arches, vaults and domes, it quickly hardenedinto a rigid mass, free from many of the internal thrusts and strains thattroubled the builders of similar structures in stone or brick.”
Modern tests, seeking to evaluate the tenacity of OpusCaementicium have concluded it to be as strong in certain areas as PortlandConcrete, with a compressive (rather than tensile) strength of 200 kg/cm^2.Such a trait acted to make Rome’s buildings, materially resistant to such anextent, that even 2,000 years later, there are still many well preserved Romanruins littered all across Europe, North Africa, and the Levant.
A photo depicting the Roman invention of the Arch as follows (aconcept which was only made possible due to Roman concrete):

历史学家Donald Robertson叙述了这种新发明,如下所叙:
人们试图用现代测试方法评估Opus Caementicium(罗马水泥)的韧性,测试结果是,其在某些方面与波特兰混凝土一样坚固,其抗压强度(注意不是抗拉强度)为200 kg /cm^2。这种特性,使罗马的建筑、材料抗压性达到了相当高的程度。即使是在2000年之后,仍有许多保存完好的罗马废墟遍布整个欧洲,北非和黎凡特。


The Han Dynasty on the other hand, also likewise saw someinteresting developments in the fields of Materials Engineering. Though neitherthe glass nor concrete were known to Chinese civilization at this point intime, the Han did have a few native contributions which the Romans likewise didnot produce for whatever reason that may be.
Paper was first invented during the times of the Late HanDynasty, supposedly by a Eunuch called CaiLun. The raw materials which Chinesepaper was said to have been produced with, namely worn fishnet, bark and cloth,were extremely easy to get a hold of, allowing it to have been produced bothcheaply and en masse.
Paper was a vast improvement to the writing materials which hadpreceded it, during the Warring States Period before (476–221 BC). Back then,bamboo slips were used to write on, but due to the amounts which one wouldrequire in order to write a book, was often highly impractical and orinconvenient to use. Books as a consequence prior to the Han Era, tended to notjust be confusing to read (for certain topics), but physically difficult for apotential reader to carry.
A page from the oldest surviving book in the world, writtenmerely 30 years after the usurpation of the Han Dynasty (in 220 AD) during thesucceeding civil war era of the Three Kingdoms Period (220–80 AD):


The introduction of paper meanwhile, eliminated such an innatedisadvantage, and was naturally as such adopted throughout the lands of the“Celestial Empire”.
Porcelain was also another material which was discovered duringthe Han Era by Chinese scientists, one which was also not used by the Romans onthe Western end of the Eurasian Continent. The oldest extant “Blast Furnaces”were of course invented by Chinese civilization prior to the reign of the HanDynasty by hundreds of years. With temperatures going up to at least 1200°C bythe times of the Han Empire however, this was what permitted the Chinese tocreate a new type material for the first time ever, in its history rememberedtoday as Porcelain.
Porcelain, was a type of dust which had bonding and waterproofqualities making it highly appropriate to use as the basis to make bowls, jugsand dishes. The importance of China’s porcelain advancements cannot beoverstated. Even during the Han Dynasty, the Chinese had already developed theabilities make their porcelain wares so durable to such an extent, that even tothis day, the porcelain that is retrieved still retains much of its originalpaint from 2,000 years ago.
A porcelain pillow dating back to the Han Dynasty, assumednowadays to still be intact with its original paint:



The last Chinese material which the Romans did not havemeanwhile, but was used extensively by Sino civilization during the course ofthe Han Dynasty, was of course silk. Silk had of course already been around forhundreds of years by this point in time, but during the Han Dynasty especiallywas further advanced by Chinese scientists with regards to objects whichderived from the aforementioned material.  
Highly desired by all the empires of Eurasia alike, silk was notjust used as clothing material by the Han Chinese, but also as fans, wallhangings and when paper was not available, writing material. Sericulture hadalready been around for 3,400 years by the start of Han Era China, allowing theHan Chinese to have had hundreds of life times worth of experience in everymatter of relating to silk.
More specifically, during the course of the Han Empire, silk asa material evolved to be finer and stronger, the former was specificallyevident in one example where 220 warp threads/cm were woven in a particular setof clothes. Different breeds of silkworms meanwhile, were used to crossbred toproduce many different types of new silkworms, who were multi-talented to sucha degree that they could produce threads with different qualities useful to theweavers.
Not produced anywhere else in the world at the time, the Chinesejealously guarded their secrets from all of Eurasia for the next 200 yearsafter the Han Era ended. Seen below was a Han Era silk brocade:



Verdict: This is where things get difficult. The issue is that bothcivilizations were highly advanced with regards to Materials Engineering, butthey both excelled at different things and therefore non comparable aspects ofcivilization. Thus, it would neither be wise, nor fair, nor even productive tonominate a winner at the clear expense of the other. The point shall go both toImperial Rome and China. Both made several indispensable innovations. Rome andHan: 5 all.


Roman advances in the realm of the Mathematical sciences weredisappointingly few, going so far as to even be next to minimal (to put itbluntly). Few figures of prominence arose during the reign of the Empire, andfewer advances still were made with regards to mathematical theory.
And the reason for this was simple, the Romans; a supremelypragmatic peoples with little need for the notions of “Pure” Mathematics,concentrated instead on Applied Mathematics, which they frequently used inmatters pertaining to Economy and Engineering. And not only that, but the mostmathematically inclined region of the Empire (Greece), had already beenruthlessly suppressed by the former Republic halfway into the 1st Century BC.
The most notable exception to Rome’s issues in this fieldhowever came with the adoption of Roman numerals. The aforementioned system wasextremely complex, but for hundreds of years still allowed Roman society tofunction without issue. Therefore, the author is forced to conclude that thesystem wasn’t really as inefficient as some have made it out to be.
The Roman numerals “LII” (52) on the crown of the entrance tothe Colosseum:




Still, because the system was inherently difficult to grasphowever, this often acted to further discourage Roman mathematicians frommaking crucial advances in the fields of advanced arithmetic, by ensuring thatall such developments were highly improbable if not outright impossible. It wasa base 10 system, but did not appear to have a concept representing notions ofthe “0” (neither did Han China however).
There is evidence however that like their Eastern counterpartson the far side of the Eurasian continent, they did use the abacus to asomewhat high degree.
The Han Dynasty by stark contrast meanwhile, was considered tobe one of China’s many “Golden Ages” with regards to the field of theoreticalmathematics.
Though the Chinese, much like their Roman counterparts didn’thave a concept for zero either, they did however leave it blank in theircalculations. Mathematical proof for the Gougu’s/Pythagoras’ Theorem (勾股定理) was discoveredand recorded in the Han Chinese treatise, “The Arithmetic Classic of the Gnomonand the Circular Paths of Heaven” (周髀算經).
The text for one, asserted that the hypotenuse of a right-angledtriangle, was equal to the square of the other two sides combined (C^2= A^2+B^2). This is depicted below as follows:




Using these instructions, the Chinese mathematician Chen Zi, andhis “apprentice” Rong Fang were able to calculate the “height” of the Sun fromthe Earth, or at least attempt a calculation anyway as it ended up beingextremely off by millions of kilometres.
Another mathematical book which not only held records of Han Eramathematics, but also for those as far back as the 10th Century BC, called the“Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art” (九章算術), was the firstin the world meanwhile to reference the use by the Chinese of negative numbers,apart from right angled triangles, square roots, cube roots and even methodsfor matrices.
The Chinese counting system referenced the use of negativenumbers via the use of counting rods. Numbers below “blank” were representedwith black counting rods, whilst their positive counterparts by red rods instark contrast. And although decimals had already been in use since the timesof the Bronze age Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC), the text was also the first toreference the existence of decimal fractions as a means to solve equations, andrepresent measurements.
A page from the Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art:



Similarly, the Gaussian Elimination was also mentioned in thetext, recorded under the title of the “Array Rule”. Pi, which was thought toexactly equal 3 up until the dawn of the Han Dynasty was meanwhile bombardedwith many alternate suggestions including 3.1497, 3.1590, and 3.1670.
Dissatisfied with such efforts, the inventor of the Seismoscope,and Han astronomer Zhang Heng attempted to improve such efforts with his ownestimates. He had noted that the area of a square as opposed to the area of itsinscribed circle, would have a ratio of 4:3. Its hypothetical volume as suchwould be 4^2 : 3^2. And if D represents diameter, whilst V is taken to bevolume, Zhang came up with the following formula:
D^3 : V = 16:9 or V = 9/16 * D^3
Noting that his formula was still wrong however with regards tothe diameter, he added an extra 1/16 * D^3 onto the equation, correcting downbelow as follows:
V = 3/8 * D^3
Now, since he had previously discovered the volume of the cubeto the inscribed sphere at 8:5, the square area’s ratio to the inscribedcircle, had to be 8^1/2 : 5^1/2. And therefore, Pi was 10^1/2 or 3.162, whichwas still inaccurate however, it was only immediately after the Han by a fewyears when another Chinese mathematician, Liu Hui correctly approximated π at3.14159.
The Han Chinese numeral system:

由于不满足于这样的结果,地震仪的发明人、汉朝天文学家张衡,试图用他自己的估算来改进这个结果。张衡发现,正方形的面积与其内切圆面积的比值为4:3,那么其假设体积之比则为4^2 : 3^2。如果用D代表直径,同时用V代表体积,张衡得出了以下方程:
需要注意的是,他的公式在直径方面任然是错误的,不过他在这个等式上又加了一个额外的1/16 * D^3,如下所示。
V = 3/8 * D^3。


Mathematical progress was also made in the fields of Music. 12tones originally, were thought to have existed on the musical scale, but wereimproved during the Han Era to cover 60 tonnes, a number 5 times greater thanpreviously. Jing Fang, the Chinese mathematician responsible for such adiscovery also realized that 53 perfect fifths (a musical intervalcorresponding to a pair of pitches with a frequency ratio of 3:2), was roughlyequal to 31 octaves.
By calculating the difference to be 177,147 / 176,776, Jingreached the same value for the “53 Equal Temperament” duly as discovered inEurope roughly 1,650 years later by German mathematician Nicholas Mercator.
Verdict: By default, the Chinese win a point here simply due to thenumber of important discoveries they historically made, relative to their Romancounterparts. Which is not to say that the number of discoveries attainedimplies that is one is definitely more advanced than the other, but it wasrather the lack of any Roman innovations in the fields of Mathematics, whichreally condemned them in this round. Rome: 5; Han: 6.



 楼主| 发表于 2018-3-17 22:31 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
Civil and Structural Engineering
The Romans were the undisputed masters of Civil Engineering withregards to the Western half of Eurasia, unchallenged to such an extent that ahuge portion of their former buildings still stand strong to this dayrelatively intact.
The Romans had 400,000 km of roads in total running through theentirety of their empire. Of this aforementioned number, roughly 85,000 km wasfully paved or roughly 21.25% of the total amount of roads. Even a thousandyears after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire (395–476 AD), Rome’sformer highways were still being used by the Medieval Europeans up until the1500s possibly.
Way stations meanwhile, were maintained all along this intricatesystem of travel infrastructure, to provide refreshments for weary travelers inneed of a good break after a long day’s travel. Officials and couriers inservice to the rich and powerful, often also had their own changing stations.All in all, on a good day, Roman citizens who were fortunate enough to usethese highways were able to move up to 800 km for every 24 hours worth oftravel.
The renowned (and also infamous) Via Appia for example spanned563 km in total, and was one of these many said roads which were utilized byduring the course of the Roman Empire:



Romans roads have been claimed to have been the most advancedfor its time, until the dawn of the 19th Century merely 100 years ago. Theywere constructed by digging a pit along the length of a designated course. Thepit was then filled with rocks, gravel or sand before finally also being toppedoff with a layer of concrete. And at last, when the aforementioned had beencompleted, the process was then concluded by being paved over with the use ofpolygonal rock slabs.
The Romans were also known to be avid builders of dams. In theformer territories of Roman Iberia for example, 72 large scale water barrierswere discovered in that particular region alone. Roman dams were so expertlycrafted in fact, and so well organized to such an extent that some of them arestill being used all across Europe to this very day. Several earthen dams havealso been discovered in Britain in recent times.
The Cornalvo Dam in Spain today is still in use to this very day(its walls at least), and was built sometime in the 1st-2nd centuries AD (ithas been in operation continuously for nearly 2,000 years), it measures 194 mlong, 20 m high, and 8 m wide:



The Romans also built bridges throughout their empire. A totalof 931 bridges in fact (most of which were Arch bridges) were built throughoutImperial Rome, prior to the fall of its Western half in 476 AD. Roman bridgeswere amongst the first large scale, and long lasting overpasses built inhistory.
Built with either stone, concrete or both, Roman wayovers oftenactively utilized the newly invented notions of the Roman Arch, both todecorate and strengthen the edifice as a whole. Arches acted to evenlydistribute the weight of a bridge making them stronger and longer. Directly asa consequence of such an innovation therefore, the Romans managed to constructsome incredibly lengthy bridges, far ahead of its time by hundreds of years.
A Roman bridge in Ponte da Vila Formosa, Portugal today, seenbelow:


一座位于现今葡萄牙Ponte da Vila Formosa的罗马桥梁,见下图:

For roughly 1,000 years for example, the Romans were privilegedenough to hold the world’s record for longest overpass with regards to overalland span length. Built by a Greco-Syrian engineer called Apollodorus ofDamascus, “Trajan’s bridge” as it was called, was the structure fortunateenough to hold this honour.
It was usually suspended above 18 m of water for the vastmajority of the time. It had a total length of 1,135 metres long. There were ofcourse other lengthy bridges which the Romans were fortunate enough to utilize,including the 135 metre Pons Aemilius in Rome, or even the 182metreAlcántarabridge.
Pontoon bridges in addition (horizontally inclined ships stackedside by side to form an overpass), whilst first invented by the Chinese over1,000 years earlier during the Iron age Zhou Dynasty (De facto rule: 1046–771BC; Nominal rule: 771–256 BC), was also recorded as having been activelyutilized by the Romans during the Imperial Era.
In one particular story for example, the Emperor Caligula (37–41AD), had had a pontoon bridge built just in order to walk across the bay fromone side to the other, in order to prove a seer wrong about an earlierprophecy, which had insisted that he certainly had no more chance of becomingthe Emperor of Rome than he did of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae.Naturally, he had to prove her wrong of course, and had a bridge built acrossit to prove his point.
A depiction of a Roman Pontoon Bridge on the column of MarcusAurelius:

在过去绝大多数时间里,这座桥梁都悬浮在水面18米之上。长达1135米。当然了,罗马人还用其他比较长的桥,包括135米长的Pons Aemilius桥和182米的Alcántara桥。



Sometimes whilst building such complex infrastructure, theRomans would be forced to come to a halt due to the cruel terrain of Europe,which actively obstructed their efforts with many annoying geographicalfeatures such as hills or mountains.
The Romans, a naturally adaptable peoples as such came up withthe concept of tunnels. Tunnel construction was highly difficult for theRomans, and often took years to build since the measurements had to be precise(which was not helped in any part by the disadvantages of Roman numerals), inorder to allow tunnels to meet in the middle (as they were dug out from bothsides of the hill simultaneously during the Imperial Era).
Constructing tunnels during the Roman times was so arduous infact, that a certain 5.6 km tunnel built in 41 AD by Emperor Claudius (reigned41–54 AD) in order to drain the Fucine Lake, took 30,000 workers 11 years tobuild. Nonetheless, Roman tunnelling technology was still highly advanced forits time, especially since the aforementioned tunnel commissioned by Claudius,also had shafts which went up to 122 metres deep.
A Roman tunnel dating back to the Imperial Roman Era:



The greatest Roman innovations in the field of Civil Engineeringhowever, would have to be with regards to the Aqueduct. Powered entire by theforces of gravity, Aqueducts were built to withstand the test of time to suchan extent that it was literally not equalled until merely a few decades ago.The existence of such superstructures allowed for the flow of water todifferent parts of the Empire, with extreme efficiency.
At places with depressions deeper than 50 metres meanwhile,inverted siphons (pipes that must dip below an obstruction to form a"U" shaped flow path) were used to viciously force water uphill.Otherwise, the water which an aqueduct permitted to be transported, was allowedto flow naturally without human interference because of the slanted waterchannels which lay beneath it. The longest aqueduct meanwhile was said to bethe one which supplied the former city of Carthage, described as being 178 kmin length.
As for the Capital of Rome meanwhile, the existence of 11aqueducts carrying 1,000,000 cubic metres of water each day allowed the city’s1 million people to stay adequately hydrated. It should be noted however thatgiven the combined productive capacities of Rome’s aqueducts, such a dailywater supply would have been sufficient even for 3.5 million peoplehypothetically.
The Segovia Aqueduct which can still be seen today in Spain, inpristine condition as should already be self-evident, due to its use of Romanconcrete:

至于罗马首都, 11条引水渠每天运输100,000立方米水,足以保证该市的100万人口充足的供水。


Defensive walls, much like their eastern counterparts were alsoa core feature of Roman Civil Engineering. Though wall building had declinedsignificantly when compared to the times of the Roman Republic, they were stilla force to be reckoned with during the Imperial Era.
The Romans rarely just built a wall across the open country forfortificaition purposes, rather they built them primarily to protect cities.They usually built with brick and Roman concrete during the Imperial Era; animprovement from the preceding Roman Kingdom (753–509 BC) which had used drystone and sun dried bricks instead.
Thanks primarily to the Roman invention of opus caementicium,introduced previously, many Roman walls across the former territories of theRoman Empire are still standing to this very day. Though modern concrete hasbeen found to erode after only 50 years of exposure to seawater, in contrast toRoman concrete (the primary material of Roman ports) meanwhile which hassurvived intact to this day nearly 2,000 years after it was introduced.
The most famous of the Roman fortifications meanwhile, Hadrian’sWall in its heyday was 117.5 km long, 3-6 m thick and up to 6 m high. The wallhad a fort every 7.5 km meanwhile and took 6 years from 122–28 AD to complete.Due to a lack of water however, it was not made out of concrete, but had a corerather of earth or clay complemented with stones. The ruins of which can beseen below:

归功于前述的opus caementicium(一种罗马水泥)这项发明,罗马帝国前领土上的许多城墙至今仍然屹立不倒。现代水泥在经过海水浸泡50年后会受到腐蚀,而罗马水泥(罗马港口的主要材料)正好相反,经过2000年的风风雨雨,任然完好无损。

Although the Romans did not invent the wastage disposal systemthemselves (an invention which was already around by 3,100 BC, invented by theIndus Valley Civilization (3300–1300 BC)), they did however have a verysophisticated sanitation system meanwhile.
Roman Sanitation is best remembered still to this day forwidespread abundances of their Public Baths (Thermae). Roman Baths werepurposefully designed to have 3 separate facilities for bathing. The first wasApodyterium (Changing Room), in which a Roman citizen would undress to getready for the next stage of the bathing process.
From there, a bather would journey forth unto the “Warm Room”, afacility known as the Tepidarium, which had the sole purpose of preparing onefor the next room which was to follow, by only making it moderately hot inside.The last enclosure meanwhile was a true sauna unlike the previous, and wasknown (and rightfully so) as the “Hot Room” or Caldarium, which was complementedwith by a Labrum; a cold water fountain for self-evident reasons.
The Roman Baths at Bath, South-West England:



Roman sanitation was also defined both by the Flush Toilet, anda highly sophisticated system of drains and sewage. Bath water was recycled byusing it to dispose of excrement at the public toilets. The plumbing behindcity drains meanwhile was made of terracotta. And water during the Imperial Erawas even separated as to direct high quality variants to be used in drinkingand cooking, whilst its inferior quality counterparts meanwhile was utilizedonly for fountains and baths.
Last but not least meanwhile, was the phenomenon of RomanHousing. Roman houses in general were supremely well built as a rule, but therewas often quite a substantial difference between the rich and poor. The richoften inhabited single story houses called “Villas”, centered around a conceptcalled the “Atrium”. The Atrium had no roof, and was as such vulnerable toturbulent weather, but was designed to be as such in order to collect rainwaterin the troughs surrounding the house.
A reconstructed courtyard depicting the Atrium section of aRoman Villa:



The Atrium was succeeded by a second open courtyard known as thePeristylium, which included a garden and was interconnected with severaladjoining rooms; a case which was true for the Atrium before it also. Thehouses of the rich were centrally heated by a “hypocaust” (underfloor heating)and was supplied with fresh water brought direct to them from lead pipes.
The poor meanwhile lived in run down apartment blocks known as“Insulae”. Most of these shabby apartments only had two rooms at best, lackedproper facilities with running water, and was often extremely cramped anduncomfortable to live in.
Insula buildings usually had on average 6–7 apartments with theability to house over 40 separate unique individuals, despite being restrictedto a land area of 330m^2. The upper floors were especially known to be bothhazardous and poorly built however, hence most inhabitants preferred to live onthe lower to middle floors instead.
Ruins of an insula dating to the early 2nd century AD in theRoman port town of Ostia Antica:


罗马港口城市OSTIA ANTICA,“insula”居民楼废墟,可追述之公元2世纪:

In stark contrast to the Roman Empire meanwhile, few buildingsdating back to the Han Era have survived to this day for in depth study,because for the most part they were made primarily out of wood (timberdeteriorates quickly). Which by itself does not mean contrary to popular beliefthat the Han Chinese were inferior to their Western counterparts however,civilization use the means available to them to construct their buildings.
Neither stone nor marble were naturally abundant in thetraditional abodes of “China Proper”, wood by stark contrast was however hencemost Chinese buildings even to the end of the Imperial Era in 1912, were madeprimarily out of wood. In saying that though, the Han Empire was able to makesteady progress in the realms of Civil and Structural Engineering meanwhile.
The Chinese however, much unlike the Romans were not avidbuilders of bridges nor roads. Whilst the Romans built 400,000 km of roads (asmentioned before), 1/5 of which were paved, and also 931 bridges of which mostwere arched, the Chinese only had 2 arch variants out of a total of at least628 bridges (at least 67% of Rome’s numbers), and 35,400 km of roads (17.7% ofRoman total amount of roads), most of which were unpaved.
The Chinese during the Han Era, were however instead able tomake steady progress in the fields of Imperial civil engineering meanwhile. Thegreatest palace ever in the History of Man by area was built during the HanDynasty, the Weiyang “Endless” Palace, seen below:



Built primarily from timber in 200 BC at the personal request ofLiu Bang, First Emperor of the Han Dynasty (reigned 202–195 BC), the WeiyangPalace was described to be 1,200 acres (4.8 km^2) in area, making it 11 timesthe size of Vatican City today, or 6.7 times larger than the existing ForbiddenCity in Beijing or approximately 72 times the area of the Versailles Palace inFrance, thus making it was one of Imperial China’s greatest engineeringendeavours during the times of the Han Dynasty. It was also known to havereached 35 metres deep below ground level.
Outside the Weiyang palace meanwhile was the great city ofChang’an, the Capital of the Han Empire, and the second largest city of Eurasiaafter Rome, with regards to their population numbering approximately around400,000 individuals. Despite the fact that the city had merely 40% of Rome’s 1million people population, Chang’an, the city of “Eternal Peace” as it wascalled in Old Chinese was 4 times as large as Rome in terms of area.
And because the city of Rome had an area of 13.73 squarekilometres with a population density of 72,833 individuals per km^2, theChang’an derived area from this figure was 54.92 km^2 which gave it apopulation density meanwhile of 7,283 individuals per km^2, or almost exactly10 times less dense than the “City of the Seven Hills” in Italy.
A reconstructed Han Era Palace at Hengdian World Studios for thesole purposes of filming:



Divided into 11 neighbourhoods, the rich and the aristocracywere located in the City’s south, whilst the common people (artisans andmerchants) resided in the northeast. As for the city itself meanwhile, a 12gated wall with 8 avenues surrounded the Han Capital, itself surrounded by analso 8 metre wide moat.
Each of the aforementioned avenues was roughly 45–55 metreswide, the walls were 12 metres high, whist its perimeter was 25.7 km long.Evidence for the use both of stone and brick has also been discovered from Hanarchaeological sites surrounding the modern city of Xi’an (as it is calledtoday).
Speaking of walls however, though the Chinese like the Romansoften built city barriers to the same extent in both quality and quantity,their “free roaming” fortifications on the other hand meanwhile was likely tohave been much greater than their western counterparts, all due to theexistence of the Great Wall of China.
Though the Great Wall has been built many times over - mostrecent of which was during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD) - the longestversion of the Wall was built over 2,000 years ago by the Han Chinese. TheChinese Wall was approximately 10,000 km across making it 85 times longer thanHadrian’s Wall, which to be fair was only so short because the width of Britainitself was not very wide across.
Remains of the Han Era section of the Great Wall of China todayin Dunhuang, Gansu Province, consistently 2.5 metres in height all across:

尽管长城已经建设多时了----最近的一次是在明朝(公元1368-1644年)--- 但是最长的部分却是由汉朝人修建。中国的长城,长度接近1万公里,85倍于哈德良长城, 坦白来讲,哈德良长城就短得多了,因为英国的宽度并不是很宽。


As the Great Wall was primarily situated in places far from thetraditional abodes of China Proper, wood could not be used to make it, andinstead the Chinese had to adapt. To this extent, sand and gravel was usedinstead for certain sections of the wall. Using rose willows and reeds, theChinese constructed the basic frames of the walls first, before piling them upin layers. Ground water with high salinity meanwhile, was used to consolidatesaid sand and gravel.
Much like Roman structures, despite experiencing erosion forover 2,000 years, because the wall was not made out of wood, it still stands tothis very day. After the Great Wall was at last finished by the Han Chinese, itwas also fortified with beacon towers placed apart for every 5 km of the HanEmpire’s northern borders. As a result, 20,000 towers ended up beingconstructed all along the Wall just for this purpose.
Beacon towers helped the Chinese to sound off warning of apreeminent invasion from abroad since at any given time it was always mannedwith garrisons upon garrisons of soldiers, who were instructed to generatesmoke during the day, and set alight torches at night (both of which can beseen up to 15 km away), in order to warn the Imperial Army of an imminentnomadic invasion from the hostile Turkic peoples known as the Xiongnu.
A Han Era beacon tower, “Yumen Pass”; one of merely 80 whichwere built during the Han Dynasty to act as countermeasure against possibleinvasion against the nomadic Xiongnu Empire:



Beacon towers during the Han Era were usually wide at the base andnarrower at the top. Often also square-based and tapered, they were mainlylocated well inside the Great Wall for obvious reasons. Usually also built onhigher terrain than the rest of the Wall which complemented it, some of thetowers reached 10 metres in height, though on general they were more likely tobe 7 metres with regards to the average structure.
Of course, not all the sections of the Wall were made out ofsand and gravel however. “Rammed-Earth” was another material used to builtcertain sections of the Han Empire’s Great Wall, and was also used in a varietyof different types of structures as well.
Rammed-Earth was a material used by the Early Imperial Chinesewhich was essentially hardened earth. Similar to stone in both durability andhardness, Rammed Earth was made by collecting a large amount of earth, gravel,sand, silt and clay before subsequently compressing it until it was extremelydense. Like Roman concrete, Rammed Earth was also extremely resistant to thedeteriorations resultant of time. As such, most Han Era ruins that still existto this day are often found to be those that were primarily made of RammedEarth.
Ruins of the former Han Chinese rammed earth city of Gaochangtoday in Modern China:



In fact, in a place where there were minimal if not absolutelyzero trees present, every Chinese structure virtually was made out of rammedearth, down to the last building.
As such, Han Era rammed earth granaries for example have beenfound to have survived to this day:


Along with Han Era Watchtowers as well, this one specifically islocated in Western Gansu:


With regards to Chinese subterranean structural engineeringmeanwhile, so far a minimum of 10,000 Han Era underground tombs have beendiscovered in Modern China today.
The tombs were made out of brick, hence they they have alsosurvived to this day apart from the fact that they were underground. The HanEra Chinese (possibly exclusively) were the most fond, and avid builders ofunderground Imperial tombs which were built for the rich, and powerful.
Brick Vaults and Domes were frequently used underground despitenot being used on the surface level. Han tombs were usually built in severalparts to contain 3 different enclosures: there was the front, side and rearchambers.
A Han Dynasty vaulted underground tomb:



The tomb of Prince Liu Shan for one, elder brother to Han Wudi,specifically had a front hall with window drapes and goods to accompany him inthe afterlife, with regards to the front hall. Carriages along withartificially produced horses meanwhile were located in the side chamber, whilstthe rear end contained storage goods.
Imperial tombs themselves were expertly crafted by cuttinghorizontally into the hillside of the mountains themselves, in order to forgethese great resting places for the beloved deceased. As they were exclusivelymade for the rich, the tombs were also designed to have a shaft like corridorleading onwards to a suite of rooms, in order to reflect the former layout ofthe deceased’s palace, whilst they were still alive. Essentially, the tomb wasto crafted like this as to be the dead individual’s home in the afterlife.
An Eastern Han (25–220 AD) tomb from the secondary Capital ofLuoyang:



And of course, all the luxuries which had graced them would alsobe present upon their one’s burial, including fine treasures such as gold,silver, weapons, jewellery, lacquer but most importantly also, jade.
It was from these tombs primarily, that information with regardsto the housing of the common Han people have also been discovered, in the formof ceramic and downsized replicas of real Han Era wooden architectures.
Within the areas of China Proper itself, timber was the primaryconstruction material so of course we have exactly zero remaining civilstructures from the Han Era, since they were made out of wood. Nonetheless, dueto references in both literature and by the aid of the underground ceramicmodels, there has been evidence to support the contention that the Han builtimmensely tall spires in their cities, to serve as astronomical observatories.
The houses of the rich meanwhile, in contrast to their Romancounterparts were often multi-storied. They all usually had a courtyard at thebottom, private fortifications, a balcony with balustrades, windows for everyfloor, and roof tiles to conceal the ceiling rafters. Case in point, here is anaristocrat’s home, with all the aforementioned features along with in additionwatchtowers and gatehouses:



The fact that Han Era homes were often multi-storied was a veryimpressive improvement from the periods which came before. Traditionally duringthe Feudal Era (2070–221 BC), Chinese architecture placed a strong emphasis onbuilding horizontally due to the inherent weaknesses and instability of usingwood.
And yet, by the Early Imperial Era during the 426 year longreign of the mighty Han Dynasty of China, buildings were expanded intomulti-storied buildings despite these inherent weaknesses.
Another ceramic house belonging to a Han Era nobleman:



Which is not to say that there were not multi-storied buildingprior to the Han Era (there were), but they were usually limited to 3 storiesat the absolute maximum. During the Han Era however, that was no longer thecase, and houses for the rich especially often strove to surpass such alimitation as seen below in this particular Aristocrat’s home, with 2residential towers joined by a covered bridge, interconnecting the manor (left)with its complementary watchtower (right):


On the other hand, we have minimal information with regards tothe housing of the common people, as the ceramic models were often used toreplicate the homes of the rich. However, what little we do know about themhowever from literary sources has forced sinologists to conclude that the pooron average lived in 1–2 story houses, made out of mud.
3 generations often dwelt under the same building together. Liketheir Roman counterparts - the Plebeians of Rome - the Nong of Han, despitebeing ranked second highest on the Chinese social hierarchy were oftenimpoverished beyond belief. As such, no irrigation for washing or for mattersrelating to toiletries existed at the time, much like the Insula blocks in theRoman Capital.
An ordinary peasant family’s home dating back to the Han Era:



To a much lesser extent than the Romans, the Han Administrationalso oversaw the construction of many public infrastructures throughout the HanEmpire. The Zhengguo Canal for one was restored under the wise guidance of thegreat Han Wudi, who reasoned that because silt had been building up over timeat the bottom of the canal, it had caused flooding.
Naturally, he knew he had to make repairs to it and moved to doby ordering that an all new 100 km long extension was to be made following thecontour line, above the original Zhengguo Canal. Beam, Arch and Suspensionbridges were also built during the Han Era meanwhile. And roads as mentionedpreviously, whilst nowhere near as long as Rome’s, was built all over the HanEmpire and wa made primarily out of rubble and gravel.
Dikes were maintained all over China meanwhile, to safeguardfarmland from seasonal floods. And postal and relay stations were bothintroduced and repaired.
Verdict: This is probably the toughest decision yet so far in thisanalysis, but the author believes the Romans have just slightly edged out theirHan Chinese counterparts here, by the tiniest margin possible. As such, theyhave not done enough to earn an exclusive point at the expense of their rivals.Therefore, a point must be awarded to both sides due to the complexities ofsuch a status quo. Rome: 6; Han: 7.


 楼主| 发表于 2018-3-17 22:34 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
Military Technology
The Roman Military still to this very day, was a world renowned,highly lethal and professional 28 Legions strong force, comprising of roughly140–168,000 men; a given in order to defend the 5 million km^2 land area of thevast Roman Empire. Naturally as such, Roman innovations in the fields of theMilitary cannot be underestimated.
The Romans were known to have used a great variety of siegeengines. Onagers for one, similar to catapults were torsion powered (twistingof an object due to applied torque) consisting of a single vertical beam thrusta thick horizontal skein of twisted cords. Its skein meanwhile was subsequentlytwisted tight by geared winches, the beam was then pulled down to assume ahorizontal position. This acted to further twist the aforementioned skein,whilst also increasing its torsion in addition.
An artist’s impression of a Roman Onager:
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A stone was then placed on the end of the an Onager’s sling, andhurled either into a city’s walls, or straight into the enemy’s ranks when thebeam was freed of its restraint and rebounded violently back to its originalvertical position.
Onagers were not the only siege weapons to be utilized by theRomans however, Ballistas or large scale bolt throwers were also used to a hugeextent during the Imperial Era. The largest ballistas were quite accurate, andcould hurl both huge and heavy projectiles up to 460 metres away. It couldmeanwhile even accommodate weights of up to 30 kg. Weights of up to 78 kg werenot unheard of however.
Ballistas much like Onagers, were also torsion powered but hadtwo sets of parallel skeins instead through which 2 separate arms joined attheir ends by the cord that propelled the missile. Ballistas were also muchsmaller than Onagers usually, allowing them to be more readily operated.Repeating ballistas in addition also existed, but were used on a scale muchsmaller than any of their standard variants. On the rare occasions that theywere used however, they could fire up to several bolts without having the needto reload.
A reconstruction of a large scale Roman Ballista:



A smaller projectile accelerator known as the Scorpionmeanwhile, were also utilized during the Imperial Era. Functioning verysimilarly to a Roman Ballista, Scorpions were usually placed at the top of ahill on the sides of an accompanying Roman legion. When shot from an elevatedposition, distances of up to 400 metres could easily reached by the resultingfired bolts from a Scorpion.
With a fire rate of 4 bolts/minute, more often than not theScorpion was also used for long range defence rather than offense as it wasusually quite difficult to move. It was also extremely expensive in addition,and was said to be essentially an overly large crossbow. 60 Scorpions perLegion was the norm during the Late Republic and Early Empire Era.
A reconstruction of a Imperial Roman Scorpion:



And of course as mentioned earlier, the Romans had a verysophisticated system of military surgeries, and also actively utilized pontoonbridges to suppress their enemies.
Ships were tied together side by side to allow a temporarycrossing for the army, to journey across a particular dangerous section of ariver or lake. The speed at which such crossings were made, was also perfectedduring the Imperial Era allowing the Romans to often catch their enemies offguard. Rafts were however were usually used more than pontoon bridges though,since they were easier to construct and deconstruct.
Every Roman legion meanwhile at any given time was alwaysaccompanied with a battlefield surgery unit (an innovation first pioneered bythe Romans).
The Romans were also well acquainted with fort building inaddition, and due to the fact that every last single Roman Legionary wastrained in the arts of structural engineering, could build high quality fortsas required, in a supernaturally short amount of time.
Reconstruction of the gateway of Arbeia Fort:



What made the building of Roman forts (Castra) especiallynotable, was the fact that a Legion could build one from scratch even after along day’s march, using the raw materials from their surroundings. Severalspecialist engineering units were formed just in order to concentrate on theconstruction of said structures, called “Immunes”, since they were excused fromthe normal duties usually required from an ordinary legionary.
Commandeered by an overseeing unit called the Architecti(Engineers), the immunes could even under the very worst of circumstances, havean emergency fort constructed in a matter of hours. Camp plans from textbookswritten specifically to aid in the construction of forts, were given to theArchitecti to continuously reference whilst building, and manual labour wasmandatory amongst legionaries to assist in the establishment of forts.
As for the forts themselves, every legion had in its possessionone which served as its de facto headquarters where they were repeatedlyrendezvous back at after a certain period of time. Much more so than theirtemporary forts, these main Castrum were highly sophisticated with regards totheir features.
A plan for a typical Roman Fort in Bavaria, Germany:



Castrums in any case always had a castellum (wall) of some sort,usually made out of stone if possible but apart from that were also aided bytrenches (fossa) which were filled to the brim with stakes (sudes). Possessinga rectangular exterior, towers were placed at regular intervals all along thesewalls armed with scorpions and other siege weapons.
As for Legionaries themselves meanwhile during the EarlyImperial Era, were fortunate enough to have in their possession 4 key Romanmilitary innovations: the Pilum, the Scutum, LoricaSegmentata and of course,the Gladius.
Coming in to variants; thick and thin was the Roman Javelin.Both types of pilum were roughly 2 metres long, but the thick variant wasattached to the shaft with a 5 cm wide tang. The tip of both versions howeverwas pyramidal in shape, with a diameter of 7.5 mm, and was directly above awooden block to not only secure the metal head, but also to protect one’s handin melee combat.
Both types of pilums were carried by an average warringlegionary. The way they operated however, was that the javelins would be tossedat the enemy prior to an infantry charge. If the javelins did not meet theirtargets, and landed on a hostile shield instead, the pilum’s tip was designedto break off, acting to substantially contribute to the weight of an enemy’ssafeguard, forcing him to part with it, making him especially vulnerable toattack.
The ingenuity of this design also meant that pilums could not beretrieved and thrown back at the legionaries themselves. They are depictedbelow as follows:




Scutums on the other hand, were the standard rectangular shapedshields of utilized by the Roman Army all over the Mediterranean. Equipped withround edges that curved around the corners, the Scutum was a human sized shieldallowing a Roman soldier to effectively knock out cold an enemy warrior in somepotential cases, or severely put him off balance at least.
The iconic Roman shield was on average roughly 1 metre high, 40cm across, and 0.6 cm thick. Light enough to be held in one hand also, itallowed the vast majority of the 1.6–1.8 m tall legionary. Scutums most notablyalso allowed the Legions to form a variety of different formations includingbut not limited to standard shield tactics such as the famous Testudo orTortoise formation:



LoricaSegmentata on the other hand was considered to be Rome’s stateof the art classed body armour. Naturally as such, it was sometimes substitutedinstead for its chainmail counterpart; the LoricaHamata. In the still commoncases however where they did don a suit of the iconic 2nd Century Roman armour,it allowed its wearer to have several inherent advantages when it came tomatters of combat.
There were four sections to LoricaSegmentata, two for theshoulders and two for the torsos. Using a technique called “case hardening”,the Legionary’s standard armour simultaneously used soft iron on the insidewhilst also utilizing several strips of steel from without, attached togethervia the use of leather straps. The strips were arranged horizontally on thebody, overlapping downwards, and they surrounded the torso in two halves, beingfastened at the front and back.
A suit of LoricaSegmentata:



The shoulders meanwhile were safeguarded by additional steelplates which allowed for additional protection. This was a major disadvantagehowever, as it often meant that the armour weighed at least over 9 kg whichwould certainly have drowned its wearer should he have been unfortunate enoughto have fallen into a lake. It also corroded very easily.
Last but not least meanwhile was the Roman Gladius; a shortsword essentially. Made from steel, and only 60–85 cm in length with a weightmerely of 0.7–1 kg, the Gladius was a core part of the Imperial Roman Army.
The design was such that it was used to stab rather than slice,and was efficient especially when it came to fighting in close quarteredformations with little room for free moving nor mistakes:



In great contrast to the Romans, the Han Chinese had fewerdevelopments in the realms of military technology.
The Han Empire did however make good use of Crossbows. Crossbowshad of course already been around since the 6th Century BC, having beeninvented by the Ancient Chinese during the Spring and Autumn Period (771–476BC), but during the Han Empire saw new heights attained.
Crossbows during the Han Era were improved to such an extentthat entire Imperial corps trained specifically in the aforementioned weaponwere more than capable of completely (if not that, then at least mostly)decimating a group of mounted warriors, who had been charging from afar. Rows uponrows of Chinese crossbowman were formed, all properly trained to fire off asingle volley before ducking to allow the supporting row behind them to fireoff a another round of projectiles directly at the enemy.
A Han Era Crossbow:



One of the most common forms of Crossbowmen tactics was to splita division into two, in the form of two wings, in order to allow for crossfireto occur. Not only was it severely devastating to the opposition, it also actedindirectly as psychological warfare.
Not only did the Chinese use two types of crossbows (light andheavy), but they also took to mounted archery as well in addition, having beeninfluenced by their wars with the Turkic Nomadic Xiongnu Empire (209 BC-439AD).
, Single-handed crossbows in addition alsoexisted during the time period, which allowed for mounted riders to be holdonto the reins of the horses whilst shooting also.
Crossbows ended up being mass produced to such an extent infact, that in the city of Luoyang alone, a reported 11,181 crossbows and 34,625arrows have been discovered in the former Han secondary Capital alone.Repeating crossbows meanwhile during the Han Era, had also just been introducedfor the first time ever towards the end of Imperial China’s second dynasty.
The Chinese invention of the repeating crossbow, introducedduring the Han Era:



Invented by a Han strategist named Zhuge Liang (who alsoinvented the Kite as previously discussed), the Repeating Crossbow had a muchhigher rate of fire than its more normal variants, because the act of stringingthe bow, placing a bolt and shooting it could all be done with one hand whilst keepingthe weapon stationary.
To make it work, a “magazine” containing a number of bolts wasloaded into the crossbow, and as the projectiles were being fired, it triggereda mechanism from within which would cause a rectangular level to oscillatebackwards and forwards appropriately. Weighing merely 1.19 kg, 0.6 m in length,0.44 m in width and also extremely easy to produce and operate, it gave the HanChinese a massive edge on the battlefield.
Horse drawn, “Heavy Crossbows” (武刚车) were alsoknown to be used in sieges, with one particular variant requiring theequivalent of 159 kg to even load. Apart from that however, the Chinese oftenused Traction Trebuchets instead, which was also first thought to have beeninvented by the Ancient Chinese. Roman style torsion powered weapons were notknown to have existed in the Han Empire meanwhile.
The Han Dynasty being a Cavalry centric fighting force alsoduring the Early Imperial had invented (disputed and controversial) the Stirrup,a new discovery which allowed the Imperial Cavalry to be more efficient incombat:
Han Era stirrup:




Attached to each side of a horse's saddle, in the form of a loopwith a flat base to support a rider's foot, it allowed the already fierce HanCavalry to fight yet even more effectively on horseback.
Although the advantages of the stirrup have been disputed, thisis a rather unfair view of what was a moderately important addition to thefields of military technology. Stirrups in fact made it harder for a rider tobe knocked off his feet, and allowed Chinese horse archers to stand up in orderto fire an arrow, or strike with a melee weapon from a greater height and withgreater force.
The Han Dynasty also built forts like the Romans, but they werenowhere near as advanced for sure (plus we know little of them anyway). Butthey did have gatehouses and watchtowers to protect these vast fortresseshowever, defended by thousands of soldiers, with walls which were tens ofmetres high up and armed to the teeth with siege defence weaponry.
A ceramic model of a fortress dating back to the Han Era:



The Han Chinese meanwhile were also known to have practicedChemical Warfare amongst many other developments in the fields of militarytechnology.
Around the year 178 AD for example in order to suppress apeasant rebellion, the Chinese had horse drawn chariots manoeuvre around theopposing enemy army carrying bellows (a device that furnishes blasts of air),which was then used to pump calcium oxide (CaO), or burnt lime at the saidhostile forces.
The Imperial Army was also purported to have used incendiaryrags to rout the enemy, by tying them to the tails of their stallions whichthen acted to terrify them into charging towards the enemy lines, subsequentlydisrupting their formations and in the process acting to make the rebelsvulnerable to an Imperial charge.
With regards to siege equipment on the other hand, the Chinesewere known to have used the Traction Trebuchet, and though they did not inventit themselves managed to develop it to unbelievable standards during the reignof the Han Empire.,
Caltrops, were also known to have been utilized by the HanChinese also in addition. Made from iron primarily, the caltraps or as theywere known as in Chinese, the anti-cavalry pikes (拒馬鎗) were an arrayof long ranged weapons (not necessarily spears), which were put up together ona wooden rack and were deployed en masse all over the paths leading to and fromgates, streets, paths and outside the walls of fortresses, in order to halt theadvance of the an enemy cavalry force. They are seen below as follows:

比如,大约在公元178年的时候,为了镇压一场农民起义,汉朝军队乘坐马车、背着风箱(一种可以充气的设备)围绕了敌军,然后用风箱向敌军泵送氧化钙(CaO)-- 也称煅石灰。


The average Han Infantryman meanwhile, came equipped with fouritems which allowed him to emerge victorious on the battlefields: a Jian, a Ji,Fishscale or Lamellar armour (both were utilized at Han China’s heightsequally), and was also accompanied with by a Gourd Shaped Shield for defensivemeasures.
The Dao was the average infantryman’s sword. Singled handed andsingle edged, was 1.12 m long and made of steel rather than bronze as swordswere first made of in the earliest part of the Han Dynasty. The Dao was madethrough “folding and forging” techniques which acted to improve the quality andstrength of the steel, by minimizing impurities and spreading the carboncontent evenly throughout the aforementioned material.
Because of its length, the users of such weapons were forced toslice rather than stab, much unlike a Roman Gladius. Naturally, it was found tobe more effective when used by the Imperial Cavalry, rather than withinfantryman. It was also a vast improvement from the double-edged Jian whichcame before, and was said to have only taken a week to master, as opposed tothe Jian which took months.
A reproduction of a Han Era Dao:



The Ji (Halberd), was a common infantry weapon meanwhile whichcombined a dagger axe with a spear (the cavalry used it as well). It was veryeffective. The Halberd was an especially long spear which came attached with ahook. You could thrust and stab whilst also using it to hook onto the enemy’sleg and pull back to dismember it completely or at least severely cripple it.
Because of the Ji’s length, you could safely kill dozens ofenemies at a very safe distance. It could of course also be used as a longrange double handed axe. Two variants of it are seen below as follows:



Lamellar Armour meanwhile, was made out of hundreds of smalloverlapping metal and or leather plates laced together, to make a flexible andlight coat of armour. Coat of plates consisted of hundreds of smallnon-overlapping metal or leather plates stitched or riveted together. Thoughoffering much less protection than the legionnaire’s LoricaSegmentata, the Haninfantryman’s armour was much lighter allowing the soldier to move faster andtire out at a slower rate.
Lamellar armour dating back to the Han Wudi Era (141–87 BC)during China’s campaigns against the Xiongnu Empire (Source:HanDynasty Armor):



Apart from Lamellar armour, Fish scale cuirasses were alsoutilized by the Han Chinese. Much like its Lamellar variants, Fish scale armourwere also made up of many individual plates which were tied to one another,held by the backing of a cloth or leather in overlapping rows. This particularone below dated back to the Early Han Era:


And lastly was the Han Infantry’s Gourd Shaped Shield. Though itpales in comparison to the Roman Scutum, as is self-evident the shield wasextremely small and offers minimal protection to its user. On the other hand,the small shield offered more maneuverability than the scutum whilst offeringsome form of protection against arrows. In addition, it was also much lighterthan the scutum, thus you could use it to offset an enemy’s balance via a swiftblow to the head.
A Gourd Shaped Shield as seen below, dated back to the Han Era:



Verdict: The Roman Empire would for sure have been much more advancedthan their Han Chinese counterparts with regards to military technology. But itshould be noted that military technologies were only made to fit with thecircumstances of the time.
For example, whilst LoricaSegmentata was superior to theLamellar armour of the Han, it would not have been wise for the Chinese toadopt a similar set of cuirasses, since they were up against the Horse Nomadsof the North, who went to war on horseback and used bow and arrow to gain acomparative advantage over the Han Chinese. As such a 9kg suit of armour wouldbe a liability to the Han, rather than an asset. Nonetheless, for the purposesof the comparison, the Romans win the last point. Rome and Han: 7 all.



 楼主| 发表于 2018-3-17 22:35 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
As should be quite obvious by now, the Han and Romans wereadvanced on a similar scale to one another. At last, such a contention whichhas long been asserted all over the Internet has now (hopefully) been proven atlast.
It would seem that the Romans were more advanced than theirChinese counterparts in the fields of Metallurgy, Medicine, Military Technologyand also slightly when it came to Civil and Structural Engineering.
The Chinese in contrast were more advanced than their Romancounterparts when it came to the fields of Agriculture, Astronomy, Aeronauticsand Mathematics.
The two peer empires meanwhile were equals in the fields of Hydraulics and Mechanics, and Materials Engineering.
The author is forced to conclude as such, that the two great fathers of Western and Chinese civilization, Rome and Han respectively were approximately equal with regards to technological advancement.



DaniilKozhemiachenko (Даниил Кожемяченко), studied history and read sources forfun
Updated Oct 6,2015 · Upvotedby Joe Lonsdale, GP at 8VC; Co-Founder of Palantir,Addepar, Opengov, Affinity and Formation 8.
Thanks for the A2A.
First thing to mention is that technological progress of ancient China is oftenassociated with so called FourGreat Inventions, first of which was made in Han period (i.e. no later than 3rd centuryAD). If we try to compare level of technology in Rome (in 2nd — 3rd centuriesAD), which was, in fact Greek technology, as most of the inventors, engineersand scientists were Greeks, and that of China we will find, that paper andporcelain were almost sole things Chinese could produce and Romans could not(they used parchment and papyrus instead).


There were also many things that both of the nations could produce, build or do(e.g., roads, city plumbing, steel of various quality, artillery*, crossbows**and so on) which had pretty much the same properties.


However, there were things which Chinese (in contrast to Romans) couldn'tproduce: treadmill crane, armor of substantial quality (in fact, almost theonly thing they forged well were swords, while their helmets or body armor wererather primitive), cement, plastic surgery (we have a treatise from Galenthereon) and surgical instruments.
Nevertheless, although Romans could possess a bit more technologies thanChinese the products of both civilizations were on almost the same level: bothwere able to build big palaces, big walls or fortresses, supply their citiesand fields with water, cure the ill, produce massive amounts of weaponry ofsubstantial (at least superior to their enemies') quality and so on..


Jay Liu, I've been told I'm Chinese...
Answered Oct 3,2015
Thanks for the A2A
The Romans and Han Chinese were advanced in different fields, it's hard to saywho was "more" advanced.
Romans were relatively advanced in:
·    Civic and military engineering
·    Military organization
·    Metal forging techniques, the Romans forged very high quality steel

·   土木和军事工程
·   军事组织
·   金属锻造技术,罗马人可以锻造从非常高质量的钢

Han China was relatively advanced in:
·    Agricultural technology, especially in irrigation engineering. Growing rice is more an exercise in engineering than agriculture.
·    Civil organization: Han China had a modern, centralized, meritocraticbureaucracy, dwarfing the Roman Imperial administration in both size andcomplexity
·    Metal casting techniques: Chinese could cast iron to a far higher quality thanthe Romans could, this allowed the Han to equip far larger armies.

·    农业技术,特别是灌溉工程。种植水稻更像是一项工程行为而不是农业行为
·    民间组织:汉人拥有一个现代的、集权的、精英式的官僚机构,在规模和复杂性上使罗马帝国相形见绌。
·    金属铸造技术:中国人的铸铁质量要比罗马人高得多,这使汉朝装备了更大规模的军队。

I'm not going to try and make comparisons between the ClassicalGraeco-Roman philosophical traditions vs. Confucianism.  There's no way toobjectively state which is "better".  Both survive in some formin the modern world.


Karen Carr, Assoc. Professor Emerita,History, Portland State University. http://quatr.us
Answered Oct 31, 2016
This is really the wrong question, because the world center oftechnology in the first centuries CE was neither China nor Rome, but CentralAsia and India. To answer your question, though, I think they’re pretty even.


Things Rome had that China didn’t:
Glass, and especially blown glass. Wool and linen. The lateensail, a triangular sail that made it easier to tack sailboats into the wind.Better oil lamps. Mold-made pottery. The idea that the earth might go aroundthe sun, and a good idea of how big around the earth was. Concrete, and the useof concrete for barrel vaults and domes. Better trigonometry than China. Bettersurgical techniques including removing dead fetuses so the mother didn’t die,and eye operations for trachoma. Slightly more experience with human and animaldissection, and therefore a somewhat better understanding of how human bodiesworked. Opium for anesthesia. The camera obscura.


Things China had that Rome didn’t:
Gunpowder, paper, silk and hemp cloth, a cure for malaria,magnetic compasses, the crossbow, the double piston box bellows (helpful formaking hot fires to make steel), the water-powered box bellows, windmills, amore efficient system of writing numbers enabling them to solve simultaneousequations.


Things Central Asia had that Rome and China didn’t:
High quality crucible steel, cotton, sugar, the recurve bow,better horses, the numbers we call “Arabic numerals”, mathematical theories oninfinity and probability, the idea of zero, tables of trigonometry sines,plastic surgery for facial reconstruction, cataract surgery, charcoal filtersfor clean water, the use of citrons to cure scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency).


But really 1) all of these inventions were important and had tobe combined, in the end, to move technology forward and 2) most of them wereexchanged pretty soon, and people did combine them. By end of the the MiddleAges, Europe had gunpowder, paper, silk, sugar, crossbows, cotton, and steel,Central Asia had opium, and China had cotton, sugar, steel, and lateen sails.China’s lack of experience with glass ended up being a serious handicap indeveloping chemistry and physics experimental equipment, and telescopes,though.

1) 所有这些发明都非常重要,最终必须结合起来,从而推动科技的发展。
2) 很多技术很快就会进行互换,最终人们也会将他们结合起来,到中世纪末,欧洲有了火药、纸张、丝绸、糖、弩、棉织物、钢;中亚则有了鸦片;而中国有了棉织物、糖、钢、三角帆。尽管如此,中国对玻璃的制造缺乏经验,最终成为开发化学和物理实验设备和望远镜的严重障碍。

Al Jones
Answered Oct 8,2015
If you add up all of the technologies and scientific knowledgeboth developed/acquired and more importantly, broadly deployed, it's easy tomake a case for the Han and China in general being hundreds of years moreadvanced than the Roman Empire.   See Joseph Needham's books on Chinesetech or the comparisons between Chinese, Islamic Middle East, and WesternEuropean advancements in Stanford economic and technologyn historian NathanRosenberg's book "How the West Got Rich".   
The Romans were more advanced than commonly given credit for since laterauthors focused on war and politics rather than business, manufacturing,applied sciences, nutrition, surgical care, public health/water treatment,transportation networks, trade networks, and surrounding civilizations' techtransfers (Egypt, Carthage, Greece, Persia, Spain, Gaul, the Baltic, NorthAfrica, India, etc.) that China drew on sophisticated neighbors as well(Thailand, Cambodia, Korea, India, Mongolia, and the many nations nowconsolidated into modern China.)   
Roman history's always just been far more accessible to Western scholars whoused to be educated enough to read Classical Latin well into the 20th Centuryand the easiest books to find in most libraries dominate theories and consensusknowledge for centuries.

如果你把所有自行开发或者外部获得的技术、科学知识加起来,而且从(科学技术)使用的广泛程度的角度来看,那么你将很容易看出,汉朝比罗马要先进数百年。参见Joseph Needham关于中国科技的书籍,或参见斯坦福大学经济和技术史学家Nathan Rosenberg的书籍--《西方是如何变得富有的》,这本书将了中国、中东伊斯兰、西欧的科技进行了对比。

Kurt Scholz, historian of science and technology
Updated Aug 28,2015
That is comparing apples and oranges. Each had its owntechnocomplex. There is no metric of being more advanced. However, advancementshappened in different fields due to different political systems.
Han China had a major interest in improved farming and built technology in thisfield that outlasted their rule. The same can be said of Roman concrete tobuild up their magnificient cities with fresh water supply and centers ofculture and entertainment.


Robert Johnston, I know technical.history.
Answered Oct 4,2015
I'm reading "The three kingdoms" which deals with theevents that lead to the downfall of the Han dynasty. It seems to me that theEmpire in China was much more loosely organised than the Roman which althoughnot immune to internal tension would have not fractured in the same way.
As far as technology is concerned perhaps China had a slight edge. Certainly,the West wanted the goods, hence the silk road. Inventions also tended to flowEast  to. West rather than the other way around.


Margot Darby, Former journalist for InfoWorld.
Answered Aug 30,2015
Roman Empire, definitely, because of itsmany legacies which have stood the test of time. Both Ancient Rome and AncientCathay had highly developed statecraft, and they were arguably equivalent inmatters of technics. But we are writing this in Roman characters usedthroughout the world, on technology developed by Western European peoples witha culture derived in large part from the Christian civilization of the HighMiddle Ages and Ancient Rome. Old Cathay has nothing to compare.


Gwydion Madawc Williams, Read a lot about history, and notesome general patterns.
Answered May 5,2014
The Roman Empire and Han Dynasty Empire in China were aboutequal.  China had silk, but the abacus is thought to have evolved from theRoman counting board.


Weijia Deng, a guy who knows Chinese and a littleJapanese
Answered Jan 8
There are two kinds of technologies, those summarized fromexperiences, and those deducted from theories. For the first kind, it is hardto tell, while for the second kind, Roman Empire is far more better. Mostphenomena cannot be explained reasonably via theories back then, but it is theRoman way of describing world leads to modern science.

发表于 2018-3-18 09:04 | 显示全部楼层
发表于 2018-3-19 21:27 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
发表于 2018-3-19 21:31 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2018-3-20 10:28 | 显示全部楼层

发表于 2018-3-20 11:06 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

临海观潮 发表于 2018-3-20 10:28
治理技术算不算技术?罗马有元老院,背后代表的民意是贵族和自由民(奴隶被排除在外),从那时就开始了和执 ...



发表于 2018-3-20 11:12 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

临海观潮 发表于 2018-3-20 10:28
治理技术算不算技术?罗马有元老院,背后代表的民意是贵族和自由民(奴隶被排除在外),从那时就开始了和执 ...

发表于 2018-3-20 11:19 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

白少流 发表于 2018-3-20 11:12
元老院可以代表自由民?那还要设立保民官做什么?弄得那么血淋淋的?凯撒什么时候称过帝?罗马共和国最后 ...

发表于 2018-3-20 11:38 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

幽燕狐 发表于 2018-3-20 11:19

发表于 2018-3-20 20:46 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
临海观潮 发表于 2018-3-20 10:28
治理技术算不算技术?罗马有元老院,背后代表的民意是贵族和自由民(奴隶被排除在外),从那时就开始了和执 ...

发表于 2018-3-20 22:01 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

lynxliu2008 发表于 2018-3-20 20:46
汉在初期三公论道基本类似内阁制度,只不过皇帝指定内阁成员,真正皇权确立还需要汉武帝。另外举孝廉也基 ...




发表于 2018-3-20 23:52 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
发表于 2018-3-21 12:38 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

临海观潮 发表于 2018-3-20 10:28
治理技术算不算技术?罗马有元老院,背后代表的民意是贵族和自由民(奴隶被排除在外),从那时就开始了和执 ...

发表于 2018-3-21 13:10 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

gxgfyy 发表于 2018-3-21 12:38
还有人吹罗马的政治体制啊?真是活久见。。丫就典型的城邦制国家也就比部落时代高级那么一点点。跟汉朝的 ...


发表于 2018-3-21 14:07 | 显示全部楼层
发表于 2018-3-22 12:26 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

临海观潮 发表于 2018-3-21 13:10

但为什么今天我们也提出建设民主社会, ...

发表于 2018-3-22 14:12 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

幽燕狐 发表于 2018-3-20 11:19

发表于 2018-3-23 09:37 | 显示全部楼层
发表于 2018-3-23 10:18 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

gxgfyy 发表于 2018-3-22 12:26
果然是夹带私货的。你也不看看古罗马才几个人拥有推举权。即便是罗马人,也有大量的平民也不是所谓的公民 ...

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RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

临海观潮 发表于 2018-3-23 10:18
心虚的就看什么都觉得别人夹带私货,对不起,民主二字是社会主义核心价值观里面的,而且是24个字里面的 ...

发表于 2018-3-23 14:09 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

gxgfyy 发表于 2018-3-23 10:43


发表于 2018-3-23 14:41 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

脉脉不语 发表于 2018-3-23 09:37
关于军力,有个很好的参照物---匈奴,汉武帝时期彻底击败了匈奴,东匈奴被融合同化,西匈奴被打的被迫西迁 ...


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RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?




发表于 2018-3-25 13:48 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2018-3-26 20:24 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
脉脉不语 发表于 2018-3-23 09:37
关于军力,有个很好的参照物---匈奴,汉武帝时期彻底击败了匈奴,东匈奴被融合同化,西匈奴被打的被迫西迁 ...

发表于 2018-3-27 08:38 | 显示全部楼层

RE: 罗马与汉朝,谁的技术更加先进?

普加乔夫的眼镜 发表于 2018-3-26 20:24

发表于 2018-3-27 08:49 超大游击队员 | 显示全部楼层
白少流 发表于 2018-3-27 08:38

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