Technology in the Han and Roman empires had come a long way since earlier times. However, some of the people of these great states seemed to take this for granted. At least that was the attitude I got from three of the documents provided. But, mostly the attitude was positive. From the perspective of these government officials and philosophers, I perceived an attitude that ranged from very positive to openly negative. Two of the negative documents came from upper-class leaders. Document two, the only negative view from the Han dynasty, and Document 5, from a Roman political leader. A Han government official complains of the crude and dysfunctional tools workers were required to use in the second document. In early times, tools were manufactured by individual families and were well made, but when they monopolized salt and iron trades their tools were provided for them. Those tools were very hard and brittle, and no official was available to take complaints. The fifth documents’ author complains of the jobs these tools were used for. He states that the jobs hired workers take on are vulgar and unbecoming to gentlemen, and complains that their labor is purchased rather than their skill. He also thought that all craftsmen spent time in vulgar occupations and no workshops were enlightening. Documents three and seven were both written by philosophers with contrasting views. The third document was written by a Han philosopher, who speaks of the benefit of the pestle and mortar. He explains how when animal power was added, efficiency and benefit increased ten times, and then a hundredfold when water power was added. The seventh document was written by a Roman philosopher, who unlike the Han philosopher was negative. He believed that tools for crafts were not invented by wise men, nor did they have great or elevated minds, even if they were nimble and sharp. Documents one and four were both Han government based and focused on planning. A government official in...
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