Compare and Contrast Han China and Rome

Topics: Han Dynasty, Roman Empire, Sociology Pages: 3 (998 words) Published: January 7, 2013
Empires on their outside may seem very different and unique. However, when you get down to their fundamentals, you begin to truly realize how similar they are. Just as the imposing pine tree and humble tomato plant may seem vastly different, their start from a lowly seed and craving for water and sunlight to survive unifies them. Such is also true with the Han and Roman empires. While key differences may be present, their social structures, influencing religions, and causes of collapse unify them. Society cannot exist without a unified social doctrine, as is true with both the Han and Roman empires. While there may be vast differences between them, at their roots is the same thing, a structure built on family. In this family structure, the households are run by the oldest male member. This member was to be given total respect and obedience and made all the important decisions for the family. This structure not only applied to the household, but to everyday life. Your sex, age, and social standing determined your level of influence in matters of state. These societies also treated women in a similar way. In both societies women had little to no control over their marriage prospects and could not own property or represent themselves in court. Women of higher social standings did have more political influence and as time went by women began to gain better social standings and powers. While similarities may be present, these empires have some key social differences. In Han China, there was little possibility to move between social classes, unlike in the Roman empire where there were more opportunities to do so. In Han China, one was stuck in the class they born in and simply had to endure the fact. Also, in Rome, the people had more power than the citizens of Han China. Since Rome started out as a republic, the citizens had a say in what the government did. While it may be true that most of the political power was reserved for the wealthy, the people still had...
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