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 Post subject: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:49 pm 
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This concern fits no existing thread, so I have to open yet another one for it:

How big do we want our biggest cities to be?

I envision Xanarium to fall off this scale, like Constantinople during the middle ages, in being at least five, quite possibly ten times as big as the next largest city of the West, and being sustained only with great effort on part of the government. But how big do we want our regular really big cities to be?

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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:19 pm 
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As I understand it, in 1350ish:

Constantinople -- approximately 2.5 million.
Paris -- around 250,000
Lyon -- conservatively 12,000 tax-payers.

Lyon was in the top ten of France's cities by population. This was just after the plague. Before the plague the numbers were up around 20,000. 20,000 would make it the second largest city in France. As such the capital city was more than ten times the size of the next largest city. I'll be using these numbers for Taveruun. I don't know when I'll get the map done for Taveruun -- hopefully not too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:54 pm 
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Whence your numbers? 250.00 for Paris seems somewhat high. I happen to know that a census of 1328 hints at nearly 200.000 inhabitants, but this soon dropped considerably due to the plague of 1348. Anyway, Paris was by far the biggest city of Europe (apart from Constantinople) being at least twice as big than the next biggest (the population of London around 1350 is for instance estimated at some 50.000). Does it fit your vision of Taveruun that it has such an outstandingly huge capital?

The 2.5 million for Constantinople are far too much, by the way. Even at its best, it probably fell short of 1 million, which dropped almost constantly (yet slowly) throughout the middle ages. I would have thought of a population size of 300.000 to 700.000 for Xanarium, depending on what size we decide for our cities.

By the way, I am going to abuse this thread somewhat to clarify another question. In trying to get a grip on the Seat of the Xanarian Empire I am just trying to gauge its climate. To this end, I try to correlate Xanarium with a European city’s latitude and have a look at what this means for your capitals, Eisenberg and Longrock, and for the deep south of Weyrth.

If Eisenberg was at a latitude similiar to that of central Iceland, both Xanarium and Longrock would fall at a latitude around Naples, and Weyrth's deep south would be equal to the central Sahara.

If we assume that Eisenberg sits somewhere in central Sweden, both Xanarium and Longrock would be near to Athens, and Weyrth’s southernmost point would be around Bombay, or the southern Sahara.

If Eisenberg’s latitude was comparable to Stockholm’s, Xanarium and Longrock would be on the island of Crete, and Weyrth’s southernmost point would be similar to the savannah south of the Sahara, or around Bangkok.

If we wanted Eisenberg to be on the same latitude as Glasgow or central Denmark, Xanarium and Longrock would be near Jerusalem, and Weyrth’s southernmost point would be at the latitude of Saigon, or the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula.

What do you think would suit Weyrth and us best?

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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:30 am 
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Grettir wrote:
Whence your numbers? 250.00 for Paris seems somewhat high. I happen to know that a census of 1328 hints at nearly 200.000 inhabitants, but this soon dropped considerably due to the plague of 1348. Anyway, Paris was by far the biggest city of Europe (apart from Constantinople) being at least twice as big than the next biggest (the population of London around 1350 is for instance estimated at some 50.000). Does it fit your vision of Taveruun that it has such an outstandingly huge capital?


Using Lyon as an example, if we assume that casualties were greater than 30% as a result of the plagues of 1348 and recurrences over the next fifteen years or so the population recovered within a generation. Not because of extraordinary birth rates but because the populations of towns and villages tended to head to the city over the period.

Attached is an image taken from a book that looked at population distribution and relative town/city size in France. I'm not saying it is definitive in any sense -- we use it as a guide for relative sizes.

A problem with tax rolls and other similar contemporary documentation is that they're interested in citizens. Lyon was in the process of becoming a trade city, with its fairs of the 15th century driving it to become the second largest city in France. With this comes large foreign populations and itinerant populations that are on the outskirts of society. We take with a grain of salt the figures from the hearth rolls and tax rolls of Lyon.

It was my intention to make Lyon into Rochegrande, a city with a population around 20k.

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Attachments:
citypopulation.jpg
citypopulation.jpg [ 211.13 KiB | Viewed 5159 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:17 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
It was my intention to make Lyon into Rochegrande, a city with a population around 20k.


Wonderful. I am looking forward to Rochegrande (as I am for quite some time now to your Lyon). But when you compare it with other major cities of the former Xanarian Empire, do you envision Rochegrande as average, above average, or below average?

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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:01 am 
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For myself I see a capital city as being anything up to 50k. Once you get past 50k the infrastructure requirements in terms of water supply, effluent removal, and so on require either an exceptionally favourable geographic location or social and physical "technology" that is beyond the western-European middle ages. Not beyond the Romans/Byzantines of course...

Taveruun is strongly decentralised. It will have a number of cities of around 20k. As such the capital won't be a wondrous exception to the norm but rather a practical choice amongst many possibilities. The country will be well settled -- there will be many towns of 10k+ and 5k+.

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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:08 am 
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This ties in perfectly with what I have in mind for the Seat of the Xanarian Empire. The mountainous interior of the peninsula is not settled too densely, if compared with the rest of the country, but the coastal areas are settled very densely, with many towns ranging mostly from 10k to 40k. Xanarium itself is huge at some 500k inhabitants, and the failing Empire has to struggle somewhat to maintain it.

I think that capital cities in the range of up to 50k inhabitants will work fine for western Weyrth.

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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:57 pm 
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As for Stahl, with it being more fuedal and spread out in my mind, I was thinking along the lines of Eisenberg having roughly 25k people in the city proper and surronding hamlets.

I see ForeKill (blech for the name) and Theoricstone having about 10-15k each, with them both being more fortress, and less city, like, with most other cities and villages around the 5k mark for maximum occupancy.

I see maybe a handful of cities at important places might reach 10k, but otherwise, fuedalism and large landmass lends itself to small villages and hamelts blaketing the land.

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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:49 pm 
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I'm pointing out a web-based medieval/fantasy demographics calculator, which many of you probably knew already.

There are figures for population density, cities, etc. Quite handy, but I'm no expert about the quoted numbers. I'm approximating that Farrenshire, said having very good climate and lots of habitable land, has around 1.35 million people. The largest city, Mouren has around 17-18k people, next biggest city having around 10k people. Do these numbers fit with your thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:44 pm 
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I am aware of the calculator, and it generally uses reasonable numbers for population density. It does not take into consideration one important detail, though: Sizes of cities are limited by the amount of basic foodstuffs which can be transported easily into them, and this is in turn a function of the both the fertility and development of the land surrounding them, and of the infrastructure (it is cheaper to transport food overeas than it is to transport it along major rivers than it is to transport it along minor rivers than it is to transport it overland). Considering the good climate and supposedly high development of the agriculture of farrenshire and the coastal location of its cities, I would guess that one could easily increase the population numbers derived from the calculator by 50%, if one was so inclined.

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 Post subject: Re: Demographics on Weyrth
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 10:04 am 
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Actually one of the Calculators that are available on this page have a section where you can change the density of the population and the fertility of the land which then influences the cities sizes. I use this calculator for all my fantasy and medieval games now and it has given me good numbers.


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