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World History to 1400 - Essay Example

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People from both empires did not know their origin, opting to create myth stories that explained where they could have originated. According to the Romans, Roman early history was connected to…
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World History to 1400
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World History to 1400 Similarities between the Roman Empire and the Chinese Han Empire One of the similarities between the two empires can be derived from their origins. People from both empires did not know their origin, opting to create myth stories that explained where they could have originated. According to the Romans, Roman early history was connected to Troy in Asia Minor. Aeneas, a hero in that city in the war against the Myceneans was believed to have fled to Italy with some of his followers where they established what was later to be known as the Roman Empire. One of the most common stories of Chinese origins was the story concerning the god P’an Ku (Fernandez-Armesto 345).
Another similarity between the two empires relates to their education systems. Although the Roman Empire had a more complex education system compared to that of the Chinese, the two empires emphasized on the importance of education. Leadership posts were preserved for those who had demonstrated considerable intellectual merit (Fernandez-Armesto 347). Chinese education was based on writing skills. For one to be considered for any leadership position, demonstrating these writing skills was important. The Roman Empire based its education system on 37 chapters of knowledge compiled Pliny the Elder, a famous Roman educator.
Another similarity between the two empires can be seen in their view of what constituted good governance. Good governance according to both empires involved serving the needs of the people. The Roman Public Utility Services was established to keep cities clean and avoid illnesses. This involved modernizing water supply systems and building public and private baths. A small ditch on the centre of each stoned city ensured that dirty water and rainwater were drained away. Master Kong established Confucianism in Chinese Empire and ensured the affirmation of accepted values and norms of behavior in public service and social interactions (Fernandez-Armesto 349).
Differences between the Roman Empire and the Chinese Han Empire
One of the differences between the two empires can be seen in their economic structures. While the Roman Empire had taken great steps in the fields of technology and engineering, the Chinese Empire lagged behind in these fields. Specialization was rare in the Chinese Empire leading to a low rate of economic development. Farmers practiced subsistence farming (Fernandez-Armesto 441).
The Roman Empire, on the other hand, had very modern ‘tastes’ and demands. Three pulley cranes and treadmills were first used in the Roman Empire (Fernandez-Armesto 441). The Romans further used technology to bring fresh water to their cities while connecting these cities with beautifully constructed roads and highways.
Another difference between the two empires was their political structures. The Roman Empire was built on several individual states. Leaders and thinkers from each state debated on the various political forms used by their state. Some states such as Athens used democracy as their political system. The Chinese political structure, on the contrary, was based on dynasties (Fernandez-Armesto 445).
These dynasties included Zhou, Shang, Qin and Han dynasties (Fernandez-Armesto 445). Aristocratic and wealthy families remained in power in these dynasties. One can therefore conclude that although the term empire has been used to refer to the two systems, their political systems were not the same.
Works Cited
Fernández-Armesto, Felipe. The World: A History : Combined Volume. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2011. Print. Read More
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