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Han and Roman Attitudes Toward Technology

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Han and Roman Attitudes Toward Technology

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  • September 19, 2010
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"Using the documents, analyze Han and Roman attitudes toward technology. Identify one additional type of document and explain briefly how it would help your analysis."
The Han and Roman Empires were extremely important empires during the time of their existence. The Han Empire began around 206 BCE and ended at around 220 CE. The Roman Empire began at around 27 BCE and broke apart into two halves, the West falling in 476 and the East collapsing in 1453. The Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire have different outlooks on technology, the Han Dynasty view technology as a practical application used to ease the workload of people, while the Roman Empire views certain technology as needed, despite the creator.

The Han Dynasty viewed technology as a way to ease the workload. A Han government official proposes a possible technological solution to prevent floods. His ideas include people to watch over the machinery used to ease the workload of people preventing floods. Huan Guan, in his "Discourses on Salt and Iron", says that in previous times, people had the liberty to do foundry work and salt-boiling, but had to pay a tax. He says that the tools to do this work used to be well-made, but in current times the tools are made by convicts, and are crude and not very functional. Due to the high price of these crude tools, which do not do much to ease the workload, many people have become poor, and are forced to rely on wooden tools, and cannot afford salt. Huan Tan, in his "New Discourses", says that Fuxi, a mythological emperor, created mortar and pestle. he also says that, over time, other things were used and upgrades were made in order to increase the benefit and decrease the workload hundredfold. The government-sponsored "History of the Early Han Dynasty" claims that Tu Shih loved the common people and wished to save them labor, so he invented a water-powered-blowing-engine. This saved them time, and effort.

The Roman Empire viewed some technology as important,...