Comparing the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire

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The Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire were two grand empires that rose out of preexisting territories and provided relative peace over wide areas. The collapse of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE), which was the first great land-based empire in East Asia, came after a period of war, confusion, and tyrannical rule. Due to the political disorder that stemmed from the early dynastic activity, the emergence of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE- 228 CE) sprung to focus on restoring order. On the other hand, the rise of the Roman Empire (44 BCE- 476 CE) originated from consolidating authority over aristocratic landlords and overriding the democratic elements of the earlier Republic. Instead, the Roman Empire redefined the concept of “citizen” as subjects to the Roman emperor. Both empires shared similar agendas to exploit their vast territories and resources, which helped them expand their political dominance; however, despite having similar political goals and foundations, their government system, cultural ideologies and imperial expansionist natures diverged. Both the Han and Roman empires emphasized on territorial expansions. By utilizing their powerful militaries, they consolidated their power within and across borders, which created stable trade networks for their economic bases. Land equated to wealth and power. Through integration of the local domains, both empires succeeded in political stability. For the Han Empire, their expansion abroad pushed through ecological limits under Emperor Wu Di ( 181-87 BCE), who made military service compulsory. The army expanded bordered into northern Vietnam and southeastern China. Although there were military threats from the Xiongnu, the nomadic people of the north, Wu launched defense attacks that made ... ... middle of paper ... ... weaker state will remain neutral from a military strength. Melians’ loss reaffirms the absolute power of imperial conquests and nationalism in theories of realism. Since the Melians were allied with the Spartans and failed to cooperate, it is justifiable that the Athenians had the right to want to rule and invade the Melians as means to protect their own strengths. Works Cited Gochberg, Donald S. World Literature and Thought. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt College, 1997. Print. Pomeranz, Kenneth, James Buchanan. Given, Laura Jane Mitchell, and Robert L. Tignor.Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A Companion Reader. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2011. Print. Polybius, Rome at the End of the Punic Wars. Ancient History Sourcebook Poetry of the Han Dynasty Thucydides, The Melian Debate Tung Chung-Shu, Luxuriant Gems of the Spring and Autumn Annals.
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