Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Epic History of the Chinese and Roman Empires

When people think of the greatest empires of the ancient world, they think of the Roman Empire and the Chinese Han Dynasty. The history of the Roman Empire and of the Han Dynasty is epic. Both of these empires ruled over vast numbers of people, and both ruled for approximately four centuries. The Roman Empire was known for its unstoppable military. The Roman military literally changed the way that war in Europe, the Middle East, and parts of northern Africa was fought. The Han Dynasty had a similar effect on the way that war was fought in the Orient.

Chinese and Romans Symbols
Both the Roman Empire and the Chinese Empire were known for trade. Rome created trade routes that covered the globe. There are many accounts in history where the Roman Empire and the Chinese Empire interacted for economic trade. The Roman Empire caused Latin to be the primary language that was spoken throughout Europe. For centuries, Latin was the language of the people, and then it became a language that was closely linked to Christianity. The growth of the Roman Empire had a powerful effect on the religion that was practiced by people who lived under the Roman domain. The Han Dynasty had the same effect.

Confucianism was the religion that was dominant in China during the Han Dynasty. This religion not only influenced the belief system of the empire's subjects, but it also influenced the way that emperors within the Han Dynasty ruled. It was said that an Emperor was selected by God. Therefore, they had the responsibility to rule following the dictates of God. This meant that they could not overtax the people, they should avoid war when possible, and they should encourage education among the people. When an Emperor was thought to have abandoned the way that God has set out for him, he was subject to being overthrown.

Roman emperors owed much of their power to religion. They were said to be installed on their thrown by the power of Roman gods. When the Roman military went to war, victory was attributed to the power of their gods. When an Emperor fell from grace, it was assumed that he had somehow displeased the gods, and as such no longer had the right to rule the people.

The Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire fell as they saw their trade routes disappear. This forced these governments to rely on taxation in order to create revenue, which in turn led to social unrest and the eventual collapse of the government.

11 comments:

  1. At first I thought I'd be reading an entire book when I saw the word "history" but hey! This brief explanation thought me a lot of things I might have not read before, I'm familiar with both empires but I never thought they are somehow related with each other as I studied them separately. I admire the Roman Empire and their dedication to God, but if I'm not wrong, they worshiped Gods and Goddesses before Christianity, or the counterpart of Greek and Norse Mythology (from the word "mythology"). While I admire the Chinese Empire as they focused on invading territories and their too concern of the economic growth (until now I guess). Though both have been overused the power they posses, but their commitment for the country (or the empire) is awe-inspiring. Sorry for going off the topic. I'm just happy to have this additional knowledge I acquired by reading this blog.

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  2. History is very rich and exciting. But I love reading about Chinese empires more because there's less war (I think so).

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    Replies
    1. Any 'empire' was steeped in war. That was their main function. To gain an empire you take land. You don't go asking other rulers for some of their land, mainly because you would be laughed out of the palace then killed. This planet is governed by the aggressive use of force or the threat thereof and if you believe any different you live in Fantasy Land indeed.

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  3. History of these two giants are very chaotic at first but they found the formula up to this date? Really, great to learn about other country's origin, government, economy and people.

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  4. Both empires have long history which cant really be condensed in this generalization and comparison.
    These two does have similarities and as with any Ancient Civilization, they have their rise and fall which serves as a basis for us today to govern our own domains.
    Indeed, history plays a vital role in todays world, something that only a few realised.

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  5. I didn't know Confucianism is such a pro-human religion. Imagine if our leaders nowadays do not overtax the people, avoid war, and encourage education.

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  6. We have studied the long history of the Han Dynasty in Chinese class in two years and we appreciated how this time period had influenced the whole of China ever since. It even left a remarkable significance since "Han" guo ren means Chinese people. I'm not sure how God selects an emperor.

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  7. Great analysis and overview of similarity of these two intertwined empires. The fall of these two empires teach a value of economically growing countries such as Philippines.

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  8. Learned much sa post nyo po. Yuor info will be of big help to me since Church History is one of my subject.

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  9. Interesting parallelism between the Roman and Chinese Empire. Both eras really exercised significant influence. I guess trade relationship is key to keep the empire sustainable.

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  10. This post made me want to read more about China's history. They're truly very rich in culture. Thanks!

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