Han vs Roman Essay

Submitted By kathhhh
Words: 870
Pages: 4

Katherine Lee
Period 1 Both the Roman's and Han Chinese had an appreciation for technological advancements, despite the difference in areas where the technological attention was focused on. The Hans appreciated the laboring tools-related more than the Romans, who concentrated on more mathematic and scientific advancements. Han China’s attitude toward manufacturing and labor was more open, positive and looked out for the well-being of the community while the Romans had a more standardized society, therefore causing general attitudes of technology to be low. First, the Han Chinese seemed to feel that the goal of technology is to aid the Han people. In Document 1, it specifies the importance of water, waterways, and other engineering needs. Also in Document 1, the government has authority over development of new technological advancements. The overall tone is Document 1 is concern for the people. They try to prevent disasters, such as floods. This concern is also shown in Document 2 by Huan Guan points out that technology has become useless and the tools are low in quality and ineffective. Huan Guan embodies the Confucian Han view that technology is good, as long as the government uses technology to benefit the people. But the crude or brittle tools are of no help, and reflect poorly on the government. He says, "Today the iron tools... are often crude and not very functional." He also states "... most of the tools provided to the workers are hard and brittle and the responsible government officials are often not available to take complaints." You’d expect a Han government official to praise the government and its decisions, but instead he's opposed to what the government is doing and is showing concern for the poor peasants saying the usefulness of the tools needs to increase. Huan Tan, in Document 3, says that "the benefit was increased a hundredfold." This again shows Hans concern for effectiveness because they keep on improving their technology to make it better. The Document states that water power helped the pestle and mortar so much more. Document 4 praises the governor of province, Tu Shih. He developed a labor-saving device, "water-powered blowing engine, to facilitate cast-iron agricultural implements that allowed people to enjoy great benefit for little labor." This was later adopted and used widely. The attitude in the last two documents is that technology is a “gift” from enlightened leadership. The Roman empire shows little to no concern for how the technology will affect the people. The Roman upper class doesn't care. This is shown in Document 5 when Cicero, an upper-class Roman political leader, calls craftsmen and those who work with hands are “vulgar.” This shows no respect towards the inventions the "people who work their hands" invent. A similar idea is placed in Document 7. Seneca states, "...hammer or the tongs... does not seem important to me. Both were invented by someone with a mind that was nimble and sharp, but not great or elevated." It seems the Romans think that if it doesn't directly benefit the upper class then it doesn't matter, which can contribute to the lack of inventions under the Roman empire. The roads in Rome were built with pride, according to Plutarch in Document 6, such as "placing stones on