an age of empires rome and han china 753 b c e 330 c e n.
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An Age of Empires: Rome and Han China, 753 B.C.E. – 330 C.E. Chapter Five. A Republic of Farmers. Rome --- founded by Romulus in 753 B.C.E. Growth of Roman State based on Timber and Metals , A Large human population , navigable rivers and fertile soil .

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a republic of farmers
A Republic of Farmers

Rome --- founded by Romulus in 753 B.C.E.

  • Growth of Roman State based on Timber and Metals, A Large human population, navigable rivers and fertile soil.
  • Economic wealth of based on Farming/Agriculture.
  • Heads of wealthy families were members of the SENATE - dominated politics in the Roman State.
  • Roman Republic lasted from 507 to 31 B.C.E., was hardly a democracy. Why?
  • Family was important, oldest living male (paterfamilias) was the head of the family.
  • Pax Deorum --- “peace of the Gods”, a covenant between the gods and the Roman state.
expansion in italy and the mediterranean
Expansion in Italy and the Mediterranean
  • Greed and fondness of war
  • Help promote glory for the military leader/consul
  • Only defending themselves
  • Fear, to achieve a buffer area
  • Romans viewed the natural world:

--- Filled with many shapeless forces named numina

--- Containing gods who would favor Rome if it carried out proper sacrifices and rituals.

wars 264 202 b c e
Wars 264 – 202 B.C.E.
  • Rome fought 2 protracted and bloody wars against the Carthaginians.

--- Rome was unchallenged master of the western Mediterranean and acquired its first overseas provinces in Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain.

  • allowed considerable autonomy to cooperative local elites
what helped
What Helped?
  • Consolidating their hold over Italy was their willingness to grant peoplepolitical, legal, and economic privileges of Roman citizenship to conquered populations

--- Eventually they mastered the Provincial Governor style government.

  • Italian peasant farmers were away from home a lot on military service
  • Italian landowners began to count on inexpensive slaves, not peasant farmers.
  • The society began to idolize and follow generals, not the state. (Pompey, Caesar, Mark Antony etc…) Civil Wars…Senate losses authority.
  • Octavian (Augustus), eliminated all rivals and reorganized the Roman government after 31 B.C.E.
the urban empire
The Urban Empire
  • 80% lived within the borders of the empire
  • Rome had a pop of 1 million, Alexandria 200,000+

--- Rich lived in nice villas, poorin crowded slums

--- You could be a Roman citizen if you served in the military

  • Pax Romana: Roman Peace. The safety and stability guaranteed by Roman might. Romanization
roman citizenship
Roman Citizenship
  • At first, new towns were reluctant to grant Roman Citizenship, with all the privileges, legal protections, and tax exemption to people outside of Italy. BUT….
  • Complete 26 year military service, become a Roman citizen.
  • People made Roman Citizens by the Emperor if they performed a good deed.
  • 212 B.C.E. all free, adult, males granted citizenship.
rise of christianity
Rise of Christianity
  • Jesus and Pontius Pilate……..Jesus was the Messiah
  • Catholicism grew slowly and steadily --- women, slaves and the poor followed it….
  • Minority in the Roman Republic
  • Aqueducts--- long elevated or underground conduits --- carried water from a source to an urban center.
  • Concrete --- mixture of lime powder, sand and water.
  • Third – Century Crisis: period where political, military, and economicproblems beset and nearly destroyed the Roman Empire.
  • 20 men claimed to be the rulers during this period
  • Civil Wars in the Northern parts of the empire
  • Impact on the economy was negative
  • Diocletian: Saved the Roman Empire, at its bleakest moment.
  • Constantine: The first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity
third century crisis
Third-Century Crisis
  • Political, Military and Economic problems weaken the Empire.
  • Most visible symptom was the frequent change of rulers.

--- 20+ men claimed the office of emperor from 235 to 284 C.E.

resources and population
Resources and Population
  • Most Important: Agricultural production and Labor
  • Qin and Han exploit the peasants

--- Send men to the Army, collect taxes, and provide labor

--- Han and agriculture

hierarchy obedience and belief
Hierarchy, Obedience and Belief
  • Family was the basic unit of society
  • Teachings of Confucius were a fundamental source of values for family, social , and political organizations.

--- Duty and Proper Conduct

  • Women were to cook, do chores, respect their in-laws and obey their husband.

--- After marriage, must prove her worthiness, live with husbands family.

  • Believed in natural spirits

--- Fengshui>find best location and orientation for buildings and graves

the first chinese empire warring states period
The First Chinese Empire – Warring States Period
  • Qin Empire unites China (221 B.C.E.)

1. Ability and ruthlessness of ruler: Shi Huangdi

2. Ability to mobilize manpower for irrigation, flood-control projects, to strengthen the central government

shi huangdi first emperor
Shi Huangdi “First Emperor”

--- Suppressed Confucianism

--- Eliminated Rivals

--- Abolished primogeniture and slavery

--- Constructed a rural economy

--- Standardized weights and measures

--- Built roads and the (eventually) “Great Wall”

the long reign of the han 206 b c e 220 c e
The Long Reign of the Han (206 B.C.E. – 220 C.E)
  • Liu Bang – a peasant who took control of China.

--- Drew on Confucianism and Legalist techniques

  • Emperor Wu – (140-87 B.C.E)
  • Chang’an --- Western Han period Capital (202 B.C.E. to 8 C.E.)
  • Luoyang --- Eastern Han Capitol (23-22 C.E.)
administration of the han
Administration of the Han

Based on Confucius philosophy:

  • Allied with the gentry class of educated landowners.
  • Started and imperial university.
  • Exempted government officials from military duty.

--- Though any citizen could rise to power, the children of the gentry had best opportunity.

chang an
  • Easily defended Walled city
  • Elite lived in elegant multi-storied houses on broad, well-planned boulevards
  • Common people lived in closely packed houses, in unplanned, winding alleys.
  • Emperor was supreme

--- Son of Heaven, Source of Law, but could lose his Mandate of Heaven

  • Gentry: Local officials, landowners, adopted Confucianism
technology and trade
Technology and Trade
  • Metallurgy --- Bronze to Iron in 500 B.C.E. Better end product than the Romans
  • Crossbow, Cavalry, Watermill, and Horse Collar
  • RoadSystems, Courier Systems and Canals.
  • Long-distance commerce

--- Silk most important

--- Silk Road important

decline of the han
Decline of the Han
  • Nomadic Tribes of the North Attack (biggest reason)
  • $$$$$$to defend the borders
  • Merchants and Landowners became powerful, not good for emperor
  • Had to rely on mercenaries, not too reliable
  • Dynasty falls around 220 C.E.
imperial parallels china vs rome
Imperial Parallels – China vs. Rome


  • Family structure, values, taxation, administration and empire building
  • Same problems with defending their large Empire
  • Undermined by their military expenditures
  • Overrun by people, that took their culture


  • Han reunified, Roman Empire never came back
  • Social Mobility in Rome, Political Ideologies, Religions
  • Quin and Han were able to Unify China; Rome constructed its empire slowly and without precedents to draw upon.
  • Han and Roman Empires maintained and administered large territories and populations by virtue of their ability to organize large professional armies and professional bureaucracies
  • Both empires provided long periods of peace and prosperity, but they were undermined by the high cost of defense and by the heavy tax burden, which this put on their people.
  • Han dynasty constructed a political system that would be revived and modified by subsequent dynasties; the Roman empire was never restored.