Essay on Comparison between Classical Athens and Han China

Essay on Comparison between Classical Athens and Han China

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Despite the social hierarchy and acceptance of position of the population in both societies, Han China and Classical Athens had disparities proportionate to their physical sizes. The geographical isolation from each other resulted in the differences in demographics, characteristics of government structures, individual duties and roles in government, and the general view of life.

The east to west length of the Han Empire dwarfs the city-state of Athens. The maps of Classical Greece and Han China display the basic geography of each area. The surrounding area of Attica around Athens covers less than a 50 mile by 150 mile area, and Athens was only a fraction of that. On the other hand, Han China expands approximately 3,000 miles east to west and 2,000 miles north to south. Documents of Classical Athens: Population and Class and Classical China: Population and Class both break down the populations of each civilization into spate classes. Each document also has a quote supporting class distinctions. The population of Attica was only 315,000 people including 115,000 slaves and 50,000 free male citizens. The population of Han China reached 65 million people (90% of them peasants) split up into 2 more classes than Attica. The Mandate of Heaven justified the claim to power by emperors. Therefore, Mencius’s belief in the Mandate of Heaven favored the idea of distinct social classes including those ruling and acceptance of those being ruled. Another document that could have been useful to analyzing demographics would have been a world map displaying both areas. The scales of both maps were different, so it gave a false impression that Ancient Greece and Han China were compatible in size.

Highly organized systems of government emerged in p...

... middle of paper ...

...ngly opposite, the Chinese Landscape Painting depicts a boulder-filled mountainside with a waterfall, a river, a Chinese house, and trees spread throughout. The quote underneath is from Lao-tzu, (the founder of the Daoism philosophy). The complexity of the sentences by Lao-tzu is much higher than the sentence of Socrates.

Han China was an empire that expanded over a vast territory and Classical Athens was only a small city-state. Inevitable, there were differences in all aspects of life. The documents provided plenty of information on demographics, government structures, individual roles and duties of a citizen, an view on physical life. Overall, the 64 million differences in population, the democracy that arose in Athens, the importance of a father-son relationship in Han China, and the interests in nature by the Hans were the key facts in the two’s differences.

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