The Comparison of Roman Empire and Han Dynasty

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The Romans and the Chinese had well-developed empires, they managed to keep themselves on their feet because they were able to withstand battles and achieved good economic stability. Romans and Chinese had a different history indeed, different kings with different beliefs, wars, economic stability and issues, allies, and other factors that influenced their history. The Romans and the Chinese endured for many centuries due to the factors that allowed them to be able to stay and not be eradicated.

The Romans were intelligent, wise, strong, had the ability, the people, and the kings, such as Augustus, Caesar, Dominus, Constantine, and many others, that allowed them to extend their city to an impressive level. Rome was characterized by being able to expand and establish control over all of Italy through alliances, conquests, war veterans, the ones that fought in the wars representing Rome, and war strategy. Rome had everything to become the perfect empire, but somehow the Rome empire was “decaying” not because of other empires but because they were rotting from the inside.

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The Romans possessed great power, and this power was used by kings and emperors and even including the Roman consul. This power allowed them to establish themselves in the world in such a way that they managed to conquer other kingdoms and make other kingdoms join them under the Roman title, but It was not so long since the perfect empire came to an end. Later in the fifth century of Rome, this one decays and falls due to the weaknesses and pressure that the kingdom had.

In the third century, the roman stability starts decaying due to specific factors that led them to decline more and more, first, we got the Barbarians and the Sasanids, this two were invading and murdering people from Rome, including important leaders, kings, and emperors. This situation led the Romans to an economic decline due to the pressure that these two rivals were generating.

The Chinese had a different story, the were unified by the Qin dynasty, but not just the Qin dynasty but the emperor that managed to unify the Chinese empire. The unification of china involved multiple conquests and strategies that allowed the unification of China and become a great empire.

China went through a lot of dynasties, some of them were very strict regarding the Chinese people, either because of gods or the introduction of Buddhism. They had well-disciplined soldiers and a Great Wall to protect them from the Xiongnu nomads around the northern part of China.

Later in the Chinese empire, after the Han Dynasty, there is the Tang and Sui Dynasties, which re-created China, moving to Central Asia and so it managed to conquer the so-called 'Silk Road' which allowed China to be an economic capital for future inter-empire trading. Even though Rome and the Chinese empire seemed to have everything in their hands they both fell because of rivals wanting to conquer them. The Mongols managed to conquer the Chinese thus making the Chinese empire to fall.

Both Chinese and Romanian empires had amazing ways to expand their empires, for Rome they had everything, but they went corrupted “rotting from the inside” as mentioned before and decayed because of the pressure established by their rivals. The Chinese also had their power, they had Han, which was a great emperor, but after his death, the Chinese empire decayed and tried to re-create themselves, but it later fell because of the conquest of the rivals, The Mongols. They both fell because of rivals in their late centuries.

Even though the Chinese and Roman empire had a huge impact on our societies I would say that the one that had a huge impact on world history is Rome. Especially because of Christianity and how it still influencing our society nowadays. Christianity is recorded to be the religion with the most impact in our world and is still expanding since Rome. Also, the multiple wars and leaders that Rome possessed, wars that changed the path of Rome and how they expanded, and the amazing strategies implied by the Roman leaders. They had the Latin language which is the root of many languages in the actual world, they came up with mathematics which we still use. The Romans had the most impact in the actual world and that is why we should know more about them in world history.

The Romans and the Chinese both built great empires that endured for many centuries. What factor or factors do you think best explains the success of these empires? How did each of these empires rule, and over which groups did they rule? What were the most significant weaknesses of these empires? In the long term, which empire was more significant to world history, and why?

Works cited

  1. Beard, M., & Crawford, M. (2019). Rome: A History in Seven Sackings. New York, NY: Liveright Publishing Corporation.
  2. Beard, M. (2015). SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
  3. Loewe, M., & Shaughnessy, E. L. (Eds.). (1999). The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 BC. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  4. Dull, J. R. (2009). The Age of the Ship of the Line: The British and French Navies, 1650-1815. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
  5. Elvin, M. (2004). The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
  6. Lewis, M. E. (2009). The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.
  7. Twitchett, D., & Loewe, M. (Eds.). (1999). The Cambridge History of China: Volume 1, The Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 BC-AD 220. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  8. Lewis, M. E. (2007). China's Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.
  9. Boulnois, L. (2012). Silk Road: Monks, Warriors & Merchants on the Silk Road. London, UK: Airphoto International Ltd.
  10. Chesneaux, J. (1997). The Chinese Labor Movement, 1919-1927. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

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