Feats and Failures of the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty

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Feats and Failures of the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty At roughly the same time in history two great empires, essentially unaware of each other, rose to great heights. In the west, the Roman Empire built extensive aqueducts, roads, and developed the first democracy. In the east, the Han Dynasty invented the wheelbarrow, seismograph, and discovered the Silk Road trade route. The benefits of their accomplishments, many in use today, demonstrate the skill and advancement of the two societies. Although the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty had many great achievements, some with lasting legacies, both fell due to an internal breakdown of their infrastructure as well as outside invasion. The achievements of the Roman Empire stretched further than just the land they conquered. They built far-reaching aqueducts to bring a fresh flow of water into their cities. The precision the Romans used in constructing these was remarkable. Roman engineers designed drop shaft cascades and steep chutes with dissipation basins to manage steep areas that demonstrated their expertise in hydraulics.[1] Not only did the Romans show skill in their aqueduct systems, the design and construction of their roads were impressive. Roman roads, one of their legacies, were a network of well constructed, safe roads that served as communication and transportation routes that spanned the entire Roman Empire.[2] These roads constructed for military use gave the Romans an advantage during conquests that led to the creation of the empire.[3] Many of these roads are still in existence today. Although these achievements were outstanding, the greatest legacy of the Roman Empire was that of Roman law. The first form of democracy came into existence when the Roman citizens took part in lawmaking by way of voting.[4] Laws resolved conflicts, which in turn contributed to the empire's growth and prosperity,

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