71

The number you are looking for is not Dunbar's Number Dunbar's number is about how many relationships you can maintain, but does not directly dictate the "sense" of knowing everyone. Another relevant figure is that the average person can recognize 5000 people's faces; so, as long as you recognize everyone you encounter, and know enough of them to ...


61

The number you are looking for is Dunbar's Number. It is well-known for most primates, but only approximately for humans (between 150 and 250). Humans of course have prodigious memory, and might be able to memorize the names and faces of far more than that (probably into the low thousands). But to actually know someone in a meaningful way, this is the Dunbar ...


56

"The events are set in a late renaissance like world, minus the gunpowder." Fine. Let's take this as given, and let's assume that by "late Renaissance-like" we understand western European Renaissance, about 1550 to 1600. "The army doesn't engage in massive battles and is mostly border guard and garrison." Nope, that doesn't work in a western European late-...


27

354 Thousand https://godbolt.org/z/zoPYsz If you bring 10,000 embryos on the first ship, and 10,000 on the second ship, you'll run out in the 25th year, and 58th year. I modified your death rate so that when people hit 70 years old it shot up to 10% per year. As otherwise we had hundreds of 100 year olds. That link allows you to change the values and they ...


25

Consider a circle. It’s boundary grows linearly with its diameter, but the area within grows as the square of it. Why is this important? Because you’re thinking the wrong way round. You’re thinking of putting your city inside a ring of undefended farmland. What you should do instead is put your farmland inside the city. Give your houses big gardens. ...


19

Fielding a big army takes money. Money takes taxes. Your population doesn't want to pay them. What you've described is a big, prosperous country that's gotten fat and lazy off of generations of not having had to fight for anything. Our own history is full of that kind of thing. A nation like that will offer enormous internal resistance to anybody who wants ...


17

Assuming you're not raided by the cops, 80 years to the dominant religion. Assuming your cult is comfortable breaking these taboos: Hebephilia Cloning of embryos (splitting them) Asexual reproduction Basically every human right You could overtake Catholicism as the dominant religion within 80 years. Simulation in C++. This is based on an answer I gave to ...


16

If we think of the nobles as an isolated (by choice) population, then what we need to look at is the human Minimum Viable Population (MVP). From this question about a sustainable space colony, we get this source which says the number is 160, or maybe 80. The “magic number” of people needed to create a viable population for multi-generational space ...


15

"Everyone knows everyone" can be used colloquially in a less strict definition. The concept that "everyone knows everyone" extends to towns larger than hundreds or even thousands. You don't need to know the entire population personally to have this feeling, you just need to be able to find multiple mutual acquaintance between any two ...


15

In a region where people don't move, a couple thousand If we define "everyone knows everyone" as "you recognize everyone you meet and know a fact about them" then a town of a couple thousand people is gonna be your limit. I'm talking about a medieval/ancient town, where 95% of people farm or do The One Thing Your Town Does. In the ...


13

Nonpaternity saves the day. Consider the Duke. He is a jerk. He is rough and mean, and prefers the company of prostitutes over the Duchess, who does not really know what she is doing in bed. A large part of that is lack of enthusiasm on her part - the Duchess does not like the Duke, their marriage having been arranged by their family. The Duchess does ...


12

You can take a page out of these monsters book: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/21/health/sperm-donors-fraud-doctors.html These doctors at fertility clinics used their own sperm instead of the selected donor sperm. For example: According to the Dutch Donor Child Foundation, DNA testing has confirmed that a fertility specialist, Dr. Jan Karbaat, fathered 56 ...


11

No At least, not significantly greater. The theory that the pain of childbirth is what stops humans from having children isn't that substantiated - while childbirth is painful, it's not why people don't want to have children. I suppose on a subconscious level, it might affect a small percentage, which is why I say that it wouldn't make humans significantly ...


10

Based on the initial conditions identified in your question - but also in the comments - the 50 figure is the most realistic. Your population will not be able to resume the practice of agriculture or animal husbandry, if they are limited to "the contents of their pockets". This leaves behind the entire basis for agriculture. Without seeds, they have no ...


10

Political traditions cripple their military. Pick one or several: The parliament or the nobility really doesn't like the monarch to control too many troops. The monarch doesn't want troops under the nobility. The commoners of the cities are expected to provide defensive garrisons, not expeditionary forces. Each craftsman and apprentice owes two days of ...


10

People are too old to go to war. Your /country has very low mortality rates/. They have very low fertility rates. The populace is old. That also accounts in part for why they are stable, rich and peaceful. It is a country like Belgium, or Japan. The old people are rich and sensible. The young people are busy - or foreigners, who are happy to live and ...


10

Forget the walls, build something similar to Catalhuyuk. Catalhuyuk is one of the oldest human settlements we have found, and one of the most prominent theories on its design is specifically to keep out predators. With this design you basically use the outer walls of your buildings as the walls of the settlement. There is no access to any of the buildings ...


9

It appears that in the Battle of Thymbra, in the Lydia-Persian war (6th century BCE), 100,000 casualties took place in a single day. This was with early Iron Age swords and spears, breasplates and helmets, significantly less advance technology than what you'd see as late as 1000 CE. If the two armies are as large as those at this battle, there's no reason ...


8

Hedonistic Population Basically, a stable population that gets used to not having struggle with resources or wars gets to the point where the populace likes that situation (I mean, what's not to like about it?) and then decides to see how much of this 'plentiful food and minimal work' thing they can get away with. Fast forward, and you wind up with a ...


8

As per the work of Robin Dunbar, 150 people seems to be the maximum number of acquaintances you can maintain without forgetting important details, and it'd be pretty dull having to deal with forgetting someone's birthday the 200th time, so I'd say people would probably organize into 100-150 person groups.


8

So after Thanos snaps his fingers... sorry, I don't know what could've made me think of the MCU movie franchise. Anyway. Things Would Be Pretty Much Unchanged Initially (for months or years), you would see a disaster economy. Vehicles and heavy machinery left unattended would cause damage or fires, and kill more people. Houses left fallow would have to ...


8

I hope they have access to plenty of timber, because they will need loads of boats. fishing Fishing from the ocean is really your best option in this situation. Coastal fishing from their shores would be the safest option, but this won't feed a large population. They will need to fish the ocean, extensively. The larger their fishing boats the better. In the ...


8

I don't know about population curves and so on, but most people wouldn't last beyond a week (~3 days without water, ~7 days without food). However, it's unlikely that the city would ever reach population 0. Beyond the odd I Am Legend-style scavenger, even in the concrete-junglest of cities you'd have groups of survivors who would eventually tear up a road ...


7

About 100 billion people. Roughly. I'm ignoring the difference between the male/female survival rates (which shouldn't exist anyway because males aren't more valuable than females even with a 9/1 gender ratio) and I'm also ignoring the death rate because it's about 1%, and therefore of little consequences. There are 1080 females in the first generation, and ...


6

Medieval cities were quite densly populated. Munich i.e had about 13,000 inhabitants on a area of 91ha according to Wikipedia. This gives a density of about 14.000 people/km^2. Cologne had an area of 401 ha, also according to Wikipedia with a Population of up to 50,000 people. This makes a density of 12,000 people/km^2. And as far as I know the cities ...


5

The Siege of Baghdad could offer you a clue. It lasted about 12 days and resulted in the deaths of over 90,000 people, all done with 13th century weapons. This was Baghdad, mind you. And it had boltholes, places to hide, streets to fight in with choke points, etc. It would take a lot longer than the scenario you have in mind As I recall, the Mongols would ...


5

Maybe NOT As Many as Folks Think While material limitations are an important consideration for maximal possible population, I think physical matter is not your limiting factor here. Your scenario basically makes the First World look like a Fourth World backwater. Given the technology level and the free energy, even our own Third & Fourth Worlds will ...


5

The country has political feuds growing with a nearby nation but doesn't have enough troops to challenge their military This could be due to various factors: Other country has a bigger army: Your army of 250k can't do much against another of 1m, assuming similar equipment and training. Terrain differences: This country is a fertile low-lying plains, ...


5

How Good is the Fishing? Hunting and Gathering on land simply doesn’t support very large populations, and it’s really bad for settlements. The only societies that had large sedentary societies without extensive agriculture were those that had abundant fish stocks. The Native People of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and southern Alaska were hunter ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible