AP World History
September 25, 2014
Based on the provided documents, Han and Roman attitudes towards technology were positive, negative and neutral. Three additional documents that would further assist in answering the question are: a statement from a Roman women, someone of the lower class in the Han dynasty and a Roman craftsman.
One of the Han and Roman attitudes toward technology was positive. Huan Tan says Fuxi, mythological emperor, invented the pestle and mortar, this a positive attitude because it tells how it increased efficiency by ten. This document’s accuracy should be questioned because it says that it was created by a mythological person and the author was a from the Han society so maybe he didn’t want to angry Fuxi. According to the History of the Early Han Dynasty Tu Shih as a generous man and invented a water-power blowing-engine and it was widely used. This is positive because it allowed people to enjoy great benefits with little labor but the origin should be looked into because it doesn’t sate who wrote the book only that it was government sponsored so the author would have had to write positive about the government. Plutarch says that political leader Gaius was really into the road building project and how considerate he was he was of people and this positive because the roads went straight through the country and was beautiful as well.
Some attitudes the Han and Romans had toward technology was negative. Huan Guan says that because the state took over the salt and iron trade the quality of tools decreased and this document is negative because it shows a poor peasants couldn’t afford salt to season their food. This document needs to be questioned because it’s strange that a government official would talk badly about the government unless they did something to him. Cicero says that vulgar and unbecoming are all jobs that hired workers take on this is negative because it says that no workshop can have anything enlightening. This will biased because this coming from an upper-class Roman leader so he going to degrade those lower in status than him. Seneca says that tools weren’t created by wise men and this negative because that the people that invented the hammer and tongs were smart but not great. This is biased because he is upper-class so he thinks that he’s better than them so he says they aren’t that great and important.
Finally the last…