classical empires han dynasty, roman empire and guptan empire

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Classical Empires Han Dynasty, Roman Empire and Guptan Empire. Characteristics of Empires Greek, Roman and Chinese Traditions Han and Roman Empires Reasons for Decline. THE CLASSICAL Empires ( 1000 BCE - 600 CE). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Classical EmpiresHan Dynasty, Roman Empire and Guptan EmpireCharacteristics of EmpiresGreek, Roman and Chinese TraditionsHan and Roman EmpiresReasons for Decline

  • THE CLASSICAL Empires(1000 BCE - 600 CE)During this era, world history was shaped by the rise of several large civilizations that grew from areas where the earlier civilizations thrived.

    kept more accurate records, so historical information about them is much more abundant

    provide many direct links to today's world, so that we may refer to them as root societiesones that modern societies have grown from

    expansionistdeliberately conquering lands around them to create large empires

  • Common Features of Classical CivilizationsEach civ developed their own beliefs, lifestyles, political institutions, and social structures however, there were important similarities:Patriarchal family structures - Like the river valley societies earlier, the classical civilizations valued male authority within families, as well as in most other areas of life. Agricultural-based economies - Despite more sophisticated and complex job specialization, the most common occupation in all areas was farmingtherefore most lived where? Complex governments

    Expanding trade base

  • Characteristics of Classical EmpiresPowerful militaryEffective government bureaucracyControl large territory-multiethnic and multiculturalUniform currency and weights and measuresService of citizens (civic duty)Advancement of military technologyUniform legal codesPublic worksLavish public monumentsPatronize the arts and scholarshipSlavery? everywhere but

  • Trade continued

  • Greco-Roman TraditionsActive participation in politics Greek city-state, Roman republicAristocracyRepublicphilosopher kingsRule by law codified, movement towards equitable lawPolytheism (though Christianity makes extensive gains during the late Roman Empire)Slave Labor

  • East Asian TraditionsAncestor WorshipDynastic Cycle (will be discussed later)Legalism and ConfucianismReinforced social hierarchy and male dominance MeritocracyEstablished by Qin; merit (hard work) enabled (limited) upward social mobility

  • Han and Roman Empire SimilaritiesHighly stratified societiesPatriarchal families Confucianism, pater familiasAgricultural base free peasants-small farms or tenant farmers, heavy dependency on slavery and latifundias (estates)Educated civil service Confucian trained scholar bureaucrats, civic responsibilityHighly centralized state

  • Han and Roman continuedMulticultural empires most conquered assimilated, citizenship offered to best, extension of Roman lawExtensive road systems and urban communitiesSubordinated women Powerful armies maintain the empire

  • Direct Comparisons RomeWell organized bureaucracy founded on Roman law and classical learningEmphasis on family: pater familiasReliance on patricians: women gained power and property rights within familiesEngineering: roads, aqueducts, amphitheatres, domes, sewage systems, central heating Inventions: concrete, the arch (probably Etruscan), insulae (apartment buildings)Religion: Emperor as god, paganism, mystery religions, introduction of Christianity HanWell organized bureaucracy founded on Confucian ideals and educationEmphasis on family, ancestors: patriarchalReliance on gentry as support: good marriages afforded women more rightsEngineering: roads, canals, the Great WallInventions: wheelbarrow, gunpowder, printing press, compass, paper, paper currency (all before 1000 ce)Religion: Confucianism, Daoism, native gods, introduction of Buddhism

  • Decline of EmpiresHan and Roman

  • DeclineEmpires too big costly to defend the frontiersBurden of taxes on the poor, some flee to evade taxes, as maintaining the empire grows more costly taxes go up, few new sources of revenue, religious groups and nobility exemptSlavery in Rome (supply and demand???)Hurts working class RomansOppressive less productive, fewer new sources, less technological development

  • Decline (Continued)Administrative problemssuccession corruption, weak emperorsfailing bureaucracies corruption of examination system, lack of civic responsibilityIn Rome bread and circuses to forestall revoltsEroding economies decline in trade when roads not repaired or safe

  • Decline (Continued)Religion Christianity a factor in Rome, but Buddhism is notPlagueshit both hard, especially in cities of Roman empirePressure from nomads Huns, Xiongnu, Germanic

  • Dynastic Cycle in ChinaNew dynasty comes to powerEmperor reforms government and makes more efficientLives of common people improved, taxes reduced, farming encouraged Problems begin (wars, invasions, drought etcTaxes increase, men forced to work for army, farming neglected.Govt increases spending, corruption ensuesDroughts, floods, famine, continued war etc strains dynastyPoor lose respect for govt, join rebels, attack landlordsRebel unite under strong leader and attack emperorStart:

  • Why did the west fall harder?Han Chinese more multiethnic a true nation that can endure beyond the dynasty; In Roman empire most live outside ItalyState and society not bound together with the same glue In China, Confucianism offers both order for family, society and state not true of RomansRome employed a mercenary army- loyalty issues!Better assimilation of barbarians by China, Germanic tribes dismembered Roman empire, while nomads absorbed by ChineseCommon language Roman (vulgate Latin) never replaced Greek in much of the empireDynastic Cycles

  • Why western Roman empire and not eastern?Deep, engrained civilization in the east Greeks and before

    East less impacted by nomadic invasion maybe because many enduring cities, large populations

    Tribes on eastern borders were disorganized and unmotivated

    After separation of empire, east no longer has to send any help to West

    When west cut from wealth of East, the tax base dwindled

  • *Codified created by a legislative body


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