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Considering the Evidence: Political Authority in Second Wave Civilizations - Essay Example

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As is normally the case, different individuals from different regions of the world have different perspectives with regards to civilization and culture. As a function of these differentials, the following brief analysis will weigh Aelius Aristides, The Roman Oration, The Writings of Master Han Fei, Governing and Indian Empire, and Ashoka Rock Edicts…
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Considering the Evidence: Political Authority in Second Wave Civilizations
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Download file to see previous pages Moreover, by analyzing each of these primary documents, this author will attempt to compare and contrast some key differentials between Roman, Chinese, and East Indian interpretations of civilization and empire. Firstly, with regards to Aelius Aristides “The Roman Oration”, the reader is instantly made aware of the supreme importance that Aristides places upon material possession as a means of categorizing and understanding the power and supremacy of the Roman Empire. Says Aelius, “One can see cargoes from India and even, if you will, from southern Arabia in such numbers that one must conclude that the trees in those lands have been stripped bare, [of aromatics from southern Arabia and various spices from India and points east] and if the inhabitants of those lands need anything, they must come here to beg for a share of what they have produced” (Strayer, 2013). Although this is of course hyperbole, it is readily recognizable to the reader that Aristides views the might and power of Rome through the prism of what degree of natural resources the Empire can claim as its own. It can of course be argued that Aristides point of view represents a quintessentially Western understanding of the importance of material possession and wealth. ...
which power is exhibited and survives/declines, can be said that his approach is much more concentric upon an appreciation for realize Asian of lawfulness. Whereas Aristides sought to define the might and power of Rome through an understanding of geographic size and material possession, Han Fei instead approaches the understanding of power and influence in a much more ethical and philosophical standpoint. From such a perspective, the reader can infer that by Han Fei’s measurement – regardless of the level of material wealth that can be realized, an empire or civilization can ultimately crumble and/or deteriorate based upon no other factor than the degree to which lawfulness and unethical behavior are exhibited. Ashoka’s “Governing and Empire” represents an even further shift. Whereas Aristides sought to base the concept of power and civilization on material ends, Han Fei sought to define society and culture based upon abstract concepts of goodness and lawfulness. However, as was exhibited in the reading with regards to Ashoka, it is noted that Ashoka experienced something of an epiphone with regards to what was most important within civilization/society/the empire. As a result of horrific battles in the high death tolls that these inflicted, Ashoka came to integrate the greatest level of good to the stakeholders within society. Such a concept was of course far ahead of its time and represented aspects of socialism that neither China nor Europe had thus far integrated with. In this way, rather than using the material wealth as something of a bragging point with regards to his overall level of power, Ashoka utilized it to create a greater society and speak to the needs of the stakeholders within his empire. Lastly, the Rock Edicts illustrates some of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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