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end of Year Geography Quiz, Question 37:

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  • tandfman
    replied
    Note, by the way, that in the second Wiki table that I cited two posts above this one, neither of the two authorities cited believe that Rome was the first to reach 1 million. Modelski says it was Alexandria and Chandler says it was Baghdad.

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  • gh
    replied
    Originally posted by Marlow
    ...
    but I perforce wash my hands (ancient Rome pun!) of the whole thing!
    Do you not read well either? you're banned from this whole concept. if you'd like, we can just shut you down completely.

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  • tandfman
    replied
    Originally posted by gh
    Originally posted by tandfman
    This reminds me of the trivia question that was being asked as we approached the year 2000. What was the world's largest city in the year 1000. I know the answer that was generally given surprised me. (I never did try to verify it.)
    I was going to tack this on as an addendum after the real answer! But I'm no w guessing that the answer is actually the question "Europe's largest city," as western-centric as we round-eyes tend to be.
    The answer that I was thinking of, and which some sources say is correct, is Cordova (Córdoba), Spain. But there's at least one scholar, cited by Wiki, who says that it was Baghdad.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical ... nity_sizes

    and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_la ... ut_history

    There are other sites listing Cordova as #1, but they all seem to be drawing their lists from Chandler's work, which may or may not be accurate:

    http://www.all-rankings.com/rank.php?r=0bb3ad01e3
    http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa011201c.htm
    http://angkoriansociety.com/joomla/inde ... &Itemid=31

    Note that if you look at the Wiki table, it looks as if the population of Baghdad was severely reduced at some point in the 10th Century, according to Chandler's data, but not according to Modelski's. The Wiki article on Baghdad doesn't provide much help in explaining that reduction. Not being a scholar, and having other things to do today, that's as deep as I'm going to dig.

    I'll just add that in 1999-2000, when this trivia question was making the rounds, the Modelski work had not yet been published, so there may not have been any doubt about the Cordova answer at that point.

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  • Marlow
    replied
    I'm sure there are conflicting online resources, but Highbeam Research ("named the "Best Online Reference Service" by the CODiE Awards, HighBeam is a premiere online library where you can find research, facts, and articles. We collect millions of articles from newspapers like The Washington Post and The Boston Globe, magazines like The Economist and Newsweek, and journals like JOPERD and Journal of Research in Childhood Education") says:

    Estimates of the population of ancient Rome range from below half a million to as high as one million. The one-million estimate, however, translates to an astoundingly high population density of 72,150 persons per sq km. The half-million estimate, on the other hand, was generated from a house-by-house population count for Pompeii and Ostia, which produced a population density result applicable to Rome. Applying the population density of the pre-industrial city of Ostia, placed at 31,700 persons per sq km, ancient Rome would have had roughly 450,000 inhabitants.
    but I perforce wash my hands (ancient Rome pun!) of the whole thing!

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  • gh
    replied
    aha.... this was one in which the author chose to add an addendum:

    -- Dennis Hoey begs to differ with part of our answer to Question 37 ("What was the world's first city to reach a population of 1 million?") Our answer: "Rome, in 133 B.C.," and we should have stopped there. But we had to add: "It wasn't until 1810 that another city, London, hit that mark."

    Hoey cites Laurence Bergreen's recent biography of Marco Polo, which estimates that the population of the Chinese city of Quinsai (now Hangzhou) at that time - roughly 1275 - was 1.5 million, and the Encyclopedia Britannica goes as high as 2 million.

    "Makes you wonder," adds Hoey, "what was going on in India."

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  • gh
    replied
    37. Rome, in 133 B.C. It wasn't until 1810 that another city, London, hit that mark. Today, more than 300 of the world's cities have more than a million residents.

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  • gm
    replied
    So was my earlier answer incorrect? Did I misremember my history?

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  • gh
    replied
    Originally posted by tandfman
    This reminds me of the trivia question that was being asked as we approached the year 2000. What was the world's largest city in the year 1000. I know the answer that was generally given surprised me. (I never did try to verify it.)
    I was going to tack this on as an addendum after the real answer! But I'm no w guessing that the answer is actually the question "Europe's largest city," as western-centric as we round-eyes tend to be.

    Leave a comment:


  • cullman
    replied
    Is this a trick question? It's just a guess but I'll go with Beijing...2:00 PM GMT April 15, 1147 AD.

    cman

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  • Daisy
    replied
    Originally posted by tandfman
    PS - I just did a bit of checking and found support for the answer.
    Cairo? Or its equivalent on the Nile?

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  • tandfman
    replied
    I do remember the answer. I'll let people guess and I'll be back on this thread some time later today (Thursday).

    PS - I just did a bit of checking and found support for the answer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Daisy
    replied
    Originally posted by tandfman
    I know the answer that was generally given surprised me. (I never did try to verify it.)
    Do remember the answer?

    Leave a comment:


  • tandfman
    replied
    This reminds me of the trivia question that was being asked as we approached the year 2000. What was the world's largest city in the year 1000. I know the answer that was generally given surprised me. (I never did try to verify it.)

    Leave a comment:


  • guru
    replied
    I'm going with Rome - being an Empire has to count for something.

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  • gh
    replied
    Originally posted by Marlow
    I haven't found the answer, but I have found corroboration for my ancient Rome skepticism, seems it topped out short by 100K. London's looker gooder! There is an outside chance that there was some Mid-Eastern cosmopolis - Constantinople, Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo.
    How many bloody times you going to screw these up? Enjoy sitting the rest of the quiz out (and work on a new year's rez of "I'll learn to play nice with the other children").

    Leave a comment:

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