Although Han China and Rome shared the same attitudes regarding the importance of public works, with China devising the flood prevention system, and Rome creating the indispensable aqueducts, they had completely opposing views concerning tools used for crafts, with the Roman upper-class viewing such tools as demeaning and the Han China upper-class approving and encouraging such tools, especially after the invention of the mortar and pestle.
II. Importance for Public Works
A.Water seems to have been the main theme in both Roman and Chinese culture B.Chinese devised an elaborate flood prevention system, and a water-powered blowing-engine and Romans created the aqueducts. C.Romans also had a superb military, which led to the construction of the roads, and the necessity of a courier system.
III. Roman views on tools
A.Cicero considers crafts as a means of earning a living unsuitable. B.He considers physical labor as beneath and thinks non-material ideas such as language and education are superior. C.The Roman upper-class is of the opinion that tools are not something important and will not benefit the Romans (especially the upper-class) in any way.
IV. Han Chinese views on tools
A.The lower class, before the first century B.C.E., was allowed to make their own tools, and thus produced excellent tools. After the state “took over,” the tools made were of inferior quality. B.The document written was written by a government official, which suggests that some people in the government do not approve of the government interference and wish for the older days. C.Around 20 C.E., tools were definitely encouraged in Han China, especially after the invention of the mortar and pestle.
Perhaps, with the inclusion of the views of the lower-class people in both Roman and Chinese documents, it would better help strengthen or weaken the argument regarding the different views concerning tools.