The Roman Empire and Han China: A close comparison

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The Roman Empire
and some Han
page 76
CAP 106 -115 (varies)
Chapter 4 Rome and Greece
Imperial Rome and Han China
• Both lasted approximately 400 years
• Both had population of about 50 million
Origins of empire
Han China built on earlier
imperial traditions started by
the Qin and Zhou
Rome was built on controlling
aristocratic landlords and a
certain element of democracy
Both emphasized territorial expansion
Roman Empire
Han China
Integrating the empires
• Massive road
building projects
linked crucial parts
of the empires
• Roads facilitated
communication,
economic activity,
access to resources,
and movement of
military.
Mechanisms for political integration in
the Roman Empire
• Literature – writers were
eager to sing the praises of
the emperor and the
imperial system
• Bureaucracy less complex
than Han, but greater
emphasis on the legal
system
• Monuments and triumphal
processions played up the
glory and grandeur of the
empire itself and its rulers
The power of the central governments in Han China and Imperial Rome
• Ancient Rome had an
AGRICULTURAL, SLAVEBASED ECONOMY
whose main purpose
was to feed the vast
number of citizens and
legionaries who
populated the
Mediterranean region.
• The staple crops of Roman farmers in Italy
were various GRAINS, OLIVES, and
GRAPES. OLIVE OIL and WINE
Rome used colonies to foster unity and
integration throughout the Empire
• Colonies were smaller,
basically military outposts
not intended for
population integration
• Latin was encouraged but
never supplanted Greek in
the east
• Expansion of Roman
citizenship was emphasized
• Rome was content to
establish looser control on
provinces and rely on local
autonomy
Military activity
• Military was
encouraged by
both, but more so
by Rome
• Rome known for
tight discipline and
organization of the
infantry known as
the legions
The decline of Imperial Rome
• A series of
weak/incompetent
emperors and
invasions
• Once the western
Roman empire falls
it will be
remembered and
borrowed from but
never restored
hint: CAP 114
Go to page 84
Comparative perspective
create a table like this and
complete as you read
Rome
Reason for social
inequalities
Justification for
social Inequalities
(more than list)
India
China
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