View Poll Results: China's most glourious military in dynasties

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  • Warring states

    8 5.67%
  • Qin dynasty

    22 15.60%
  • Tang dynasty

    45 31.91%
  • Song dynasty

    4 2.84%
  • Ming dynasty

    16 11.35%
  • Qing dynasty

    7 4.96%
  • Nationalist China

    3 2.13%
  • People's republic of China

    36 25.53%
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Chinas best dynastic military?

This is a discussion on Chinas best dynastic military? within the Military History forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; Hi Crobato Thanks for your input . Couple of things I have to disagree though: 1. The Yuan or Mongol ...

  1. #76
    cliveersknell is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Hi Crobato
    Thanks for your input . Couple of things I have to disagree though:
    1. The Yuan or Mongol army did indeed used gunpowder, particularly so in
    the invasion of Japan. Now german and czech historians are not discounting
    the fact that artillery might have been used in the Battle of Liegnitz.

    2. The Ming army particularly the cavalry had a lot of Mongol recruits, however, their leadership was weak. The Ming tried more than 3x to conquer the northern Yuan in Inner and Outer Mongolia, but failed . The climax of
    which is the battle of Tumu wherein the Oirads defeated a Ming army
    of 500,000 men taking emperor Ying Zong hostage and prisoner.

    3. The Ming eventually lost control of southern Manchuria , Northern
    Manchuria , from Jilin up to Vladivostok was beyond their reach. Nurgachi
    defeated heavily in Liaosi. A Ming army of 200,000 was destroyed by the
    manchus.

    4. The Yuan was more west centric since it had links with the Ilkhanate
    of Hulegu in Persia and the golden horde of Batu in Russia. Road and postal
    systems were set up from Beijing , Kharakhorin all the way to Moscow, Kiev
    Sarai(Saratov today), and parts of Persia , Chinese art became predominant
    in Persia, during the 13-17th century . Persian metalwork and astronomy
    also benefited China greatly.

    5. The so called Ming fleet was actually built during the Yuan, Admiral
    Zheng He was a Hui in former service with the Yuan.

    6. The Ming, in my opinion, did not move China forward, it moved it backward.
    It's failure to incorporate the Northern Yuan as well as it's failed policies
    in Manchuria led to it's eventual demise.

    r's
    Clive

  2. #77
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Quote Originally Posted by cliveersknell View Post
    Hi Crobato
    Thanks for your input . Couple of things I have to disagree though:
    1. The Yuan or Mongol army did indeed used gunpowder, particularly so in
    the invasion of Japan. Now german and czech historians are not discounting
    the fact that artillery might have been used in the Battle of Liegnitz.
    But they were not to the same extent as the Ming did, which built the General cannonsm and laid as many as 3,400 cannons along the Great Wall. The General cannon when its ballistic properites are computed by modern simulations, has a range and energy similar to cannons used during the American Civil War.

    2. The Ming army particularly the cavalry had a lot of Mongol recruits, however, their leadership was weak. The Ming tried more than 3x to conquer the northern Yuan in Inner and Outer Mongolia, but failed . The climax of
    which is the battle of Tumu wherein the Oirads defeated a Ming army
    of 500,000 men taking emperor Ying Zong hostage and prisoner.
    That is not correct.

    Ming Dynasty was weakened by fighting too many wars and by corruption that betrayed its own generals. For example, General Yu Quan defeated the Mongols when the Mongols reached 80km of Beijing. When the Zhentong Emperor regained the throne, he had Yu Quan executed.

    Another excellent general was Qi Jiquang, who cleaned up Japanese pirates (well more like Chinese pirates using hired Japanese ronin) along the Chinese coast. Later, he was in charge of a major segment of the Great Wall and defeated every Mongol attempt to pass through it during his lifetime. His elite troops used something called a Chang Dao (Long Dao) which looked like they were copied from Japanese Nodachi, which is a very long sword. A frigate of the ROC Navy is named after him.

    Yuan Chonghuan defeated both Nurhachi and his son Huang Taiji in seperate battles, both when being vastly outnumbered. But Yuan himself became a victim of eunuch backstabbing and as a result got executed unjustly. The death of Yuan Chonghuan was a major cause of the Ming Dynasty's fall since Huang Taiji even feared him.

    The Ming also fought in the Imjin wars with their Korean allies, and managed to fight the Japanese into a bloody standstill and that eventually led to the Japanese withdrawal.

    The Ming also had to fight numerous rebellions, one of which was successful enough to take Beijing. Manchus used this to their advantage.

    4. The Yuan was more west centric since it had links with the Ilkhanate
    of Hulegu in Persia and the golden horde of Batu in Russia. Road and postal
    systems were set up from Beijing , Kharakhorin all the way to Moscow, Kiev
    Sarai(Saratov today), and parts of Persia , Chinese art became predominant
    in Persia, during the 13-17th century . Persian metalwork and astronomy
    also benefited China greatly.
    True, but nothing like the Han to Tang period where Greek arts left by Alexander the Great in the Hindu Kush entered China, the Silk Road where Persian arts and horses entered China, or through the influx of Buddism from India, and the entry of Jews and even Nestorian Christians to China. The concept of the highly revered Buddist saint Guanyin (in Japanese, Kannon) came from images of the Virgin Mary brought by Christians along this route. The Song Dynasty's greatest poet was a man born in Central Asia.

    5. The so called Ming fleet was actually built during the Yuan, Admiral
    Zheng He was a Hui in former service with the Yuan.
    Wrong. Zheng He was born long after the Yuan Dynasty was gone. In fact, like six generations passed.

    6. The Ming, in my opinion, did not move China forward, it moved it backward.
    It's failure to incorporate the Northern Yuan as well as it's failed policies
    in Manchuria led to it's eventual demise.

    r's
    Clive
    The Ming had many failings indeed, but the Qing Dynasty made it even more backward. For example, despite his military successes that brought China to its greatest extent, Qianlong Emperor's fascination with swords and hand combat, retarded China's early lead in gunpowder development in favor of returning to classical arms like swords. Surely, the swords made during the Qing Dynasty were among the best ever made in China and in fact around the world, prized by collectors, but at what price? China was decisively overtaken by the West in firearms development.

    During the Imjin wars, the Ming cannons were superior even to the Portugeses muskets and artillery that were supplied to the Japanese. You can see that from this period, the Chinese were still superior in firearms development. By the time of the Opium Wars, steam powered British gunboats were outranging the warjunks in cannon fire.

  3. #78
    cliveersknell is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Hi Crobato
    Thanks very much for your replies:
    1. At least now we are in agreement that the Yuan used artillery, albeit
    with shorter range than the Ming.
    2. The battle of Tumu really happened and the Ming emperor was a prisoner
    of Esen Hongtaiji, Khan of the Oirads. Many history books cite this, my
    favorite is Empire of the Steppes by Rene Grousset. Most public libraries
    have this .
    3. The Tang only traded with Middle/Near east the Byzantine empire, and
    India. After their defeat by the Arabs in the Talas River, they were driven out
    of Central asia, the Yuan on the other hand had links all the way to the
    golden horde in Sarai (present day Saratov near Volgograd).
    4. The Qing empire, was the only empire 2nd to the Yuan that effectively had the present day PRC borders as a subset. Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner/Outer Mongolia, Jilin/Liaoning/Heilongjiang , Yunnan, Qinghai , and Gansu and territories near Vladivostok and Tajikstan were firmly under Qing control.
    No other dynasty except the Yuan had such extensive territories as the Qing.
    5. Therefore the 2 greatest dynasties of China were not of Han origin
    but of Mongol (Yuan) and Manchu ( Qing). Many historians in China,
    and some in the west like my good friend Dr. Pamela Crosley ( author of
    "The Manchus") are beginning to accept the Qing as a legacy of the Yuan.
    After the death of Fuyin, Kangxi's dad, the dynasty was ruled by a Mongol
    Keerqin woman named Buumbutai or in pinyin , Xiaozhuang. She brought
    her grandson to be one of the greatest emperor's of China in the same league as Khubilai, but not in Chinggis' league.
    r's
    Clive

  4. #79
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Quote Originally Posted by cliveersknell View Post
    Hi Crobato
    Thanks very much for your replies:
    1. At least now we are in agreement that the Yuan used artillery, albeit
    with shorter range than the Ming.
    2. The battle of Tumu really happened and the Ming emperor was a prisoner
    of Esen Hongtaiji, Khan of the Oirads. Many history books cite this, my
    favorite is Empire of the Steppes by Rene Grousset. Most public libraries
    have this .
    Yes, but Esen Taiji in turn was defeated by General Yu Quan.

    3. The Tang only traded with Middle/Near east the Byzantine empire, and
    India. After their defeat by the Arabs in the Talas River, they were driven out
    of Central asia, the Yuan on the other hand had links all the way to the
    golden horde in Sarai (present day Saratov near Volgograd).
    Except that Yuan links to the West did not give much to China since every thing was Mongol controlled, and gravely damaged Middle Eastern cultures. Name me any significant cultural and religious contribution that came out of it.
    Links between the West is not as rosy as you portray it to be, because of the rivalry among fellow Mongol hordes.

    Name me any significant cultural interaction. I can name several from Han to Tang.

    1. Roman Empire getting silk from China.
    2. China getting Arabic steeds from the Middle East.
    3. Arrival of Buddism from India to China.
    4. Judaism coming to China.
    5. Nestorian Christianity coming to China.
    6. Introduction of Greek art into China.
    7. Song's greatest poet was from Central Asia.

    4. The Qing empire, was the only empire 2nd to the Yuan that effectively had the present day PRC borders as a subset. Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner/Outer Mongolia, Jilin/Liaoning/Heilongjiang , Yunnan, Qinghai , and Gansu and territories near Vladivostok and Tajikstan were firmly under Qing control.
    No other dynasty except the Yuan had such extensive territories as the Qing.
    That is not true. The Yuan does not control territories belonging to other Mongol Khanate.

    5. Therefore the 2 greatest dynasties of China were not of Han origin
    but of Mongol (Yuan) and Manchu ( Qing). Many historians in China,
    and some in the west like my good friend Dr. Pamela Crosley ( author of
    "The Manchus") are beginning to accept the Qing as a legacy of the Yuan.
    After the death of Fuyin, Kangxi's dad, the dynasty was ruled by a Mongol
    Keerqin woman named Buumbutai or in pinyin , Xiaozhuang. She brought
    her grandson to be one of the greatest emperor's of China in the same league as Khubilai, but not in Chinggis' league.
    r's
    Clive
    The two greatest dynasties of China was the Han and the Tang. Both dynasties have territory almost the size of current China, including as far west as Afghanistan, and far north as north of Korea.

    Yuan offered little in technological innovation compared to what happened in the Ming for example. The giant Yongle bell for example, a massive 14 ton bell, is swung around a metal pin only a few inches wide and a meter long. And its been doing that for centuries. Which Mongol happen to provide the kidn of metallurgical technology that is almost right up to today's aeronautical standards.

    The Yuan is among the shortest lived of dynasties. It is true that Yuan did a lot of work to improve China, but much of it, like the cultural contacts, has already been by the Sui and the Tang and furthered in the Song. Of the emperors, it seems only Kublai and the Renzhong Emperor are the only ones that are truly competent and sincere in improving the country; the rest are pretty much corrupt and incompetent. After only a century, the Yuan was overthrown, and in 1388, Chinese armies invaded Mongolia, won a massive decisive victory with 70,000 Mongols captured, and Chinggiz Khan's capital Karakhorum, razed to the ground completely.

    The last Khan of the Mongols would fall to Huang Taiji, who would establish the Qing Dynasty.

    As for the Qing, the Qing is among the worst militarily despite the achievements of the Qianlong Emperor. In any dynasty, China was never the technological inferior of its neighbors or of the West. But in the Qing Dynasty, you are marked with serious cultural and technological decline.

  5. #80
    cliveersknell is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Hi Crobato,
    At least we come to some agreement:
    1. The Battle of Tumu did happen in 1449, it was a severe defeat for the Ming - 500,000 KIA or captured including YinZhong. Good thing was the evil
    eunuch wang was among the killed.
    2. Esen Hongtaiji, went over his head when he decided to go for Beijing.
    He allowed Yu Qian to reconsolidate, and strenghten Beijing's defenses.
    He also did not have proper siege equipment , and Beijing's walls are strong
    and thick. Furthermore, the Ming also had heavy artillery.
    3. Contributions the Yuan brought to China from the West :
    a. Catholicism came to china - Links made with the Pope in Rome
    b. Superior mechanics and hydraulics from Persia - if you notice, the
    mangonels of the persians have one thing superior to the chinese one's
    , they have reduction gears . Hydraulics was also used to irrigate land
    from lakes thousands of feet above sea level, biggest accomplishment
    was in Yunnan, when a middle eastern governor brought by Kublai made this happen.
    c. Astronomy , algebra, optics, from the Middle east and Persia - Alhazen
    discovered the laws of reflection and refraction centuries before Isaac Newton.
    d.Metallurgy , particularly damascene technology developed in Damascus
    , Syria for the creation of stainless steel blades and swords.
    e. Architechture- The city of Beijing or Dadu was designed by an Arab and
    Nepalese named Alginger - the big white dagoba in Beihai park, is his tomb.
    f. Some aspects of western architechture also was brought into China,
    recent excavations of Kublai's old summer capitol in Shangdu or Xanadu,
    showed these. In Kharakhorin, there was a water fountain made from
    gold which sprouted wine made by a Frank. Marco and Nicolo Polo
    also brought Italian artists to China.

    The Qing was not aware of the big revolutions in physics , chemistry,
    and mathematics occuring in the west during the 16-19th centuries.
    They did not know Newton, Laplace, Lagrange, Gauss, Volta, Joule,
    Nernst, Lavosier, Faraday, etc..
    They were too involved in looking inward and rested on their laurels.
    A significant thing was brought up by Dr. Crosely:
    1. The Qing defeated the Russians initially
    2. They sent an embassy team to visit St. Petersburg and onthe way
    back Constantinople. This was during the reign of Czar Peter the great,
    they created the wrong and false conception that Constantinople was
    the most advanced city in the West, they were not aware that the Ottoman
    Empire was also undergoing stagnation.
    3. When MacCarthey visited China, the Qing showed no interest at all
    in studying the steam ships that took him to China
    These led to the Qing demise in the 19th century
    r's
    Clive

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    cliveersknell is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Hi Crobato
    On the Yuan being short lived -"a flicker of light " .
    The word Yuan seems quite appropriate - means "new beginning", I assume
    you are chinese so correct me if I am wrong.
    It was short lived for the ff reasons:
    1. Khubilai made one big failing after unifying China - he failed to call
    a Khuriltai inviting everyone to see where the next direction would be.
    He may have been interrupted with his ongoing conflict with his brother
    Arik Boke, but as soon as this was resolved, a Khuriltai needed to be called.
    2. Khubilai did not have a good adviser and prime minister like Yeliu Zhucai
    who served Chinggis and Ogodei well. Instead he was saddled with Achmet
    who was corrupt and self serving, he was at the heart of economic disaster
    that would follow later.
    3. From my own personal readings and investigations, I personally believed
    the fall of the Mongol Empire began with Ogodei's death, he died a very sad man.During his last years he took to alcoholism and died quite young. He
    was a man who kept to himself most of the time, he was chosen by Chinggis
    because of his intelligence and calm countenance. But for every positive thing there is a negative thing, the inner stresses and conflicts began to show
    later, and he took to drinking as an outlet. After his death, his wife appointed
    a central asian muslim as chief minister, Abdul Al Rahman, he was pretty
    much like Achmet, and he almost ran the empire dry. Guyuk , Ogode's son
    was a great soldier , but a poor administrator, so his mother and Rahman
    ran the empire. After Guyuk's short reign, he too died young, ( xcessive
    alcoholism) , Mongke took over, but by force. ( members attending his
    Khuriltai were armed, they killed the Guyuk faction , and arrested and later
    killed Rahman and others). This set the trend for a "Khuriltai by force".
    However, I think many historians in china are reevaluating the Yuan,
    and now see the Yuan as a truly new beginning for a multi ethnic China,
    not just Han but including other races. Han by itself is no longer pure, but
    mixed with many other races.
    It may seem short, like the first German Me262's in the last 2 years of
    WWII, but like the Me262, which is a forerunner of modern jet fighters, the Yuan became the forerunner and catalyst for a new evolution in China's history, the Qing is a legacy of Yuan, Ever since
    the Yuan, China had a permanency that would live on despite troubled times
    like in the last years of the Qing and the Republic. Many are silently
    agreeing , even the famous English historian Prof.John Man, that the present
    day PRC, a world superpower is a legacy also of the Yuan.

    r's
    Clive
    Last edited by cliveersknell; 05-04-2007 at 05:20 PM.

  7. #82
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Quote Originally Posted by cliveersknell View Post
    Hi Crobato,
    At least we come to some agreement:
    1. The Battle of Tumu did happen in 1449, it was a severe defeat for the Ming - 500,000 KIA or captured including YinZhong. Good thing was the evil
    eunuch wang was among the killed.
    2. Esen Hongtaiji, went over his head when he decided to go for Beijing.
    He allowed Yu Qian to reconsolidate, and strenghten Beijing's defenses.
    He also did not have proper siege equipment , and Beijing's walls are strong
    and thick. Furthermore, the Ming also had heavy artillery.
    3. Contributions the Yuan brought to China from the West :
    a. Catholicism came to china - Links made with the Pope in Rome
    That's because of Marco Polo. Nonetheless, these links were not strong enough, until reestablished by the Portugese (Jesuits) with the Ming Dynasty.

    b. Superior mechanics and hydraulics from Persia - if you notice, the
    mangonels of the persians have one thing superior to the chinese one's
    , they have reduction gears . Hydraulics was also used to irrigate land
    from lakes thousands of feet above sea level, biggest accomplishment
    was in Yunnan, when a middle eastern governor brought by Kublai made this happen.
    I don't know. I clearly doubt the Persians have better hydraulics and mechanics than China at that time, considering that Persia never had the immense irrigation projects China had.

    I remember the TV show Building an Empire, where it featured China. It showed an irrigination project where engineers manage through a system of water drawn wheels and pumps, to irrigate land weel above sea level. Guess what, the system was made in the Qin Dynasty, long before what you were describing.

    c. Astronomy , algebra, optics, from the Middle east and Persia - Alhazen
    discovered the laws of reflection and refraction centuries before Isaac Newton.
    And long before anyone else, the Chinese knew the exact reasons what caused an eclipse, and created huge intricate highly precise mechanical spheres to model the skies and track the stars.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_astronomy


    Before the Greek Hipparchus created the first star catalogue of the Western world during the 2nd century BC, the 4th century BC astronomers Shi Shen and Gan De were the first in history to compile a star catalogue. Publishings of the two were known as Star Manual of Masters Gan and Shi (甘石星經), the world's first star catalogue. Although this catalogue in full was eventually lost over the centuries, luckily part of its content was referred to and used by other Chinese documents such as [Treatise on Astrology in the Kaiyuan Regin] (開元占經) during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang (712 - 756 AD). After analyzing and providing summary on the work of Gan De and Shi Shen, Tang era astronomers mentioned the names of more than 800 stars that were found, 121 of them marked with positions. [1]

    Another Chinese classic is the Star Manual of Master Wuxian (巫咸星經). Its authorship is still in dispute because it mentioned names of Twelve Countries, which did not exist in the Shang Dynasty, the era of which it was supposed to have been written. Moverover, it was customary in the past for the Chinese to forge works of notable scholars, as this could lead to a possible explanation for the inconsistencies found.

    The Han Dynasty astronomer and inventor Zhang Heng (78 - 139 AD) not only catalogued some 2500 different stars, but also recognized over 100 different constellations. Zhang Heng also published his work Ling Xian, a summary of different astronomical theories in China at the time. In subsequent period of the Three Kingdoms (220 - 280 AD), Chen Zhuo (陳卓) combined the work of his predecessors, forming another star catalogue. This time 283 constellations and 1464 stars were listed. The astronomer Guo Shoujin of the Yuan Dynasty (1279 - 1368 AD) created a new catalogue which was believed to contain thousands of stars. Unfortunately, many of documents at that period were destroyed, including that of Shoujin. Imperial Astronomical Instruments (儀象考成) published in 1757 containing 3083 stars exactly.


    [edit] Star maps
    The Chinese drew many maps of stars in the past centuries. The most famous one is perhaps the map found in Dunhuang, Gansu. Uncovered by the British archaeologist Marc Aurel Stein in 1907, the star map was brought to the British Museum in London.

    The map was drawn on paper and represents the complete sky with more than 1,350 stars. Though ancient Babylonians and Greeks also observed the sky and catalogued stars, no such complete record of the stars may exist or survive. Hence this is the oldest chart of the actual skies in the present.

    Stars appearing on the chart were marked with three colors: black for the stars of Gan, yellow for the stars of Shi, and white fore the stars of Wuxian.

    According to recently studies, the map may date the manuscript to as early as the 7th century AD (Tang Dynasty). Scholars believe the star map dating from 705 to 710 AD, which is the reign of Emperor Zhongzong of Tang. Some experts from the West think the chart may be a copy of an earlier existing document. There are some texts (Monthly Ordinances, 月令) describing the movement of the sun among the sky each month, which was not based on the observation at that time.


    [edit] Lunar and solar eclipses
    The ancient Chinese astronomer Shi Shen (fl. 4th century BC) was aware of the relation of the moon in a solar eclipse, as he provided instructions in his writing to predict them by using the relative positions of the moon and sun.[1] The 'radiating influence' theory for a solar eclipse was proposed by the Chinese philosopher Wang Chong (27-97 AD), but he admits in his writing that it was nothing new. The Chinese astronomer and inventor Zhang Heng (78-139 AD) wrote of both solar eclipse and lunar eclipse in the publication of Ling Xian(靈憲), 120 AD (Wade-Giles):

    The sun is like fire and the moon like water. The fire gives out light and the water reflects it. Thus the moon's brightness is produced from the radiance of the sun, and the moon's darkness (pho) is due to (the light of) the sun being obstructed (pi). The side which faces the sun is fully lit, and the side which is away from it is dark. The planets (as well as the moon) have the nature of water and reflect light. The light pouring forth from the sun (tang jih chih chhung kuang) does not always reach the moon owing to the obstruction (pi) of the earth itself—this is called 'an-hsü', a lunar eclipse. When (a similar effect) happens with a planet (we call it) an occulation (hsing wei); when the moon passes across (kuo)(the sun's path) then there is a solar eclipse (shih).[2]


    Equipment and innovation

    [edit] Armillary sphere (渾儀)

    A method of making observation instruments at the times of Qing DynastyThe earliest development of the armillary sphere in China goes back to the astronomers Shi Shen and Gan De in the 4th century BC, as they were equipped with a primitive single-ring armillary instrument.[3] This would have allowed them to measure the north polar distance (去極度, the Chinese form of declination) and measurment that gave the position in a hsiu (入宿度, the Chinese form of right ascension).[3]

    During the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC - 9 AD) additional developments made by the astronomers Luo-xia Hong (落下閎), Xiangyu Wang-ren, and Geng Shou-chang (耿壽昌) advanced the use of the armillary in its early stage of evolution. In 52 BC, it was the astronomer Geng Shou-chang who introduced the first permanently fixed equatorial ring of the armillary sphere.[3] In the subsequent Eastern Han Dynasty ( 23-220 AD) period, the astronomers Fu An and Jia Kui added the eliptical ring by 84 AD.[3] With the famous statesman, astronomer, and inventor Zhang Heng (78-139 AD), the sphere was totally complete in 125 AD, with horizon and meridian rings.[3] It is of great importance to note that the world's first hydraulic (i.e. water-powered) armillary sphere was created by Zhang Heng, who operated his by use of an inflow clepsydra clock (see Zhang's article for more detail).


    [edit] Abridged armilla (簡儀)
    Designed by famous astronomers Guo Shoujing in 1276 AD, it solved most problems found in armillary spheres at that time.

    The primary structure of Abridged Armilla contains two large rings that are perpendicular to each other, of which one is parallel with the equatorial plane and is accordingly called “equatorial ring”, and the other is a double-ring which is perpendicular to the center of the equatorial ring, revolves around a metallic shaft, and is called “right ascension double-ring”.

    The double-ring holds within itself a sighting tube with crosshairs. When observing, astronomers aim the star with the sighting tube, stars’ position can be read out at the dials of the equatorial ring and the right ascension double-ring.

    A foreign missionary melted the instrument in 1715 AD. The survived one was built in 1437 AD, and was taken by Germany and stored in France Embassy in 1990 during Eight-Nation Alliance. Under the pressure of international public voice the German returned it to China. In 1933 it was placed in Purple Mountain Observatory for preventing it being destroy in war. In the 1980s it had already been eroded seriously and was nearly destroy. To deal with it Nanjing government spent 11 months to repair it.


    [edit] Celestial globe (渾象) before Qing Dynasty

    Celestial globe from Qing DynastyBesides star maps, the Chinese also make Celestial globes, which show stars position liked a star map and can present the actual sky in a specific time. Because of its Chinese name, the Chinese always make it up with Armillary sphere, which is just one word different (渾象 vs. 渾儀).

    According to records, the first Celestial globe was made by Geng Shou-chang (耿壽昌) between 70BC and 50BC. In Ming Dynasty, celestial globe at that time was a huge globe, showing with the 28 mansions, celestial equator and ecliptic. But just like many other equipment, none of them survived.


    [edit] Celestial globe (天體儀) in Qing Dynasty
    Celestial globe was named 天體儀 in Qing Dynasty. The one in Beijing Ancient Observatory was made by Belgian missionary Ferdinand Verbiest (南懷仁) 1673 AD. Unlike other Chinese celestial globes, it employs 360 degrees rather than the 365.24 degrees (which is a standard in ancient China). It is also the Chinese-first globe which shows constellations near to the Celestial South Pole.


    [edit] The Water-powered Armillary Sphere and Celestial Globe Tower (水運儀象台)
    Starting designed by Su Song (蘇頌) and his colleagues in 1086 AD and finished in 1092 AD, this large instrument was made up of an armillary sphere (渾儀), a celestial globe (渾象)and a mechanical chronograph . However 35 years later the invading Jurchen army dismantled the tower in 1127 AD. The armillary sphere part was brought to Beijing, hence the tower was never successfully reinstated.

    Fortunately two versions of Su Song’s book survived so studying the mechanism is possible. For further please see Su Song.


    d.Metallurgy , particularly damascene technology developed in Damascus
    , Syria for the creation of stainless steel blades and swords.
    Sorry but it was the Chinese who discovered making steel and using blast furnaces first, centuries before the Middle East. This includes the creation of forged steel, laminar steel and stainless steel and the use of differential heat treatment. The Chinese were also the first to use single edged steel swords centuries before the Middle East.

    e. Architechture- The city of Beijing or Dadu was designed by an Arab and
    Nepalese named Alginger - the big white dagoba in Beihai park, is his tomb.
    f. Some aspects of western architechture also was brought into China,
    recent excavations of Kublai's old summer capitol in Shangdu or Xanadu,
    showed these. In Kharakhorin, there was a water fountain made from
    gold which sprouted wine made by a Frank. Marco and Nicolo Polo
    also brought Italian artists to China.
    The ancient city of Kyoto in Japan, is modeled after the ancient city of Chang'an, now Xian, in China.

    Beijing itself had many architectural characteristics from Chang'an, one which even the Arabs were deeply impressed with when they reach to the eastern end of the Silk Road.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang_An

    Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) was, with Constantinople (Istanbul) and Baghdad, one of the largest cities of the world at that time. The Japanese in 794 built their ancient capital, Heian-Kyo or Kyoto, modelled after the Tang Dynasty capital, Chang'an. As a result, the modern Kyoto reflects some characteristics of Tang Chang'an. Similarly, the Korean Silla dynasty modeled the layout of their capital of Gyeongju after the Tang capital.

    http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad...xian/xian.html

    "end of the Tang period, when the empire was in disarray, the "enormous size" of the city impressed an Arab visitor. The Tang period was one of the most noteworthy ones for the impact of Western products and fashions on Chinese elite culture, and the teeming markets of the capital played a significant role in the dissemination of such goods. Among the dominant figures at least under the early Tang (in fact their presence in China can be documented from several centuries prior to that) were Soghdian merchants from the region of Central Asia which encompasses today's Samarkand."

    Overall, while Yuan had its contributions, it is hardly the most important Chinese dynasty, compared to the cultural, technical, artistic and military contributions by previous dynasties. Its main contribution was seating Bejing as the capital, but it had many negative effects as well. Beijing is far from the main Chinese proper, closer to Mongolia than the center of China. With the creation of palaces like the Forbidden Palace, the Emperor becomes isolated from the people, leading eunuchs to run the country. With that, corruption and arrogance set in.

  8. #83
    cliveersknell is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Hi Crobato
    Some points of disagreement here:
    1. Look at the maps of the dynastic empires in Chronicles of Chinese emperors,
    the Yuan and Qing stand out as the largest. The book is available in most libraries.
    2. After every dynasty prior to the Yuan, there is a breakup into several
    smaller kingdoms, however beginning with the Yuan, we have a "phase transition", wherein the breakage never occured again.
    3. Even in the worse period of empress Yehonalla of the Qing, the empire
    still was one piece despite the small concessions and Hong Kong.
    4. Have you heard of Prince Sengkelinqin of Keerqin, he is my wife's direct
    ancestor. He defeated the British heavily in the Taku forts. A remarkable
    achievement for a technologically backward dynasty.
    r's
    Clive

  9. #84
    crobato's Avatar
    crobato is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Quote Originally Posted by cliveersknell View Post
    Hi Crobato
    Some points of disagreement here:
    1. Look at the maps of the dynastic empires in Chronicles of Chinese emperors,
    the Yuan and Qing stand out as the largest. The book is available in most libraries.
    True but does not change the fact that the Han and the Tang are probably the best dynasties in terms of the formation of Chinese culture and identity. The Qin takes the third for starting the concept of China in the first place, and the Yuan takes the fourth in my view because it laid the foundations for post 13th century China.

    The Yuan's greatness lies only with one distinguishible emperor, Kublai Khan, plus one other competent emperor. The rest are corrupt and incompetent.

  10. #85
    cliveersknell is offline New Member
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    Smile Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Hi Crobato
    The topic of this discussion , is which dynasty is military strongest.
    1. If the Ming were militarily stronger than the Yuan and Qing, then why
    did they not conquer the northern Yuan?
    2. What do we define as "chinese"? My wife is a Kharachin Mongol, yet she
    has a chinese passport. In my simple mind, as a foreigner who dealt with China
    for quite a while, I am of the opinion, that China is very much like the US.
    A multiracial country. If the Han and Tang formed the chinese culture
    then many would be left out. I think they formed the Han culture.
    Think about it , the Han at present is very different from the Han during the
    Han and Tang dynasties. The present day Han has many different minority blood
    in their veins:
    1. Northern Hans- have mongol, manchu, turkic, siberian, etc..
    2. Southern Hans- have Khmer, Malay, etc..
    The pure Han that existed during the Tang and Han periods do not exist anymore.
    r's
    Clive
    Last edited by cliveersknell; 05-07-2007 at 12:08 AM.

  11. #86
    crobato's Avatar
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Depends on how big the so called "Northern Yuan" is. Remember, the Ming razed Genghiz Khan's capital to the ground and turned into a lost city.

    The Ming also fought way too many wars. Just remember they were also fighting the Vietnamese and the Japanese in Korea. During the Ming period, Vietnam was heavily under Ming control. On the other hand, attempts by the Yuan to invade Vietnam ended in failure. Against the Japanese, the Ming and the Koreans were able to decisively hold them back.

    If the Yuan is so strong, why did it lose to a peasant revolt?

    What do we define as "Chinese"? I don't know. I've seen many Chinese babies before that have what is doctors called Mongolian blue spots. These blue spots were first identified with northern asians. Eventually these spots disappear.

    During trips to China, I've met Chinese people---they speak mandarin fluently and all that---that acknowledge they are of Mongolian or Manchurian heritage. But life in the north is pretty tough, so they move down south to Shanghai or Guangdong to find jobs.

    Was there every a true "Han" after all? The Han dynasty was named after a valley named Han, which was given by the Qin Emperor to Liu Bang, who became in essence, the Duke of Han or Marquis of Han.

    There is no place called "Han' where all Chinese people emerged. What should have been caleld the Liu Dynasty was called the Han Dynasty, because Liu Bang is the Marquis of Han. No relationship to the Kingdom of Han which is the first state absorbed by the Qin during the Warring States period (different character).

    What is Han is when Chinese people emerged with a conscious national identity, and they prefer to associate themselves with the Han Dynasty, rather than the Qin (which is where the word China came) because the Qin was tyrranical but the Han was glorious. Some Chinese people also associate themselves with the Tang.

    One Fujienese expression I heard is when they refer to the homeland they call it "Teng Soa". This means Tang shan or Tang Mountain, a reference to the homelands of the Tang Dynasty.

    1. Northern Hans- have mongol, manchu, turkic, siberian, etc..
    2. Southern Hans- have Khmer, Malay, etc..
    Correct. However, with the fall of the Tang Dynasty, many Tang Chinese fled to the south, bringing their language and dialects. This led to formation of Fujienese and Cantonese dialects. The Tang has Turkish influences with them, so Cantonese and Fujienese have Western Han/Turkish/Mongolian mixture with southern Chinese/Malaysian/Thai/Vietnamese mixture.

  12. #87
    cliveersknell is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Hi Crobato
    Therefore we are in agreement with the ff:
    1. China is a multiracial/cultural state
    2. The first time people of different nationalities in china got together
    as one was during the Yuan. And a phase transition occured wherein China
    did not fracture into many pieces. The Humpty Dumpty syndrome is no more.
    3. Peasant revolts occured randomly and are almost impossible to quel
    militarily, you need to know the root cause and deal with it from there.
    4. Militarily the Yuan is still the strongest, because no power on earth
    could best them militarily. The Yuan is pretty much like the USA today.
    r's
    clive

  13. #88
    crobato's Avatar
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    That's not correct.

    The Qin is the first state that unified all the peoples together.

    There is no phase transition with the Yuan. They were beaten militarily, but fortunately China did not fracture into different pieces.

    It was more than a peasant revolt. It was a well organized uprising. Do you know why Chinese celebrate mooncake festival? Before the revolt that toppled the Yuan, the insurgency leaders maintained contact with each other by hiding messages inside cakes. During the full moon, the message to simultaneously revolt and launch coups were passed along through these cakes. So today, Mooncake festival is really about celebrating the successful revolt against Yuan.

    Yuan wasn't that strong military superpower; they were unable to conquer Annam and the kingdoms down south. Even their hold on Southern China was pretty tenous. But then the USA also failed to defeat the country which descended from Annam---Vietnam.

  14. #89
    cliveersknell is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Hi Crobato
    1. A phase transition still existed after the Yuan, neither the Ming, Qing , nor
    Republic of China fractured. The Yuan did an excellent job in bringing all
    the ethnic minorities and Hans under one central govt. in Beijing
    2. Peasant happen too frequently and reflect a weakness of the monarchical type of govt. Everyone was affected , not just the Yuan.
    3. Annam defeated the Mongols 2x , however, the losses it incurred were
    quite considerable, this made the Emperor of Annam decide to pay tribute to Khubilai despite the victories. He was smart, he realized continued conflict
    with the Yuan will eventually lead to dissolution of Annam in the long term.
    During the 2 campaigns , the Mongols razed Annam's capitol to the ground
    and killed millions of people. It is just too expensive to continue provoking the Mongols. Even the haughty japs, stopped piratical raids into Korea during
    the Yuan for fear of Yuan retaliation. The last great attack on Japan
    was defeated, not by the Samurai, but by mother nature. If you see
    the progress of battle, the Mongols used artillery in big numbers, and were
    annihilating the Japs on land prior to the Kamikaze.
    The Qin state unified only the Han people, Manchuria, Tibet , Mongolia,
    Xinjiang , Yunnan were still outside the reach of the Qin.
    When ice becomes water, or vice versa, you cannot deny a phase transition occurred.
    r's
    Clive

  15. #90
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    what you said is true. Yuan added more peoples into the mix and transitioned into Ming without breaking up into several states. But Qin is what gave the identity that is Chinese. Chinese aren't called Qingese or Yuanese or Mingese for good reason.

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