The Power Of Terracotta Army


ian991

Just Hatched
Registered Member
The army that is 2200 years old was very impressive. They had most advanced veapons for that time. Those crossbows that they used were two millenia ahead of their time, said historian, Mike Loades in the article about
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I am very interested in this topic, as Terracotta is not very known to me, but it was maybe more impressive that Spartans, or Mongols
 

solarz

Brigadier
Depends on what you mean by "impressive".

The Spartans were Qin contemporaries. They were an elite military force, but they were tiny compared to the more powerful kingdoms during the Warring States era.

The Mongols are from a different era entirely. Militarily they were far more advanced than the Qin, which isn't surprising since they're about 1200 years later. Mongols built the single largest land-based empire in the history of the world, but their empire did not last long. The Qin, on the other hand, created the Chinese identity which endures today.
 

ian991

Just Hatched
Registered Member
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They were much really advanced.. I assume the they could build much bigger empire with bigger army
 

solarz

Brigadier
They were much really advanced.. I assume the they could build much bigger empire with bigger army
Are you referring to the Spartans?

A bigger army requires a bigger population. As a warrior society, Sparta did not have the organizational structure needed to build a bigger population and economy. Sparta was as big as it could get. That's why it was the Macedonians, not the Spartans, who built the first and only Greek empire.
 

texx1

Junior Member
The army that is 2200 years old was very impressive. They had most advanced veapons for that time. Those crossbows that they used were two millenia ahead of their time, said historian, Mike Loades in the article about
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I am very interested in this topic, as Terracotta is not very known to me, but it was maybe more impressive that Spartans, or Mongols
If you are interested. You can take a virtual tour of the Terracotta army.

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just click on the start button in the picture
 

Richard Santos

Junior Member
Registered Member
The Qin army as represented by the terra-cotta army was primarily impressive because of its sophisticated crossbow, which is far ahead of other armies in the world. In other respects, however, such as body armor, edge weapons, pole arms, other types of bow and arrow it was not particularly advanced by the standards of contemporary middle eastern and Mediterranean armies.
 

solarz

Brigadier
The Qin army as represented by the terra-cotta army was primarily impressive because of its sophisticated crossbow, which is far ahead of other armies in the world. In other respects, however, such as body armor, edge weapons, pole arms, other types of bow and arrow it was not particularly advanced by the standards of contemporary middle eastern and Mediterranean armies.
That's a far too simplistic point of view.

Qin did not win because it had the best toys. It won because it had the best war machine. It had standardized weapon designs that allowed it to equip large armies quickly. It had a meritocratic system that promoted the best generals and rewarded soldiers based on their performance. The Terra Cotta army is impressive because it showcases Qin's ability to recruit and organize great numbers of craftsmen to work on large-scale projects.
 

taxiya

Major
Registered Member
The Qin army as represented by the terra-cotta army was primarily impressive because of its sophisticated crossbow, which is far ahead of other armies in the world. In other respects, however, such as body armor, edge weapons, pole arms, other types of bow and arrow it was not particularly advanced by the standards of contemporary middle eastern and Mediterranean armies.
Qin's fighting power is primarily based on the organizational advancement and the pre-modern industrialization.

Every weapon was made out of standard and proto-assembly lines. For example ,the deviation of the arrow heads was within millimeter. Craftsmen were specialized in making parts rather than making the final weapon system independently. Final assembly was inspected by supervisors with their name stamped on. That enabled massive and fast production, and also interchangeable parts, such as the trigger of the crossbows.

The Qin army was not an aristocrat army unlike others in the world. Aristocrat officer would loose their title if they loose the battle. A commoner could obtain noble title if he killed more, or he could exchange the kill score for releasing himself or his relatives from debt or prison terms. There was strict rules of number of kills matching noble ranks and monetary/land awards. This system did not exist anywhere else outside of Qin both in China and in the rest of the world at that time.

The "industrialization" made Qin army more able to fight, while the meritocratic system made the soldiers more motivated to fight.
 

B.I.B.

Senior Member
Qin's fighting power is primarily based on the organizational advancement and the pre-modern industrialization.

Every weapon was made out of standard and proto-assembly lines. For example ,the deviation of the arrow heads was within millimeter. Craftsmen were specialized in making parts rather than making the final weapon system independently. Final assembly was inspected by supervisors with their name stamped on. That enabled massive and fast production, and also interchangeable parts, such as the trigger of the crossbows.

The Qin army was not an aristocrat army unlike others in the world. Aristocrat officer would loose their title if they loose the battle. A commoner could obtain noble title if he killed more, or he could exchange the kill score for releasing himself or his relatives from debt or prison terms. There was strict rules of number of kills matching noble ranks and monetary/land awards. This system did not exist anywhere else outside of Qin both in China and in the rest of the world at that time.

The "industrialization" made Qin army more able to fight, while the meritocratic system made the soldiers more motivated to fight.
Are noble titles earned while fighting for their king passed on to the decendants in this merit based society?
 

taxiya

Major
Registered Member
Are noble titles earned while fighting for their king passed on to the decendants in this merit based society?
First of all, most Kingdoms in the warring state era did some similar reform, more or less. Qin was the one who did it to the extreme.
Secondly, Qin's legal documents were not well preserved as it lasted short and documents were on bamboo sticks, many were destroyed during the war at its collapse. So the description is mostly based on later historian's books in bits and pieces.
However, the understanding is that the noble titles are directly connected to the achievement and can not be passed to descendants. Not much can be passed at least.
This practice was an extreme during an extreme time. Later dynasties relaxed a bit to for example "lower by one rank every generation" in Qing dynasty so the decedent becomes commoner after 5 generations.
 

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