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    Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 01:23

If the Han dynasty of China and the Roman Empire were next to each other, could the Han dynasty conquer the Roman Empire or vice versa?

I think the Han dynasty could have done so because of its larger production capability and more advanced technology such as the crossbow and superior seige weapons. and most importantly, they got the art of wars.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 01:47
NO.  Roman infantry was superior to Han infantry, and was composed of professional soldiers, whereas the Han army relied on conscripts.

Edited by poirot
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sino Defender Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 01:53

Originally posted by poirot poirot wrote:

NO.  Roman infantry was superior to Han infantry, and was composed of professional soldiers, whereas the Han army relied on conscripts.

the han crossbows and seige weapons were, however, superior. for infantry, both sides were similar actually, but han had better metal making technology. the romans mainly used short sword while china had the ability to produce long swords even during the warring states period. the han crossbows were invinsible at its time. the main central armies (northern and southern camps) and the imperial guards of the han were all consisted of professional soldiers as well. only the local armies were consisted of conscripted soldiers. the han relied mainly on central armies for expansion. local armies were only for defense. 



Edited by Sino Defender
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 02:24
Romans produced long swords too, for their cavalry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 06:57
Rome

(This the ummm, 100 thread about the same question?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 07:16
Of course both empires must be near. The western Han Empire can conquer to roman republic (although with problems of course), the Roman Empire (principate) i think can defeat to the later HE, but not conquer; the later RE can conquer any chinese state between more or less 300-500. The real question is,  RE at I-II AC- HE at II-I BC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote conon394 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 10:14

Although this is an ever reoccurring thread…

Sino Defender

Quote the han crossbows and seige weapons were, however, superior

What is your evidence that Han siege weapons were superior? While it is true the Han State deployed and used the crossbow widely, the concept was not unknown to the Romans, nor would it have all that difficult for them to produce a crossbow in response.

Ikki

I would not underestimate the Republic vs. the Principate. The Republic was extremely resilient and able to sustain staggering casualties; the Principate in contrast was more brittle.  It also worth pointing out the Republic in its final civil wars fielded and sustained far larger armies and navies than the Principate ever.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tadamson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 10:29
It might be better to stop this and all go to China History Forum to read the, endless, Rome vs Han forum there.....

It's very, very, very loooooooonnnnnnnngggggggggg !!!!!!!!!
rgds.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 14:34
Originally posted by conon394 conon394 wrote:

Ikki

I would not underestimate the Republic vs. the Principate. The Republic was extremely resilient and able to sustain staggering casualties; the Principate in contrast was more brittle.  It also worth pointing out the Republic in its final civil wars fielded and sustained far larger armies and navies than the Principate ever.



Yes, a good general can do a good work, and the Republic was very hard, but the starting point is unfavourable for the romans in the battlefields, because they don't used archers and cavalry. If the general is good, i repeat, this is not a problem, after the defeat of Carrhae a roman army without auxiliars, only legionnaries defeat three times to a parthian army.

Quote It might be better to stop this and all go to China History Forum to read the, endless, Rome vs Han forum there.....

It's very, very, very loooooooonnnnnnnngggggggggg !!!!!!!!!


Not finished yet???? muahahaha that post began...when? two years ago?

About that post, i have very clear about this question: the main argument of the chinese are that the crossbow can pierce the roman armour; anyother can be claimed by the romans (movility, siege weapons, tactics...)
Is impossible read about a "modelic" chinese han army, only differents and not very accurate examples: 100 thousand cavalry+100 thousand infantry; 1/3 polearms, 1/3 crossbow, 1/3 archers and isn't sure.

Now we go with a battle between romans and chinese, if we think both 100.000 men

Romans (more or less, based on the roman campaign in Dacia, if the tactical situation is good, can deploy the siege machine against the enemies, we know that they did)
50.000 heavy infantry
20.000 shock auxiliar infantry, mainly spearmen
15.000 archers
15.000 cavalry (spear and bow)

Chinese

40.000? horse archers
10.000? shock cavalry
20.000 crossbow
15.000 archers
15.000 polearms


The chinese must prevent a close combat if they don't want be crushed, the chinese cavalry surely will attack by the flanks, in the battle of Tapae the romans fought in fhe flanks with the auxiliars (was attacked by sarmathian cavalry too) and in the campaign of Corbulo in Armenia they could resist the attack of the parthian cavalry puttin the legions on the flanks supported by archers, and the cavalry in the rearguard. Just, we have to the legions advancing against the enemy infantry (archers and crossbow in the flanks, preventing cavalry charge, changes for this what if?), here the chinese say that the crossbow can pierce the shield and the roman armour, and destroy the legions. But i have very clear one thing: the entire firepower of the professional armies of the napoleonic wars, couldn't stop the charge of UNARMORED colums. Is fantasy, impossible, that the firepower of crossbow and archer could stop in 300m the attack of 50.000 armored men, impossible; many times these guys put the example of Carrhae, yes, but in Carrhae the enemy shot their arrows from horses, and the infantry couldn't charge against their; the chinese infantry can't run away without lose the formation, a quick withdraw can be the chaos, and the final.

Conclusion:  The main problem, we don't know very well the (real and proved) tactics of the chinese army. Again, this is a question for generals, with advantage for the roman army, more balanced (if we talk about Principate, of course)


bye



Edited by Ikki
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sino Defender Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2006 at 16:17
Originally posted by Ikki Ikki wrote:

Originally posted by conon394 conon394 wrote:

Ikki

I would not underestimate the Republic vs. the Principate. The Republic was extremely resilient and able to sustain staggering casualties; the Principate in contrast was more brittle.  It also worth pointing out the Republic in its final civil wars fielded and sustained far larger armies and navies than the Principate ever.



Yes, a good general can do a good work, and the Republic was very hard, but the starting point is unfavourable for the romans in the battlefields, because they don't used archers and cavalry. If the general is good, i repeat, this is not a problem, after the defeat of Carrhae a roman army without auxiliars, only legionnaries defeat three times to a parthian army.

Quote It might be better to stop this and all go to China History Forum to read the, endless, Rome vs Han forum there.....

It's very, very, very loooooooonnnnnnnngggggggggg !!!!!!!!!


Not finished yet???? muahahaha that post began...when? two years ago?

About that post, i have very clear about this question: the main argument of the chinese are that the crossbow can pierce the roman armour; anyother can be claimed by the romans (movility, siege weapons, tactics...)
Is impossible read about a "modelic" chinese han army, only differents and not very accurate examples: 100 thousand cavalry+100 thousand infantry; 1/3 polearms, 1/3 crossbow, 1/3 archers and isn't sure.

Now we go with a battle between romans and chinese, if we think both 100.000 men

Romans (more or less, based on the roman campaign in Dacia, if the tactical situation is good, can deploy the siege machine against the enemies, we know that they did)
50.000 heavy infantry
20.000 shock auxiliar infantry, mainly spearmen
15.000 archers
15.000 cavalry (spear and bow)

Chinese

40.000? horse archers
10.000? shock cavalry
20.000 crossbow
15.000 archers
15.000 polearms


The chinese must prevent a close combat if they don't want be crushed, the chinese cavalry surely will attack by the flanks, in the battle of Tapae the romans fought in fhe flanks with the auxiliars (was attacked by sarmathian cavalry too) and in the campaign of Corbulo in Armenia they could resist the attack of the parthian cavalry puttin the legions on the flanks supported by archers, and the cavalry in the rearguard. Just, we have to the legions advancing against the enemy infantry (archers and crossbow in the flanks, preventing cavalry charge, changes for this what if?), here the chinese say that the crossbow can pierce the shield and the roman armour, and destroy the legions. But i have very clear one thing: the entire firepower of the professional armies of the napoleonic wars, couldn't stop the charge of UNARMORED colums. Is fantasy, impossible, that the firepower of crossbow and archer could stop in 300m the attack of 50.000 armored men, impossible; many times these guys put the example of Carrhae, yes, but in Carrhae the enemy shot their arrows from horses, and the infantry couldn't charge against their; the chinese infantry can't run away without lose the formation, a quick withdraw can be the chaos, and the final.

Conclusion:  The main problem, we don't know very well the (real and proved) tactics of the chinese army. Again, this is a question for generals, with advantage for the roman army, more balanced (if we talk about Principate, of course)


bye

Chinese tactics and formations can vary depending on the general. Sun Zhi's Arts of Wars list a lot of details on Chinese war tactics. Besides, Chinese soldiers are organized into different levels of groups, companies, with sub commanders, higher level commanders etc, making the whole army more organized. Also, the Chinese probably would have more than 100,000 men.

Han Chinese soldiers also shot differently from the West (including Central Asian, Arabs, and Europeans). While armies from the "Western region" tended to shoot altogether at a time and then charge, leaving time for enemies to approach. Chinese soldiers shoot by rolls (e.g. the first roll shoots, and then reloads, while the first rolls reloads, the second roll shoots, and then while the second roll reloads, the third roll shoots, and then while the third roll reloads, the first roll shoots again, making the attacks continue without pause). Enemy calvary and infantrymen could hardly approach unless they significantly outnumbered the Chinese, which wasn't likely to happen.

that's how they took down the huns and various central asian tribes.

beside, Chinese infantry actually made up the largest portion of the army in term of number. In the battle of "northern desert" against the Huns, Emperor Han Wudi mobilized 500,000 infantrymen and 200,000 calvary. While the calvary served as the main attack force, the 500,000 infantrymen provided support and assistance. A handheld crossbow was issued to every soldier regardless of their position during the Han period.



Edited by Sino Defender
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lennel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Feb-2006 at 00:11

internal defeat

The social mobility in the roman empire would've caused the more ambitious and intelligent han lower classes to emigrate, so to rise in society.

now off to the chinese/ancient civ. history forums



Edited by lennel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sino Defender Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Feb-2006 at 00:42
Originally posted by lennel lennel wrote:

internal defeat

The social mobility in the roman empire would've caused the more ambitious and intelligent han lower classes to emigrate, so to rise in society.

now off to the chinese/ancient civ. history forums

the practice of imperial confucianism actually created a sense of social stability in the han dynasty unmatched in the west and roman empire. citizens of the han were loyal to the emperor like the japanese to their emperor during ww2.

"Whoever messes with the heavenly middle kingdom, no matter how far s/he escapes, s/he is to be slaughtered"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Feb-2006 at 20:00

"NO.  Roman infantry was superior to Han infantry, and was composed of professional soldiers, whereas the Han army relied on conscripts."

 

No its not, only Western Han army are conscripts, Eastern Han army are professional. And they are superior to the Roman infantry due to their superior iron smelting techniques as well as missile technology. Furthermore they cavalry are far superior.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Feb-2006 at 20:01

"Conclusion:  The main problem, we don't know very well the (real and proved) tactics of the chinese army. "

 

Irregardless of tactics, Han has a much greater strategic advantage in its use of horsepower and wealth.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Otho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2006 at 08:21
It depends...

If Han had Chewie on his side, well the might of the Roman Empire is no match for a good blaster by your side.

If it was Han Solo solo, if you know what I mean, well even he might have some problems.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2006 at 04:07

Chinese crossbow is superior to medieval european crossbow ,china had cast iron which wasnt invented till 1400;s in europe to produce mass cast trigger system for crossbow triggers,romans had a crossbow but alot inferior to even normal bows.

Where is the proof that roman infantry is superior to chinese infantry ,except all the hype by western historians glorifying there past.

A chinese formation would ripp apart a legion due to the slowness of a legions attack due to its heavy nature with lots of armour, a crossbow can penetrate all armours , and would undoubltely nuetrillaze the roman sheild and pila combo which worked well vs the almost static phalanxe and the unorganized barbarians footsoldiers.

whilst the han conquered the Xiongnu which eventually pushed a weaker steppe tribe to Hungary and forced its tribes to resort to less horsemen and more infantry as shown in Chalon 451ad where the roman empire was stretched by the huns .

so the han indirectly caused the downfall of rome now tell that to your classics teacher and watch him cry

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2006 at 05:27

Originally posted by Otho Otho wrote:

It depends...

If Han had Chewie on his side, well the might of the Roman Empire is no match for a good blaster by your side.

If it was Han Solo solo, if you know what I mean, well even he might have some problems.....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lennel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2006 at 15:51
Originally posted by BigL BigL wrote:

whilst the han conquered the Xiongnu which eventually pushed a weaker steppe tribe to Hungary and forced its tribes to resort to less horsemen and more infantry as shown in Chalon 451ad where the roman empire was stretched by the huns .

so the han indirectly caused the downfall of rome now tell that to your classics teacher and watch him cry

wow, thats a little dramatic....

Rome began crumbling long before hun invasions and continued afterward.  What are you proposing about chalons?  Most of the hun at that point was a tribal confederacy.  It was largely franks, romans vs. ostrogoths, i'll check into it though.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2006 at 12:00
Originally posted by lennel lennel wrote:

Originally posted by BigL BigL wrote:

whilst the han conquered the Xiongnu which eventually pushed a weaker steppe tribe to Hungary and forced its tribes to resort to less horsemen and more infantry as shown in Chalon 451ad where the roman empire was stretched by the huns .

so the han indirectly caused the downfall of rome now tell that to your classics teacher and watch him cry

wow, thats a little dramatic....

Rome began crumbling long before hun invasions and continued afterward.  What are you proposing about chalons?  Most of the hun at that point was a tribal confederacy.  It was largely franks, romans vs. ostrogoths, i'll check into it though.

True, the Hun nation by the time of Chalons was a federation of many ethnicities, including Franks and Ostrogoths.  However, contrary to popular paintings, Attila the Hun had Asiatic features, as described by Roman emissaries of the time.

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