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The Han Dynasty and Roman Empire

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The Han dynasty and Roman empire were two large and prosperous empires during the classical period. They both experienced a “golden age” which led to expansion and many achievements. The Han dynasty began in 206 BCE and ended in 220 BCE. During this time they established laws that incorporated Confucianism and legalist ideas. The government also had civil service test which decided who became an government official (the smartest and richest position). Buddhism was slowly travelling to China from India but, Confucianism was still the main religion.The Chinese invented weapons, tools like the wheelbarrow and paper. In Europe, the Roman empire began in 27 BCE with Augustus Caesar gaining power and ended in 476 CE. The Romans had a strong republic government. Romans used slaves frequently and they had a religion based on mythology.They built aqueducts to bring water throughout the empire and realized the potential of using domes in their architecture. The Han Chinese and the Romans had different attitudes towards technology. The Han Chinese were satisfied with the quality and efficiency of their tools and paid attention to the needs of those who used them. The Roman empire although proud of their achievements did not care and were critical of those who used the tools and crafts

The Han dynasty felt an appreciation for technology and used it to make society run smoother. They believed it was the government's job to make sure technology was sufficient for the commoners. During the early second century B.C.E, a Han government official wrote to local officials concerning flood prevention. The Han official showed that technology was an important part of the empire because it helped prevent disasters caused by floods and that it was meant to assist the people. He also implied that it was necessary that the government intervenes to make sure everything is working properly. Most likely because he worked for the Han bureaucracy. Huan Guan, another Han government official from the 1st century B.C.E. further expresses how technology is important to the empire but also how it needs to be fixed. He points out that before the government’s interventions, tools were high quality and helpful but, since the Han government monopolized salt and iron trades, the tools used by commoners were virtually useless. Huan Guan was critical of the new government policies but made it clear that the government had to fix the situation and improve technology for the people. He is a member of the government so it is surprising that he would disagree with their views however, he is still in favor of them fixing their mistakes. He probably feels this way because he still has faith in the government . Huan Tan, an upper- class Han philosopher, showed an appreciation for the advancements in technology. Specifically, he mentions the pestle and mortar (invented by Fuxi) and how it was improved upon over time. The improvements allowed peoples jobs to be



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