The Han Dynasty vs The Roman Empire

8 August 2016

The Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty of China had many similarities and differences. Many of these similarities and differences were political, social, and economical. Some of the similarities included the resemblances of political figures, the role of women, and the parallels in each empire’s trade. Some differences included the contrasts of the forms of government, the spheres of influence for each empire, and the military expeditions led by the empires. These similarities and differences portrayed the parallels that showed their power and the differences that marked them as separate.

The similarities in the political figures between the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire were clear. The Martial Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty and Octavian, later known as Augustus Caesar, both have corresponding achievements that were both good for their respective empires. Both rulers reorganized the army and gained much land. Augustus Caesar gained more land for Rome than any other Roman ruler. Han Wudi achieved the most land for China than any other previous ruler as well. Augustus Caesar gave more self-government to their provinces and districts to maintain order.

The Han Dynasty vs The Roman Empire Essay Example

This was also so that they could focus on their empires as a whole rather than worry about local affairs. Han Wudi did something similar when he sent imperial officers to implement his policies and maintain order in administrative provinces and districts. Both rulers created large bureaucracies to administer their empires and they both worked strenuously to increase the authority and prestige of the central government. These similarities between the two political figures displayed both empires’ wealth and stability.

They both encouraged the construction of institutional frameworks that promoted the long-term survival of their own respective cultures. The role of women in both the Han Dynasty in China and the Roman Empire were very similar. During the Han Dynasty, women were to be submissive to their husbands and sons. They were also supposed to work hard in the home with very little reward. In the Roman Empire, women were to be loyal to their fathers and marry at a young age and to the man assigned to them by their father. However, in both the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire, some women had influence and power.

In the Han Dynasty, Ban Zhao went against convention and began writing professionally. Although she encouraged women to obey the Confucian social order, she also encouraged women to become industrious. In the Roman Empire, many women played large roles in managing their families’ financial affairs. Although Roman law placed strict limits on the ability of women to receive inheritances, much like the Confucian social order, enforcement was inconsistent, and clever individuals found ways to evade the law or take advantage of its loopholes.

Women came to possess a great deal of property and many supervised the financial affairs of family businesses and wealthy estates. The trade during the time of the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty were very similar. Both the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire used the silk trade routes, particularly over land. These trade routes were virtually the only thing that connected the two empires together. Other than these trade routes, the Roman Empire and China had no connections. Both of these empires imposed military control over vast territories.

They promoted trade and communication within their own empires, and fostered the spread of cultural and religious traditions to distant regions. The similarities between the two empires were clear and distinct, displaying both empires’ wealth and stability. The differences between the two empires were also prominent during the time of their corresponding existences. One of the main differences between the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire were their separate forms of government. In Rome, there were many different shifts in the type of government that existed.

First, a republic was established, in which freedom and the right to vote were given to the common people. However, as the empire grew, it became evident that the constitution of the Roman republic, originally designed for a small city-state, was not suitable for a large and growing empire. Formal political power remained in the hands of a small, privileged class of people in Rome. The need to administer conquered lands efficiently strained the capacities of the republican constitution.

During the first century BCE and first century CE, Roman civil and military leaders gradually dismantled the republican constitution and imposed a centralized imperial form of government on the city of Rome and its empire. However, in China, there was no such shifts in power. The Han Dynasty was ruled by an emperor who ruled solely and supremely. The emperor consolidated the tradition of centralized imperial rule that was pioneered by the Qin Dynasty. Emperors like Han Wudi worked to increase the authority and prestige of the central government.

He built an enormous bureaucracy that even the Roman Empire hadn’t engineered. Both empires had spheres of influence. However, the spheres of influence for each empire were unique and different in their size and shape. The Roman Empire reached its greatest height under the Roman general Trajan, which was a total of 6 million square miles. The Romans influenced everybody that they conquered and traded with. Many aspects of today’s society have been affected by ancient Rome.

Creation of law, development of democratic government practices, influences in language, literature, art, infrastructure, and city-planning are all areas where the influences of Roman ideas can be seen. Additionally, Roman influences have had considerable importance in the spread of Christianity. The Han Dynasty, however, had a limited sphere of influence. Although they traded along the silk trade routes, China remained isolated and kept to themselves. During the Han Dynasty, the only places to receive Chinese influence were the conquered lands that were claimed by Han Wudi.

The military expeditions of the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire differed greatly during the times of their existence. During the Roman Empire, military expeditions were not uncommon. The Roman Empire ruled land throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. These military conquests were prominent throughout history under many different generals and emperors. However, during the Han Dynasty, there was only one time where China had military conquests, and it was under the emperor Han Wudi.

This was the time that the Han Dynasty expanded the most while the Roman Empire expanded greatly over a series of years and under many different emperors. The Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty had its fair share of similarities and differences. Many of these were related to each empire’s economy, government, and social structure. Despite their many similarities, the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire were very different. Their culture differed greatly, as did their sphere of influence and their government and economy. However, they were very similar. Both were huge empires and both had large influences that can be seen even today.

A limited
time offer!
Save Time On Research and Writing. Hire a Professional to Get Your 100% Plagiarism Free Paper