Han China Vs. Roman Empire On Technology

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Brielle Perez 10/08/11 A Block Mr. Mendive DBQ 2007 Q1 Practice Essay The glorious Han China and Roman empires both embraced technology in a time of advancing civilizations, but Han China appreciated technology to a higher degree than did the Romans, whose upper class citizens never realized its true benefits to the people as did the Han. This illustrated approach to inventions and their practicality by two different empires defines the diverging points of view and thoughts about technology around the first century C.E. Before further analyzing the documents about Han and Roman opinions on the matter, it is pivotal to mention the outlook being provided on technology. A person in the upper class or government division of both superpowers wrote every single document. This leaves out the lower class’s beliefs on the use of technology, as well as women and middle class’s views (who used technology the most in their daily lives). One must not draw or base conclusions on the use of technology off of these documents only, because they provide limited-to-no information on missing voices. Half of the documents provided regarding Rome were supportive of technology. Both documents 6 and 8 tell of Plutarch and Frontinus’s attention to detail and capabilities of Roman technology. Plutarch, for one, likes technology, but he simply shows his thinking on the use of well-designed roads, which could only be used by the elite anyways. Frontinus’s point of view is partial in that he himself is a water commissioner, who talks about the greatness of his aqueducts. Of course he would hold a positive attitude towards his own job, otherwise he would lose his job as a water commissioner. The two sources of information explaining views oppose to the use of technology seem to criticize men who embrace skilled occupations and endeavors. Documents 5

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