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美版知乎:古代中国是超级大国吗

Was China a super power in ancient times?

古时候,中国算强国吗?

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以下是Quora读者的评论:

Pun Anansakunwat, Read Chinese history for 17 years

China has been a global superpower in almost every historical period.

The only exception was the century of humiliation (1850–1949), or during the imperialism era.

In Pre-Qin dynasties, China was ruled (nominally) by Shang and Zhou rulers. Their territories, despite being small compared to present-day China, was larger than its contemporary civilization, such as ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. The technology was at least equal to both civilizations. Almost every nomadic tribe in China proper was subjugated by Chinese states under the Zhou dynasty. The tribal people were sinicized, and became “Chinese.” During this age, Chinese culture flourished. Many ideological groups (Confucianism, Legalism, etc.) spawned in this era. 

Chinese civilization in the Spring-Autumn period.

Chinese civilization in the Warring States period, notice that the entire territory of Chinese civilization increased because of the colonization of the outer areas by states, especially Qin and Chu. Qin defeated as many as 25 tribes, and annexed the areas once controlled by nomads.

中国几乎在每一个历史时期都是全球超级大国

唯一的例外是屈辱的世纪(1850-1949),或者说帝国主义时期。

在先秦时期,中国在名义上是由商周统治者统治的。他们的疆域虽然比现在的中国小,但比当时的其他文明,如古希腊和古埃及,都要大得多。科技水平与这两个文明相当。在中国,几乎每一个游牧部落都被周朝的国家所征服。部落人民被中国化,成了“中国人”。在这个时代,中国文化繁荣昌盛。许多思想流派(儒家、法家等)都是在这个时代产生的。

春秋时期的中华文明。

战国时期的中华文明,值得注意的是,中华文明的整个疆域都因为国家的对外而扩大了,尤其是秦国和楚国。秦国打败了多达25个部落,吞并了一度由游牧民族控制的地区。

In Qin dynasty and Han dynasty, China became a unified, centralized empire (completely in the reign of Emperor Wu of Han). China became the end destination of the silk road. Trade and economy were flourished. Unlike Rome that was defeated by the nomads, Han Dynasty managed to defeat the mighty Xiongnu confederacy at its homeland, and repelled these nomads from the Chinese border. Furthermore, the eastern part of Central Asia, and Korea was conquered by Han Dynasty as well.

China (In red) had a large economy since antiquity. Notice that the share of world GDP decreased sharply during the century of humiliation (1849–1949), which paralleled to the imperialist era. The only country that had a larger share of world GDP in antiquity than China was India. However, since AD1, ancient India was not united into a single state as China (Han Dynasty). The closest ones were the Gupta Empire (320CE–550CE)

秦汉时期,中国成为一个统一的中央集权帝国(在汉武帝统治时期达到顶峰)。中国成为了丝绸之路的终点。贸易和经济蓬勃发展。与被游牧民族打败的罗马不同,汉朝在匈奴的故乡打败了强大的匈奴联盟,并把这些游牧民族赶出了中国边境。此外,中亚东部和朝鲜也被汉朝征服。

中国自古以来就是一个经济大国。请注意,在与帝国主义时代平行的屈辱世纪(1849-1949),其在世界GDP中所占的份额急剧下降。古代唯一一个在世界GDP中占比超过中国的国家是印度。然而,自公元1年以来,古印度并没有像中国(汉朝)那样统一成一个国家。最接近统一的是笈多帝国(320 - 550年)。

 

tomy Chan

I will use term that coined by the Chinese scholar.

They said :

Before the industrial era there was no superpower. The most powerful empire only attained the level of regional power.

take example Roman Empire or Tang dynasty, their action only affected their surrounding civilization. Since we are talking about China, we’ll talk about Tang Dynasty.

If we count superpower by the power of destruction that empire has, Tang dynasty most deadly weapon is crossbow, spear, bow. These weapon has a relative small destruction power compare to later weapon. In this respect no Tang dynasty can not be compare with the current destruction power weapon.

Also during Tang Dynasty, the Japan, Korean did learn and adopt many things from it. A lot of middle east trader did trade in Tang dynasty capital Chang an, But Tang dynasty influence has not reach the entire globe. The Maya or Aztec civilization probably never heard of Tang dynasty. Europe only seen China through it’s silk and porcelain.

The Tang dynasty even lost war with the Arab, in central Asia, this means the stretch of military power is limited to the sorrounding region.

In this respect Tang Dynasty was not a world power let alone superpower. The next dynasty is quite similar with Tang Dynasty.

So no…. China has never been a superpower.

我想用中国学者的话来说明一下。

他们说过:

在工业时代之前没有超级大国。最强大的帝国也只是地区强国。

以罗马帝国或唐朝为例,他们的行为只影响了周围的文明。既然我们谈论的是中国,我们就说说唐朝吧。

如果我们以帝国的破坏力来衡量超级大国,唐朝最致命的武器就是弩、矛、弓。这些武器与后来的武器相比具有相对较小的破坏力。在这方面,任何唐朝的武器都无法与当今的破坏力武器相比。

同样在唐朝,日本、韩国人从唐朝学习和借鉴了很多东西。很多中东商人在唐都长安做过贸易,但唐朝的影响尚未辐射到全球。玛雅或阿兹特克文明可能从未听说过唐朝。欧洲也只能通过丝绸和瓷器来了解中国。

唐朝甚至输掉了与阿拉伯在中亚的战争,这意味着军事力量的延伸仅限于周边地区。

在这方面,唐朝不是世界强国,更谈不上是超级大国。下一个朝代和唐朝很相似。

所以,不是的....中国从来就不是超级大国。

 

Mark Dallas, Professor,Political Science & Asian Studies,Union College NY

The term “super power” implies that there is a single global system of inter-country relations and/or a single global economy. In my opinion, terms like “superpower” and “globalization” are inappropriately used with reference to ancient time periods. None of the great ancient civilizations had a global reach, and there was relatively sporadic and infrequent contacts between them, so you can think of the world as divided into regions, and each region may have had its own local “superpower” civilization at different points in time.

Globalization (in both economic and political terms) did not really become a phenomenon until European colonization. This is the beginning of the very first era of globalization.

“超级大国”一词意味着存在单一国家间关系的全球体系和/或单一的全球经济体系。在我看来,“超级大国”和“全球化”这样的词不适用于古代。没有一个伟大的古代文明拥有全球性的影响,它们之间的联系也相对零星和稀少,所以你可以把世界看作被划分成的不同区域,每个区域可能在不同的时间点都有地区“超级大国”文明。

直到欧洲殖民时代,全球化才真正成为一种现象。这是全球化时代的开端。

 

Scott Tyler, B.Ed. Education, University of Western Ontario (2004)

No, China has never been a superpower. A ‘superpower’ is a country that has influence globally, and China’s influence has only ever been regional. Sure, it influenced Japan, but never occupied it.

不,中国从来就不是超级大国。“超级大国”是一个在全球有影响力的国家,而中国的影响力只局限于该地区。当然,它影响过日本,但从未占领过它。

 

Pothiraju Seetharam, Business Management from Singapore

Different empires with no defined borders exercised power, but often had influence or suzerainty over adjacent territories without actual army units deployed. No one had knowledge of the entire world until the Europeans sailed the ‘seven seas’ and detailed the world on to maps, and only the British navy had the ability to project power almost anywhere in the seas. They can probably be called the first naval superpower.

China’s famous Zheng He voyages happened to touch base with rather minor powers all around the south East Asian coast, the tip of India and parts of East Africa. It was of course the most formidable fleet of its time but not a globally known one.

The superpower era only began in the latter part of the 20th century, when a large nuclear arsenal, the ability to project power through an army and/or navy and a large economy was possessed. I'd say they can be called super powers only in the globalised era which is fairly recent.

Super power is a subjective name and status anyway manufactured to describe some nations. You could say the three countries always appearing at the top of the Olympic medals’ tally are the ones who are super powers! It's no accident they are there.

没有明确疆界的不同帝国操纵权力,但在没有实际军队部署的情况下,往往对相邻领土拥有影响力或宗主权。直到欧洲人在“七大洋”上航行,人们才开始知道世界的概念,并把世界详细地绘制在地图上,只有英国海军有能力在海洋的几乎所有地区投射实力。他们可能被称为第一海军超级大国。

中国著名的郑和下西洋时,在东南亚沿岸、印度南端和东非部分地区与相当小的强国都有过接触。当然,这是当时最强大的舰队了,但不是世界闻名的。

超级大国时代开始于20世纪下半叶,当时的强国拥有庞大的核武库、通过陆军和/或海军展现实力的能力以及庞大的经济。我想说,他们只能在全球化时代被称为超级大国,也即近现代。

 

Sun Scott, studied Interdiscplinary (2004)

There are various claims and popular notions of China as being a super power from the ancient past up until the late 15th Century, is just but hogwash, and historical blunder or outright misrepresentation of facts.

From the first Shang Dynasty all the way to the current People’s Republic of China, only three dynasties stood out to the world that were close to qualify as world power, the Han Dynasty, Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty (China’s zenith period), before Mongol annihilation. Only these three Chinese dynasties can closely characterized as regional power. The rest of the various dynasties were either simply too weak, too isolated or too poor to be considered a world power.

This is a historical fact and objective reality about China’s history.

The following were historical Superpowers before the United States, in chronological order:

从古代到15世纪晚期,有各种关于中国是超级大国的说法和流行观念,但都是一派胡言,是历史错误或对事实的彻底歪曲。

从第一个朝代商朝一直到现在的中国,只有三个朝代是接近世界强国的:汉朝、唐朝和宋朝(中国的鼎盛时期)。只有这三个中国朝代才能被称为区域强国。其他各个朝代要么太弱,要么太孤立,要么太穷,不能被视为世界强国。

这是中国历史的历史事实和客观现实。

以下是美国之前的历史超级大国,按时间顺序排列:

Mesopotamia (various empires and kingdoms)

Egyptian Empire

Indus Valley (empire/kingdom unknown but rich and advanced)

Shang Dynasty (limited influence)

Persian Empire

Greek Empire (including Alexander’s empire)

Han Dynasty (there you go China. Yet, still limited in influence)

Roman Empire

Tang Dynasty (only because Roman Empire Fell)

Umayyad Caliphate (because Rome Fell, it took advantage)

Song Dynasty (perhaps China's last hurrah)

Mongol Empire (despite it’s brutality and barbarity, albeit short-lived)

Mughal Empire

Spanish Empire

British Empire

United States of America

These were the major powers throughout World history.

But, if we are to be true to the real definition of a Superpower, only two countries came close to world domination in history, that is the British Empire (UK) and the United States. The other country that qualifies to this definition is the Spanish Empire.

美索不达米亚(各个帝国和王国)

埃及帝国

印度河流域(帝国/王国,不为人知但富有且先进)

商朝(影响有限)

波斯帝国

希腊帝国(包括亚历山大帝国)

汉朝(中国就是这样。但影响力仍然有限)

罗马帝国

唐朝(只是因为罗马帝国灭亡)

倭马亚王朝(因为罗马衰落,它占了便宜)

宋朝(也许是中国最后的顶峰)

蒙古帝国(尽管它很残暴野蛮,并且短暂)

莫卧儿帝国

西班牙帝国

大英帝国

美利坚合众国

这些都是世界历史上的主要强国。

但是,如果我们要真正的定义一个超级大国,只有两个国家接近世界统治的历史,那就是大英帝国(英国)和美国。另一个符合这一定义的国家是西班牙帝国。

 

Thomas Sutherland

China was the second longest holder of the super power status in history, for it held that status for about 2000 years continuously.

The longest country to ho;ld that title was Egypt, who held the status of the world’s strongest super power continuously from 3100 BC to 52 BC, and then as a global super power from 772 ad to 1519 ad

中国是历史上称霸超级大国地位最久的国家,连续保持了大约2000年。

世界上称霸时间最长的国家是埃及,从公元前3100年到公元前52年,埃及一直是世界上最强大的超级大国。

 

David Albrecht, former Worked in Semiconductor Industry for 8 Years at Teflon (1999-2007)

Depends very much on the definition of Super Power. From a Western standpoint Super Power often means projecting power externally. While China most of the time has spent their energy projecting power internally. They do not seem very adept at creating and maintaining external alliances

这在很大程度上取决于超级大国的定义。从西方的观点来看,超级大国通常意味着对外投射实力。而中国大部分时间都把精力花在国内。他们似乎不太擅长建立和维持外部联盟。

 

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