Most societies that developed in ancient civilizations were centered around some form of imperial administration and Imperial Rome (31 B.C.E.-476 C.E.) and Han China (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.) were no different in this sense. Both civilizations had a network of cities and roads, with similar technologies that catalyzed cultural amalgamation and upgraded the standard of living, along with comparable organizational structures. Additionally, both civilizations had problems managing their borders and used similar tactics for defense. However, the Chinese Emperor was interpreted as a God while the Roman Emperor was a lugal, or big man, who had to fight not only to gain power, but to push through his initiatives. The similarities and differences
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However, once the emperor lost favor of the gods, misfortunes started to happen that upset the people and they called for a new leader that would please the gods. Because the leaders were gods, they were “waited on hand and foot,” living in the Forbidden City and being helped by their plethora of servants, leaving them free to make the important decisions that involved their empire, which received widespread support. Conversely, the Roman emperors were lugals, or big men, who often seized control by obtaining the backing of the Senate or army. This may be attributed to the gladiator fights when the stronger man overcame the weaker man and killed him. They had to resort to bribes, threats, and promises to gain their way into power, such as Claudius who was saved after his uncle, the tyrannical Caligula, was murdered by the Pretorian Guard. Claudius was not considered a threat and was able to convince the Pretorian Guard to declare him emperor. Roman leaders also had to fight to get their ideas passed. There was a cult of the emperor but it had little spiritual validity and was more a tradition than a belief. With peaceful transitions in the Chinese culture contrasted with often violent changes in power in Rome, the ways the emperors were chosen and validated their power were significantly different in both cultures.
Both the Roman and Han China civilizations had a great deal of