Technological Attitudes in Han China and Rome

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Joshua Mangipano
11/2/2012
WHAP
Rodriguez- 2nd Period

Technological attitudes of Han China and Rome.

Around times ranging from the first century B.C.E all the way to the first century C.E. two large cultures with slightly differing opinions pertaining to technology were those of Han China and Rome. While Rome, a civilization set upon expansion and conquest; saw little need for adaptive technology lest it aided in the plundering lifestyle Rome’s economy was based upon, Han China was much more tolerant towards advancements in technology even as they preferred a more traditional lifestyle. The two main branches of technology presented through the documents include: Technology introduced by governing bodies/officials, and technology innovated by the common consumer.

As shown in documents 1, 4, and 6 portray a sense of concern for the comfort and wellbeing of the citizens by varying forms of authority. The first document (Doc#1) displays a government official of Han China requesting that the local officials apply innovations to their water transportation system to conserve water. Document number 4 clearly gives a positive attitude toward the governor of Nanyang, Tu Shih, for his contribution of a water powered blowing engine. These two documents; as they both are representations of Han China, portray the Chinese government as being very successful with the innovations they have provided and promoted in their society. The same can also be said about Roman civilization when analyzing document 6, where Roman political leader; Gaius Gracchus, is described. The document states that he not only built roads for his people, but also; being concerned with their comfort, placed stones for mounting horses with ease.

Another opinion on technology that the civilizations of Han China and Rome had that if technology was innovated by the consumers then it would be more efficient. This is shown through documents 2, 3, and 7. Document 2 states that consumer made...
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