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Han China versus Ancient Rome
As Orion's signature always say;
"Read the mofo thread before you mofo post."
This thread compares the ancient Roman Empire with Han Dynasty China, two superpowers around ~200 BCE. They share the similarities of being surrounded by whom they call "barbarians," and were considered regional powers, if not superpowers. Unlike the Romans, the Chinese did not start invasions of others. Rome however, forged a massive empire by blood.
Economy and Technology
I am not good in economy, so helping to discuss about this would be great. Rome was impressive, the Mediterranean was under Roman control. Big bonus to Roman wealth but what about China? Excluding Korea, there are no one for China to actually trade with. Rome generated wealth from conquered lands while Han China generates wealth from within the country but what is for sure is that China, for 18 centuries have always had the largest economy. China was metallurgically and technologically superior to the Romans, except that the Romans had toilets and sewer systems, the Chinese had to use wooden buckets.
Roman military technology was also advanced. They fielded siege weapons such as balistae and onagers. China could produce crossbows and good-quality iron weapons in the masses but could not match the Roman "artillery".
Both Han and Rome had strong armies that could march long distances and in history, they both end up as victors in wars against their enemies; Rome triumphed over the Carthaginians, Gauls and later Greeks while China was able to move north, across deserts and defeat the Xiongnu's. The Roman army fought mainly using infantries in immobile but steady formations composed of Roman citizens. To supplement the main core infantries, auxiliaries, non-Romans fought citizens with legionnaires to become Romans. The Romans did not use cavalries to a large extend. I am sure you all know about the Roman army so I do not have to elaborate on this.
-Infantry to infantry engagements.
-Uses heavy infantry supported by lighter auxiliaries.
The Han Chinese's order of battle was completely different compared to the Romans. After engagements with the Xiongnus, Han Chinese adopted new tactics and developed effective missile weapons. Han China had strong cavalries and used crossbows produced in the masses. Serving in the army was compulsory to adult males and conscription was familiar to the Chinese. China's native terrain allows grand strategical moves and maneuvers of the cavalry, which was considered to be better than those of the Xiongnu's'.
-More soldiers, not slaves or men of the Persian Empire.
-Strong cavalry, almost equal in numbers compared to infantries.
-Also uses heavy infantry supported by lighter support soldiers such as crossbowmen.
Both armies are professional but China reigns supreme when it comes to manpower. In the battle of ChangPing fought between Qin and Zhao, during the Warring States Era. Both sides were able to field over 300,000 soldiers. During the Han dynasty, the population of China tripled so that proves Han China was able to field a much bigger army than Rome. Both Rome and Han China used heavy infantry extensively with smaller numbers of support troops, auxiliaries and skirmishers. Chinese crossbow would shower the enemy before moving the infantries. The Romans would hurl their pila before an engagement. Chinese cavalry would flank or surround enemies. The Romans would move in checker formations to further complicate matters, didn't they?
We all know that for the Romans, the battle at Carrhae was disastrous because of mounted-archers and their Parthian shot harassment, the Chinese had similar strategies which could be used on Roman infantry.
Roman shields could protect the barer from thrown spears and sling-ed stones but I doubt it could 100% protect the barer from a Chinese crossbow(not repeating ones).
Roman infantry formations was tighter than Chinese.
In terms of naval warfare, I would say that China wouldn't stand a chance in open sea, Chinese river ships would be rammed by Roman warships. In a river battle, China would claim victory due to Chinese navy tactics; arrows and boarding.
Most dominant armor in China that that was lamellar or scale armor while Romans had mail.
I did not start this thread because of the other threads that compares Ninjas with Pirates, Vikings with Samurais and Romans with the Greeks. I started this topic to see the what you people think about these two superpowers if they were to engage in a full-scale war, if Rome invaded China, or the other way around, who would end up in victory? While fighting a war, you cannot forget the economy!
Now that you have "read the mofo thread," please mofo post and share your opinions.
ok, I imported a post from another forum, because i thought it was interesting enough. so who would win?