58

The Chinese designed the wall to be an effective barrier; that was the goal. To answer your question, we need to ask: what land barrier stopped foreign troops the best? The answer in China, and everywhere else, is mountains. The Great Wall is nothing more than a fortification of existing natural barriers. Look closely at the pictures you've posted, and those ...


51

Europeans had an incentive to explore the Atlantic because they were dependent on the trade routes which pass through Arab territory. The Arabs and other peoples living in the Middle East made a lot of profit selling luxury goods to Europeans, so cutting out the middle man was very desirable. The Atlantic has currents that make it easier to traverse. Note ...


29

Firstly, there's no reason to think it didn't. In fact, it's fairly routine for afflicted regions to receive government subsidies in Imperial China. As early as AD 218, the Book of the Later Han records that Cao Cao issued an edict ordering welfare measures for survivors of a plague in the preceding winter. The next year, the Record of the Three Kingdoms ...


24

Mentions of Bandits and robbers: Bandits and robbers were a constant threat on the Silk Road. Xuanzang mentions several encounters with bandits. Near Dunhuang, the Silk Road split in two to skirt the rim of the Taklamakan Desert. The roads met again 1400 miles west at Kashgar. But between these two oases lay the Silk Road's most dangerous terrain. ...


23

The claim is sourced from 明興野記, lit. Unofficial Records of the Rise of Ming, by the contemporary Yu Ben. It was originally titled 紀事錄, lit. Chronicles, but a certain Zhang Da Tong later changed it because it wasn't fancy enough. Zhang also inserted some editorialising, especially to defend the emperor, as well as an abstract introducing Yu's work as "...


23

China was a single state. If the emperor decide to stop long distance sea voyages (as did the Hongxi Emperor) they would stop. Europe had the advantage of being split in many states. The ruler of one of these states could not prevent other states from engaging in such voyages. This idea is developed in Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of ...


20

The Great Wall of China: It is the longest man-made construction in the world. In the old times, it was of great military importance of preventing the enemies' intrusion and was regarded as the 'Guardian Angel' of the central plain in the past. - Great Wall of China FAQs Why did they build the Great Wall of China? The Great Wall of China is the ...


19

Yes, this is historically accurate. Writing on bamboo slips was not entirely abandoned until the 4th century CE---over a century after the Romance of the Three Kingdoms takes place. As the Wikipedia article on the history of paper that you linked to states, the primary use of ancient Chinese paper before this was for wrapping things, not writing. One of the ...


17

The chronicles Beishi 北史 "History of the North" and Nanshi 南史 "History of the South" have at least some of what you are looking for. The Nanshi chronicle mentions frost and snow. This is cited in Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World by David Keys: In July 537 China was hit by frost, while in August it snowed. The History ...


16

There are no specific rules, it is completely up to the founders. Many dynasties ultimately took their names from one of the ancient states of China. In any case, usually the actual choice were made in one of six ways: Reviving an Ancient Name: the dynasty began where an ancient state existed, and took its name from its ancient predecessor. Examples include ...


16

It's the same reason why Europe was more religiously tolerant in Roman times (except to Christians). Namely, a lack of religious exclusiveness in their native beliefs. When Buddhism was transmitted to Japan, for example, the local population have no trouble reconciling Buddhist doctrines with their native Shintoism. The Shinto kami were integrated into ...


15

This is still a mystery. It was probably a combination of several factors, though. The government's focus shifted. Coincidentally or not, after 1433 the Oirat Mongols emerged as a serious threat. Their chieftain, Toγan, united Mongolia under the figurehead Taisun Khan in 1434. Oirat power grew further under his son, Esen. He incorporated neighbouring tribes,...


14

The Mongols and Manchus elected to "join" China upon conquering it, because the latter was more advanced and civilized. So upon conquering China, they just took over the Chinese cities, palaces, country, for themselves, and installed themselves as the ruling class. After the death of Genghis Khan, the "father" of the Mongol Empire, it divided into four ...


13

The portions of the wall in your photos were rebuilt for tourism after 1970 or so. Looking at reconstructed wall is not a good method for determining the original design. You'd have to look at how the wall was originally build. Here is a photo I took of some un-restored wall in Beijing in 2012. Most of the wall in this photo is in relatively good condition....


13

I suggest that the reason was the Mediterranean. European civilizations had lots of places to sail to that could be reached, profitably, with fairly primitive technology. Starting with the Illiad & Odyssey, the Athenian's wooden walls, the Phoenicians, Roman grain ships, &c, then working up to the trade empires of Venice & Genoa. That could ...


12

I think we first have to ask what we mean when we say that the Europeans “dominate[d] oceans.” You describe this as something that “becomes more obvious after the fifteenth century,” when Europe began colonizing and conquering. However, Europeans did not in any sense dominate the Pacific at this time; the Polynesians colonized New Zealand about two ...


12

Under the Yuan Dynasty, although the Mongols were the most privileged group politically, they were not the dominant group demographically. In fact, Mongols were an extremely tiny minority in Yuan China. It's essentially impossible for <1% of the population to assimilate the rest - they're way more likely to be assimilated into the majority. As such, it ...


12

This is only a partial answer (by challenging the frame) but way too long for a comment ... I believe that there will be no clear answer because wargaming and RPGs influenced each other in ways that make it difficult to separate them. Look at the early history of Traveller, for instance, and Trillion Credit Squadron. When you put the focus on cooperative ...


12

We may not yet know: On the heels of the European epidemic, a widespread disaster occurred in China during 1353–1354. Chinese accounts of this wave of the disease record a spread to eight distinct areas: Hubei, Jiangxi, Shanxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Henan, and Suiyuan,12 throughout the Mongol and Chinese empires. Historian William McNeill noted that ...


11

Chinese eunuchs were the personal servants of the emperor and his household; being close and having the ear of the emperor gives you power. An eunuch could help you by putting in a good word; eunuchs that are particularly well trusted could abuse that trust by manipulating what the emperor hears, withholding some information or twisting others. I think this ...


11

Complex and disputed social, economical and cultural reasons With decent technology and a brave and enterpreneurish heart anyone can be a sea explorer. Leif Erikson from Iceland reached America, Zang He explored the Indian Ocean with chinese ships superior to their european counterparts. Pytheas circumnavigated Britannia in the classical antiquity... I ...


10

The main descriptions of the abnormal weather is found as mentioned in the other answers from the 北史/南史 beishi/nanshi which mentions snow in September and August respectively. As for the highlighted quote I've managed to track it down to a passage in the 资治通鉴第一百五十七卷 Zizhi Tongjian 157th Juan (13th chapter in the Liang Dynasty sections). The original texts ...


10

Many of the following are anachonistic; I wanted to test to see if there was information on Asian cosmetics in history. I think the answer is yes; I selected the following from pages of results. 3000 BCE: The Chinese stain their fingernails with gum arabic, gelatin, beeswax, and egg. The colors are used as a representation of social class: Chou dynasty ...


9

I think you are not giving the Chinese their due credit. First, interestingly enough, there was a democratic (even anarchist) social movement that tried to create egalitarian communities in uncontrolled areas during the Warring States period; these were called the School of the Tillers: In China around 400 B.C., for example, there was a philosophical ...


8

In theory, not very. The most infamous of the late Ming taxes were what's the known as the Three Payments (三餉), so named because they were instituted to fund payments fo the army. From contemporary and Qing era history works such as the Veritable Records of Ming and the History of Ming, we know these were: 遼餉 (Liao Pay) - fund the defence of Liaodong ...


8

Yes. Under the Yuan Empire, Hainan Island was administered as part of the Huguang Province. The Mongolians took the island when they conquered the Song Dynasty. Partial Chinese rule stretches back to the Han Dynasty, though native revolts forced the imperial administration off the island. More permanent control was established during the Southern and ...


7

Not sure if anyone will read this, but... From Baidu (https://baike.baidu.com/item/连环计/5842#ref_[2]_5340118): 1.毕再遇连环计 “Bi Zaiyu Uses Chain Stratagems” 宋代将领毕再遇就曾经运用连环计,打过漂亮的仗。他分析金人强悍,骑兵尤其勇猛,如果对面交战往往造成重大伤亡。 “The Song Dynasty general Bi Zaiyu once used a Chain Stratagem to fight a flawless battle. He realized that the Jins were fierce, especially ...


7

I would like to conglomerate some of the supposed events here, as given from the primary historical sources from 《北史》 (History of the Northern Dynasties) and 《南史》 (History of the Southern Dynasties). The date conversions given in the footnotes are based on the website 兩千年中西曆轉換. All translations given are my own. 《北史》 (History of the Northern Dynasties) ...


6

Google found a book that seems to indicate that fragment of the wall has been built after peace with Mongols has been achieved, therefore, implies the battlements probably had a decorative or propagandistic purpose. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=BFlOQRpOiEcC&lpg=PT132&ots=vcYjxyjr6a&dq=great%20wall%20of%20china%20battlements%20both%20sides&...


6

Taoism gained much popularity by the end of the Southern Song period. When the Mongol Empire started invading, they had the habit of massacring the whole population after a city was sacked. Taoist missionary Qiu Chuji visited Genghis Khan and managed to convince him not to commit any more massacres after battle.


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