Compare and Contrast Two Great Empires

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Roman Republic Pages: 2 (708 words) Published: September 2, 2010
The Roman Principate and the Han dynasty were two very competent empires that left lasting influences in the areas of their expansion, even following their demise. Despite this congruence in basic political structure and social arrangements, the two empires varied in concepts such as religion, center of power, and military significance. This compelling unity, nevertheless, revived for the Chinese years later, but unfortunately never remerged for the Romans.

In order to have had an empire, of course, both civilizations had very strong and autocratic central governments. This allowed for a powerful and an ever-expanding kingdom. This expansionary military needed a way to travel, thus was the reason for creating a road system. The basic foundation for the military and government may appear to be similar on the surface, but they actually were quite different. The Roman army, for one, was a more experienced and privileged group of men who held higher ranks in the class system. These men, along with the senate also played a vital role in the picking of an emperor and maintained a great deal of loyalty to him. The senate was typically the center of power for the Roman Empire, anyway. In the Han dynasty, however, the ruler was hereditary and he had to appeal, persuade, and even threaten to achieve agreement with him. The military was certainly less loyal and less likely to struggle for power, mostly due to the fact that the soldiers were newly drafted and had little experience. China had two capital cities, Luoyang in the east, and Chang'an in the West, that served as seats of power for emporers. The middle class was free from government constraints in Rome, which allowed for economic mobility. This was not the case for the Han as the merchant class was restricted by the government. The imperial model of these two societies managed only to revive in China some years later; however, the same cannot be stated for Rome.

Ultimately, the two empires were agriculturally...
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