Comparison And Contrast: Roman Empire And Han Dynasty One Page Max

650 words - 3 pages

The Roman Empire and the Han DynastyThe Roman Empire (31 B.C.E.-476 C.E.) and the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.E.-220 C.E.) were prominent empires that existed simultaneously at opposite ends of Eurasia. An empire can be described as consisting of a set of regions locally ruled by governors, viceroys or kings in the name of the emperor. Rome and Han had these characteristics of an empire and also shared many similarities including government, slavery, and their downfall with a few differences.Within the first 3 months after the death of Shin Huang, emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-202 B.C.E.), civil war basically took place in China. By 202 B.C.E., the Han Dynasty was established. Liu Bang (peasant who became Han emperor) had defeated all of the other competitors in this revolt including Xiangyu, creating a renowned autocratic empire. Since the ruler was considered the basis of ...view middle of the document...

In this thinking, the citizens had more power and only a small portion of each community actually possessed citizenship. Due to this form of government, communal identity was more recognized in Rome than in China. The Roman Empire was more like a union of moderately autonomous provinces than the Han imperial system. Like Rome's provinces, now the Emperor had turned Han's integrated imperial system into provinces similar to that of the Romans'. It was divided into thirty-six provinces, with a governor, army commander and an inspector in each province similar to the Romans.Although both Romans and the Han Dynasty had slavery, many people disagreed with it. Dong Zhongshu (179-104 B.C.E., Confucian scholar and Chief Minister) suggested that slave owners be prohibited from being able to kill their slaves at will. In records from the Han Dynasty, there are cases of punishments being given for killing slaves. In the Roman Empire, it was only in the second half of the second century that slave owners were forbidden to kill their slaves. In the fourth century, Constantine (272-337 C.E., first Christian emperor) determined that killing a slave would be treated equally as killing a Roman citizen and have severe punishments attached to it.Though both the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty shared many common attributes, they also differed in some fundamental ways. For example, the Romans did not create Roman culture. Rather, as more lands were conquered, their culture was assimilated and thus, a central culture consisting as a mix of many others was created (Rome had great tolerance of local diversity). Local culture varied with the land that was conquered but still shared heavy Greek influence. And while the decline of Rome and the Han Dynasty was similar (both gradually declined due to invasions, economic problems, floods, and even famine), Rome fell fragmentally with its Western empire collapsing long before its East.So many similarities and few differences link the Han dynasty and the Roman empires. Overall, these two civilizations were very powerful, civilized and ahead of their time.

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