Han And Roman Empire Comparative Essay

They include a shift from city-states to territorial states and from military mass mobilization for inter-state warfare to professional armies for border control; the growth of a proto-bureaucratic civil service accompanied by functional differentiation of power; formal dichotomies in provincial organization undermined by intensified central control; the settlement and military use of foreign settlers in frontier zones; massive expansion of the money supply through standardized state-controlled minting; monetization of taxation; increasing state control of manufacturing and trade; great increases in iron production; census registration and formal status ranking of the general population; codification of law; the growth of markets in land and the gradual concentration of wealth among elites; the transformation of smallholders into tenants, coupled with the growing strength of private patronage ties superseding state authority; unsuccessful attempts at land reform; eventual rural unrest; ideological unification through monumental construction, religious rituals, and elite education; the creation of a homogeneous elite culture and corpora of classics; the emergence of court-centered historiography; ideologies of normative empire sustained by transcendent powers; religious change in late periods, leading to the formation of autonomous church systems; and a philosophical and religious shift in emphasis from community values to ethical conduct and individual salvation.

60 million each), and even largely coextensive in chronological terms (221 BC to 220 CE for the Qin/Han empire, c.

200 BC to 395 CE for the unified In the Mediterranean, unification had initially been facilitated by Hellenization via colonization (8th to 5th c.

Themes and questions serve as a framework for pointing out differences between cases, and emphasis is put on the historical integrity of each case and on the importance of specific historical configurations relative to the predictions of ideal types and theoretical models.

This approach helps define features of one system more sharply by comparison with conceptually or functionally equivalent features in another system.

By contrast, the comparative history of the largest agrarian empires of antiquity has attracted no attention at all.

This deficit is only explicable with reference to academic specialization and language barriers.

In recent years, a number of studies have focused on the nature of moral, historical, and scientific thought in . (The Warring States Project at the University of Massachusetts ( though interested in comparative perspectives, primarily focuses on the Chinese literary tradition and is exclusively concerned with pre-imperial China.)There are no comparable studies of Roman and Chinese high culture, and, more importantly, virtually no similarly detailed comparative work on the political, social, economic or legal history of Hellenistic, Roman, and ancient Chinese empires.

(-sociological studies of imperialism and social power that deal with Greece and Rome comparatively and within a broader context do not normally include China (Doyle 1986; but see very briefly Mann 1986); the older global study by There is no intellectual justification for this persistent neglect.

During the same period, in eastern Eurasia, the Warring States period (481-221 BCE) was characterized by intense competition among seven imperial states (Yan, Qi, Wei, Zhao, Han, Qin, and Chu), which were themselves the result of previous state consolidation in the Spring and Autumn period (770-481 BCE, with c.15 major states). While its western half was taken over by barbarian successor states (from about 400 CE onwards), a quintessentially Roman state survived in the East for another millennium (though much diminished from the 630s CE onwards).

Rapid unification was brought about by the Qin state (221-210 BCE) which soon turned into the Han empire (206 BCE to 220 CE), and then continued expansion into its tribal periphery (in the 2nd and 1st c. In , a similar division occurred soon after the end of the Han dynasty (following the short interlude of the Three Kingdoms from 220 to 265 CE and temporary reunification under the Western Jin from 280 to 304 CE) from 317 CE onwards.


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