Compare And Contrast Han China And Imperial Rome Essay

In late B. C. E and early C. E many empires rose and thrived. While these empires all desired to conquer and become the strongest, they had other things in common. In Han China, a long lasting empire from 206 B. C. E to 220 C. E, the leadership was similar to the leadership of Imperial Rome, an empire from 31 B. C. E to 476 C. E. Both empires were lead by an emperor, who was the sole lawmaker for the empire, the over thrower of the previous leader and impact on many other aspects of the region. However, these two empires differed in their religious ways.

In the Roman Empire, the government had a state sponsored religion and emperors participated in the organization of it. Contrary to Imperial Rome, Han China’s emperors were much less concerned with religion; instead they followed the Confucian ideology in their government. These two empires both collapsed, while Han China was overthrown by internal fighting in the government, Imperial Rome was a long declining state eventually overthrown. Both of these states were ultimately undone by their over expansion and the lack of resources to provide.

However, the effects of their demise were much different in the aspect of being either rebuilt or never seen again. Imperial Rome started as a powerful force in the Classical Era, lead by an emperor who held most of the power. A senate, remaining from the republic of Rome, was still appointed, however they had virtually no power, they were there to support the emperor. Similarly, in Han China, the ruler took the title of emperor; the emperor also had most of the power over the government and citizens.

The emperors of both, Han China and Imperial Rome, had nearly all the control over the overnment and lawmakers of their respective empires. The first leaders of these empires first gained power from their success in wars that had destroyed the previous dynasty and republic. In Rome, there was a Civil War that ended the republic way of leadership and after the war Roman citizens wanted peace so they made a successful general from the war to be their emperor. Comparable to Han China, where the first emperor came to power when the previous dynasty fell and war broke out and he defeated his opponents and united China as emperor.

Emperors of the two empires both earned their titles because of the previous states of the empire’s falling. These emperors also tended to impact other aspects of their respective empires. The emperors, for example, heavily impacted religion. In Rome, the leaders took a large part in the religion of their citizens, including having a state sponsored religion. Government and military decisions were often based on or around the religious beliefs in Imperial Rome. Imperial Rome and Han China were both polytheistic in their religions.

Unlike Rome, Han China’s rulers and government were less influenced by religion. They acknowledged the existence of god’s and participated in ceremonies for them but they based their way of leadership on the Confucian philosophy. These religious views influenced, and were influenced by the government and leaders in these empires, however they are distinct in many ways. Despite being viewed as two of the longest lasting and strongest empires of the Classical Era, these empires both collapsed, like so many other governments in history.

In both empires, the fall was caused by many conditions. For example, the empires both experienced major internal disputes, the wealthy, landowning families gained more land and this allowed them to avoid paying taxes. Therefore making the poor even more impoverished and the governments lost some control over their empire. Also, disease significantly lowered the populations so there were less people to support the country in government, agriculture and military.

Adding to he stress of these conditions, the two empires became overextended and they became too expensive. The elite of both, the Han and Imperial Rome, begun to disagree on the leadership of the empires. In Rome, at one point twenty-six men claimed to be an emperor of the empire. In the end, outside invaders became more of a threat to both regions and they collapsed because of all these hardships happening around the same time. However, the fall of these civilizations were also different. The aftermath of the fall of Han China was much different than that of Imperial Rome.

After Han China collapsed, and the barbarians invaded, the region was in chaos for around 350 years. Despite that, China was reassembled under new dynasties and they remained an empire until the early 20th century. On the contrary, the Roman Empire was broken up and integrated into new civilizations and combined with many other ideals. Nevertheless, the Roman Empire never rose again in any form. The effect of these empires collapse was the biggest difference in the fall of Han China and Imperial Rome.

While Han China and Imperial Rome possess distinct differences, for example, the effects of their collapse and their religious views in government, the similarities between the two are still there, like, the cause of their falls and the ways of leadership over their empires. The Romans and the Han, though they appear very different at a glance do have their similarities. Despite being far in distance, the empires were both different and the same throughout their history and in their untimely ends.