Max Weber and Karl August Wittfogel both wrote works comparing the ancient Mediterranean and China; however, their studies have had little influence on later ancient historians. Scheidel gives this as a contributing cause to the relative paucity of comparative studies between the two. The majority of the research in the subject area has concentrated on looking at the intellectual and philosophical history of each society. He also noted a change in the direction of research in the s, with a refocusing on the "nature of moral, historical, and scientific thought" in Ancient Greece and China.
Many institutions were set up to settle legal disputes, and Roman law appeared in every town governed by the empire. The influence of Roman law would long outlast the empire. The basis of Roman society, as proclaimed by the laws, was the family, headed by a pater familias, who had power over his dependents.
However, Roman women were quite free and had greater control over their wealth and property than preceding states in the Mediterranean.
One key difference from the Han was an extensive institution of slavery, in which slave laborers were used in large numbers to produce goods . Roman society was a relatively hierarchical society.
Each social group had well-defined roles.
Birth was an important indicator of social position. While the elite could enjoy a relatively wealthy life and could expect to become officials and hold high positions, lower classes could not expect such luxury.
In trials, the Roman elite was better privileged; they received preferential treatment from imperial courts. They could not be subject to cruel punishments. For the lower classes, the fastest way to advance socially was the army or trade .
Han society was divided into a number of classes, all played a role within this complex society. The basis of this society were free peasants, who formed the base of the tax revenues of the state and who produced most of the agricultural crop.
These men also helped link the central government with local society. Merchants were also a class, but they were subject to controls by the state and often forced to partner with the state, who also took monopolies in salt, steel and wine, further restricting merchants.
At the bottom of society were convicts, beggars and slaves, who formed a small part of the population. For wealthy families, life was good; they displayed their wealth in lavish meals, and lived in large homes in which women lived in the inner quarters.
Poorer farmers and tenant laborers worked on their fields. Women in poorer families did not have such luxury and often worked in the fields with their husbands or acted as entertainers. Silk clothes were abundant and worn by all classes. Music and entertainment were separated from rituals, with the exception of funeral rites which were taken very seriously.
The legalist thought believed at least in theory that everyone was equal under the emperor.
Therefore, punishments for the same crimes were the same in writing, though this was not always carried out. Social mobility was also relatively great, especially in the military. Confucianism also asserted that "A man, even though he may be poor, can by his acts be a gentleman.
A rich nobleman, even though he may been born well, can by his acts be called shameful. This thought had the effect of weakening the nobility and strengthening the emperor. The influence of the nobility was also weaker as the new merchant class asserted its presence and wealth energetically; the Han abolished hereditary positions.
In theory, everyone could become an official . Hereditary positions came back later, as evidenced by the fact that the founder of the Tang dynasty was the hereditary duke of Tang, and regional governors were allowed to pass titles on.
If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of . Free Essay: A Comparison of the Decline of Han China and the Roman Empire The decline of China and Rome both shared similar economic strife in that they were.
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 ( BCE), which was the first great land-based empire in East Asia, came after a period of war, confusion, and tyrannical rule.
The Imperial Roman Empire from 31 B.C.E. to C.E. and the Han Dynasty of China from B.C.E. to C.E. are two well-known classical empires.
These two empires have many similarities and differences between their political structures. The Romans had a democratic government which gave. Oct 13, · What are the similarities between the Persian Empire and the Roman Empire?
Update Cancel. ad by Honey. First one must ask what Persian Empire? Or which Dynasty of the Persians or Iranian, people use these terms interchangeably. How did the Roman Empire fall, and are there parallels between the Roman Empire and the American Empire?.