The Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire were the most powerful entities in the world. The Han Dynasty dominated Asia from the Korean peninsula to present day Vietnam for more than four hundred years while the Roman Empire stretched from the present British Isles to present day Iraq, and it lasted for five hundred years. These empires enjoyed times of immense prosperity during their existence. This assay explores some of the aspects of the two empires.
Comparison of the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire
The ancient civilization of Rome was more superior to ancient china in a number of ways including the government and leadership. Rome's government was more detailed and left no room for any mistake. It was well thought out and the structure was very defined all though out Roman history, while the Chinese government changed every time a new ruler took over the power. Rome also produced better leaders like Caesar and Augustus. China's government lacked the essential parts needed to make a great government and leaders; neither was as great as the Rome's (Leslie R. and Gardiner J.1996).
The structure of the Roman Empire was far better than China's because the Chinese lacked many things the Roman had. The Emperor was like a president. A dictator was put in control over the state during the emergences. The dictator could only hold office for up to six months and while in charge he had absolute power and he dealt with all the emergences at hand. The priests also played an important role in the Roman Empire such as Pontifex Maximus, and 9 other pontiffs which were like the high priest and other priests. There were many more jobs and positions in the Roman government and they all contributed to the success of Rome.
Chinese empire was not as detailed as the Roman Empire. The Chinese lacked a permanent senate but there were courts, like the Court of Imperial Clansmen, that dealt with family, state and society issues. There were priests and who were answerable to the emperor instead of answering to the people like in the Roman Empire.
Roman leadership was far more advanced than Chinese leadership in many ways. The Romans had leaders like Augustus and Justinian. Once theses leaders found a system that worked for Rome they stayed with that system while the Chinese changed their system of the government every time a new leader came in.
The Han Dynasty was the most successful of all the Chinese Dynasties, but not as successful as Rome and it resulted from the chaos which were left over by Qin Dynasty. It built on the strengths of the earlier dynasties and removed the faults. Economic recovery was promoted and taxes were much reduced. Some tests were used to get potential candidates for official posts, while the teachings of Confucius were greatly promoted and encouraged. At the height of its power at around 146 B.C, the Han Dynasty began to expand ferociously and the royal treasury, peasants and merchants started to feel the strain of the expansion policies. Men, horses, armor, and supplies were required for war and the royal treasury was draining which led to increment of taxes. The common people started to protest as the rapidly growing population aggravated the situation. This aggravated state caused a period of discontentment similar to that of the former dynasties. China was unable to advance as it reverted back to chaos.
Confucsism was a main part of Chinese leadership which dealt with moral virtues and values such as love, goodness, humanity and respect but none of the leaders listened to Confucius until after his death. The Confucian rule was "do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself." On political grounds, Confucius advocated for a government whose leader is benevolent and where the subjects are obedient. In education Confucius upheld the theory, unheard of in his time, that in education, there is no class distinction.
The Roman Empire was far more detailed had better trained leaders. China had a few good leaders, but none were as great as Roman leaders and the one person they should have followed from the beginning, Confucius, they didn't follow till after his death. The Chinese government left too much power in the emperor's hands. This is why the government changed from emperor to emperor. The Roman government did the exact opposite it put more power in the people a factor which enabled it to last longer.
The fall of Roman Empire
There are main causes for the fall of Roman Empire is the large population size and the introduction to Christianity. Because the Empire grew too large, it became difficult to control. It was inevitable for the fall to occur, no matter how much anyone tried. The priests helped change the moral values of society. It no longer mattered much, and military power was buried or thrown away. The rich's wealth was taken away and given to the poor. The decline of economy also contributed to the decline of the empire .When the Empire started to decline, business ceased and there was little progress, so that also crashed along with the empire itself. Slavery caused another problem to the Roman Empire. Slaves fled to the cities for search of better life, only to find more unemployment, famine, and bad living conditions. In this case, poor farmers lost jobs and land and became even poorer, while the rich landowners/slave owners got richer because they could pay less and hire even more slaves. This is an example of the rich getting richer; the poor getting poorer (Winker M. 2009).
Also there was a lack of Roman soldiers, therefore, foreigners filled in their spots. Germans composed the poorly trained Roman Army. This means that they were not loyal to Rome because it was not their heritage and belonging. They fought for money rather than the love of the country. The upper class people devoted themselves to luxury and were not interested in caring about the ones below them, while the lower classes gave up devotion to their country's aristocrats and this gap between the two eventually broke up the empire, and chaos ruled over the region for many years after. This unstoppable event was necessary and there's no way that people could've kept on living the way they were any longer (Winker M. 2009).
The fall of Chinese empire
The land was overpopulated and people were forced into banditry. The officials became more corrupt. Toward the end of Wudi's reign, violence came up between the empress and Wudi's concubine over inheritance of the throne. Eventually, a compromise ruler was chosen, but the decline of the Han Dynasty had already begun. Later emperors were incompetent, and their leaderships were marked by corruption and immorality. Some Confucian scholars declared that the Han Dynasty had lost the Mandate of Heaven, a belief that rulers were appointed by Heaven (Duiker J. and Spielvogel J. 2006).
Similarities of Roman Empire and Han Dynasty
They had similarities in their fall, in that they suffered through significant factors like Germanic Invasions that made them decline in power. They were abrogated by the same conflicts. One of the main reasons was due to the great military power of the Germanic legions constantly making attempts to invade the empires. It was very costly to protect their borders from the perpetual invasions sent out by the Germanic leaders. Soon both their economies began to suffer from the high prices of protecting their borders from these invasions. (Andrea J. and Overfield H. 2000)
Contrast of Roman Empire and Han Dynasty
The two differed in the way they came to great success in that Han Dynasty gained power through Legalism, while the Roman Empire continued with a republic government. They were far different in their rise. The Han Dynasty rose to success by applying legalism as their set government. Throughout the successful years of the Han Dynasty, legalism proved to be a prosperous government (Duiker J. and Spielvogel J. 2006).
Role of women in the Empires
Women had many roles in Ancient Society simply as house wives, advising husbands and to look after their family. They were significant and essential for the development of a culture and the society. This was mainly because they did not have the opportunity to do much else. They looked after the children. As it was not proper for men to cook or do house work as they were supposed to work. The women would cook or prepare all three meals for their children or husbands. Cooking and preparation was taught to all girls at some stage as they would all have families of their own one day (Winker M. 2009).
Achievements of these empires
The Romans achieved world fame with their incredible army. It defeated pretty much everybody. The Romans were capable of defeating armies far larger than themselves, despite being equipped with the same basic traditional weapons such as shields, spears and swords. The empire wrote and refined many of the laws of the day and collected them all into one work and the laws form the basis of all today's justice systems in part of the western world. The Chinese Empire required military exertions, which facilitated the regular extraction of resources from agriculture or commerce in the region. With the discovery of iron deposits and iron technology also increased significantly. The Chinese leant how to produce cast iron a full millennium before the same technique of producing cast iron was discovered in the entire Europe (Andrea J. and Overfield H. 2000)
It seems that both empires had emperors, substantial military forces, bureaucracies, and ruled over large areas. They faced barbarian enemies to their north. Han generals, for example, had to fight to keep the Silk Road open. But the Chinese Empire was different from the Roman in that it was ethnically and culturally more homogeneous. They were very ethnically diverse. China was naturally more protected and Rome was certainly more egotistical and heavy-handed. Also, China's economy relied heavily on trade and the Rome's relied on conquest.