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9. GATE OF BRILLIANT VIRTUE

The Gate of Brilliant Virtue was the main entrance to the most splendid city in the world. This city- Ch'ang-an, was the capital of China in the 7th century.

Ch'ang-an, with over 2 million souls, was divided into three parts - the Palace City, the Imperial City for Officials and the Outer City for the Workers.

It was a brilliant, exciting city attracting visitors and traders from all over Asia. But unlike our narrow tourist-crowded streets, in Ch'ang-an, the main streets were 225 feet wide.

In Main Street, Ch'ang-an, life was more comfortable than in our Oxford Street.

10. CIVIC ORGANISATION

The officials lived in their red and purple houses in the Imperial Quarter. As a perk, when they passed their exams, they were allowed free passes to the Houses of Pleasure.

But they organised the city. Prices were fixed, the fire fighting and sanitation services efficient. They even arranged for the citizens to be woken up at 7 o'clock in the morning.

11.  THE WELFARE STATE

For the first time, we come across the secular welfare state. Sheltered accommodation for the elderly, orphanages and hospitals were provided.

England introduced the registration of births in the 19th century. Over 100 years previously, it had been operating in Ancient China. And the Chinese backed it up with a child care service.

12. MARCO POLO

A traveller from the backward continent of Europe who visited China hundreds of years later in the 13th century.

He was amazed by the spendid cities of China. But when he returned with his tales of wonder to Europe, no one would believe him.


15. TOWN BUILDERS

The Romans tried to domesticate the savage tribesmen by making townspeople of them.

They had a wild lot facing them in Britain. A tenth of the whole Roman army was stationed here. And the Romans built many towns - 28 of them and the largest was London.

16. ROMAN LONDON

Roman London had an estimated population of 30,000. It was the only time when London was properly planned and laid out with straight roads.

17. OBJECTION

Naturally, there was an objection to this orderly approach.

It came from Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni. She went on the rampage and London was razed to the ground.

Seventy thousand people were slaughtered by her tribesmen before she was defeated in a bloody battle. It is thought this battle took place at the end of Caledonian Road and York Way. Ifthe ghosts of those who died violently do comeback, then this part of Islington is the most haunted place in Britain.

With her victims and the harsh Roman reprisals, this country experienced a bloodbath that, fortunately, it was never to suffer again.

18. ROMAN HOUSES

London survived Boadicea. It became the important trading centre of Northern Europe. Its population was a mixture of people from all over the continent.

The rich lived in villas. These houses had baths and underfloor heating.

The heating system appears to have been efficient. In Britain, because of the damp climate it was extended to the walls - to stop condensation.

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