Dbq: Han and Roman Attitudes Toward Technology

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As technology vastly improved in Han and Roman empires, many people had different views on how it was affecting their empires. The Golden Ages of the Han and Roman brought many technological accomplishments, mostly to lessen the amount of labor to be used. From 20­200 C.E., the Han and the Romans looked at technology in positive, such as the praise of waterways and aqueducts (3, 4, 6, 8), neutral, shown in the somewhat positive and somewhat negative view of the decline in tool making (1, 2), and negative ways, such as the view of craftsmanship being vulgar (2, 5, 7). In Han China and Rome, technology was an important part of the growth of both societies, this is why both civilizations had positive attitudes toward technology shown by their widespread use of new inventions and praise of impressive technological projects. (docs 3, 4, 6, 8). The promotion of the pestle and mortar invention by the mythological emperor Fuxi showed the positive attitude the Han had towards new inventions (doc 3). As a new creation this invention was widely used and praised but as improvements were made to the pestle and mortar their benefits were significantly increased. The author, Huan Tan, felt that new inventions were beneficial to the Han society and clever improvements made the benefits made mythological emperor Fuxi’s creations even better. This is the POV because he is praising Fuxi’s invention and is explaining its widespread use in the society. An additional document that I would want is one that shows the use and importance of the pestle and mortar by a person who used it. This would solidify the view that these creations were of value and that technology was important to the society. The invention of the water­powered blowing­engine, by Tu Shih, was adopted and used in many areas, his leadership and creations were all viewed in a positive light
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