Age of Empires: Rome & Han China 753 B.C.E – 600 C.E

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Age of Empires:
Rome & Han China
753 B.C.E – 600 C.E
Rome: The Republic 507-31 B.C.E
• Senate & Consul(s) =
– 2 major branches of govt.
– Provincial Governors = Corrupt
• Early Expansion
– Motives = Greed, aggressiveness,
Consul generalship
– Methods = Citizen armies, Roman
citizenship to conquered peoples
– Ex: Carthage 200-30 BCE /
Hellenistic 59-51 BCE / Gaul
(Julius Caesar)
• Failure of Rome’s Republic
– Latifundia Estates / $ Crops
– Poor urban population
– Swaying loyalty of soldiers
Rome: The Empire
31 B.C.E- 600 C.E.
• Octavian (Augustus Caesar) =
Emperor of Rome
– Increased power of Emperor
– Reformed govt. / civil service /
added land
– Succession determined by army
• Pax Romana 27 BCE – 180 CE
– Manufacture & Trade Flourished
– Imports (Grain, Silk, Spices)
– Exports (glass, metalwork, pottery)
• Romanization =
– Adaptation of Roman culture by
conquered peoples
• Western Empire Crumbling while
Eastern Empire Flourishing
– Constantinople new capital 324CE
(Preserved Roman traditions)
Rome: The Culture
• Religions
– Mythology -> Christianity
– Adopted by Emperor
Constantine
– Council of Nicea
• Rural Rome
– 80% of empire = farmers
– Hard life of farming
• Urban Empire
– Rome, Alexandria, Carthage,
Antioch
• Paterfamilias =
– Roman hierarchical family
structure
– Status of women depended on
social class and husband
Qin China 221-207 B.C.E
• Shi Huangdi (Emperor)
– ‘Unification’ of Central
and Northern China
– Created strong
bureaucracy
– Suppressed
Confucianism & Daoism
in favor of Legalism
– Secured Borders: Forced
conscription & freed
peasantry from slavery
but forced public works
(Great Wall & Terra Cotta)
– Death in 210 BCE & Qin
Rule over by 206 B.C.E
Han China: 206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.
• Family = Basic Unit of Society
– Unbroken chain of
ancestors
– Hierarchy of elder male
– Women’s status depended
on social class of husband
• Confucianism = Major Ideology
• Major Leaders
– Liu Bang =Transition to Han
– Emperor Wu Di = Stronger
military, expands empire
141-87 BCE
• Decline & Fall 220 CE
– Undermined by weak
leadership, less tax
revenue, mercenary armies,
corruption, nomadic attacks
Continuities/Patterns in Chinese History
•
•
•
•
•
•
Ethnocentrism
Xenophobia
Importance of Family
Low Status of Women
Conflict with Nature
Hard Lives of
Peasants
•
•
•
•
•
Authoritarian Govt.
Dynastic Cycle
Cultural Conservatism
Education Valued
Creativity &
Innovation
Comparison Rome & Han China
• Similarities
– Agriculture = Main
Economic Activity
– Empires encompassed
diverse cultures
– Built roads (Military &
Commercial Use)
– Majority of population lived
in rural areas
– Undermined by military
spending
– Overrun by ‘barbarians’
that continued their culture
• Differences
– Imperial model survived
continuously in China
– Concept of the individual
(Rome)
– Economic mobility of
middle class (Rome)
– Structure of Military
(professional soldiers V.
draftees)
– Major Religions

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