Technology in Han China and Rome Essay
Technology is the base of a civilization. There are, of course, many things far more necessary than technology, but the great empires of the early common era relied greatly on the use of modern tools in their daily lives. Two well known civilizations that relied on the use of technology are the Han and Rome ; however, their views wavered greatly, and yet, were related at the same time. Both civilizations worked hard on advances in water technology.
Rome , as apposed to the Han Dynasty, is more self centered in their inventions, and ultimately, focused more on beauty, while the Han went for the cheaper alternative. Water is the most important source in a humans life. One could last longer hungry than they could if they were parched. Noticing that water was important, both the Han and Rome worked hard in developing new ways to deal with it, as seen in group one, documents one, three, four, and eight.
Document one, written in the early second century B. C. E. by a government official concerning local officials about the possible ways to maintain flood prevention, it says “people who are experienced in the ways of water. ” The official is writing that he only wants well equipped people to work with the water because it is very important and he does not want anyone to mess up the creation of the dams. He is writing about how to make the region stronger and safer, so there is no need for him to be biased.The rest of the documents in group one, all written in the common era by respectable upper class citizens from both Han and Rome or taken from books, mention new inventions that improved the ways of water, like in document three, water power was applied to the ways of work in China and it was a benifit. In document four it is seen that the invention of a water powered blowing engine also increased the amount of agriculture with less labor in Han China.
In document eight, the invention of the aqueducts in Rome is mentioned by the writer, the Roman General Frontius, and how it was beneficial the the citizens of Rome. The Roman empire was a very proud empire. They invented many new technologies, as seen in group two, documents six through eight all written in the common era by high ranking Roman citizens. In document six, written by Greek Born Plutarch, describing leader Gaius Gracchus, it is seen the the Romans invented the road, and spent much time to perfect it.This document can be considered the most unbiased in the group, for it was written by a Greek born, who would usually disagree with the Romans, but instead it is praising their work. In document seven, written by Seneca, Nero’s adviser, it is stated that the Romans had built many things of value, however, this document is biased because it was written by the personnel of the Roman emperor, who would, of course, praise his own work. The invention of the aqueducts is also seen in document eight, written by a Roman general.
The Roman empire can be seen as arogant about their creations, very noticably seen in group three, documents seven and eight. Both documents are biased, proving that the Romans were arrogant, because they were both written by upper class members of Rome itself. It is seen in document seven that the Romans did not care for the inventor of the hammer, for they did not have an elevated mind li,e this of the romans. This document was written by Seneca, Nero’s advisor, and is obviously biased, for an emperor’s right hand man would not put down his own empire.In document eight it says, “Compare such numerous and indispensable structures carrying so much water [aqueducts] with the idle pyramids, or the useless…
works of the Greeks. ” The writer is stating very clearly that the Roman inventions of the aqueducts is far superior in comparison to the minor inventions of uch useless creations from the Greeks and Egyptians. This document is also biased because it is written by Frontius, a Roman General, who like Seneca, would not humiliate his country publicaly. Group three clearly expresses the concieted Roman view on their own masterpieces.It is nice to have a viewpoint from Roman citizens on other inventions, but it would be very helpful to have a document on Roman technology from the viewpoint of other civilizations as well. Lastly, the Roman empire was more about beauty being shown in their work, while Han went for the much less costly route.
In group four, documents two and six, it is seen that Rome spent more effort on their work than the neighboring Han did. In document six, an unbiased letter from Greek born Roman citizen Plutarch, it is clearly stated that the Roman leader Gaius Gracchus spent much time in perfecting the Roman roads.The roads had to be suitable for everyone, with stops along the way for weary treveler, and posts for riders to resaddle upon their horses. The roads were also made to look like a piece of art. In the Han dynasty, as apposed to the Roman Empire, many tools were cut from the laborers and were replaced with cheaper materials that were not of the same standard and produced a less satisfactory product, as seen in document two, an unbiased document written from Han government official Huan Guan in the first century B. C.
E from his book “Discourses on Salt and Iron. The document is unbiased because Huan is not lying about the bad situation, instead is is stating it publicly, going against his own country that he works for. Group four shows that the Hans cheaper products hailed in comparison to Romans meticulous work. The two great civilizations had their strong beliefs in technology, some connecting and others not. Either way, beauty and water were a thing to be seen in one if not both of the empires. In any case, the technology from the Han Dynasty and the much more arogant Roman Empire will live on forever