the roman empire and the han dynasty

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The Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty. 753 B.C.E- 330 C.E. Rome: Geography. The city was ideally located for controlling Italy and the rest of its empire. Located about 15 minutes east of the western coast, on a major road and on the Tiber river. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 753 B.C.E- 330 C.E.The Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty

  • Rome: GeographyThe city was ideally located for controlling Italy and the rest of its empire.Located about 15 minutes east of the western coast, on a major road and on the Tiber river. Italy itself was centrally located to control the vast Roman empire.

  • Natural Resources

    natural resources included: navigable rivers, forests, iron, a mild climate, and enough arable land to support a large population of labor made it easy for the Romans to exploit and use these resources to their advantage.

  • Rome: A Republic of Farmerssettled as early as 1000 B.C.E.According to legend, seven kings ruled Rome from 753 B.C.E.-507 B.C.E.507 B.C.E. representatives of the senatorial class overthrew the king and established a republic.Power resided with the Senate and two consuls.Paterfamilias = absolute authority of oldest malePatron/client relationship created inequalityWomen's role: subordinateWorship of major deities (Jupiter, Mars) ensured gods continued favor of Roman state.

  • Roman Society

  • Roman Society 2Roman Society was divided into citizens and non-citizens.Citizens were divided by Classes:Patricians-Original Family LinePlebeians-Lower classSoon wealthy plebeians would rise in rank and wealth becomes the equalizer of the classes.Slaves were Non-Citizens.

  • Roman ExpansionPossible reasons: pride, greed, a need for consuls to prove military leadership, fear of being attacked.By 290 B.C.E., Rome conquers the rest of Italy, wins support by granting citizenship.New citizens then provide soldiers for the military.264-202 B.C.E., Rome defeats Carthage gains control of the western Mediterranean and Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain.200-30 B.C.E. Rome defeats the Hellenistic kingdoms to take control of the eastern Mediterranean.59-51 B.C.E Gaius Julius Caesar conquers the Celts of Gaul.

  • Rome

  • The Fall of the RepublicAs Rome expands, independent farmers forced to serve in the army lose their farms to wealthy landowners who utilize slave laborThis led to a decline in both the number of soldiers available for Romes army, and in food production.Displaced Italian peasants flood cities seeking jobs giving Roman commanders the ability to recruit private armies, which leads to several civil wars.Julius Caesars grandnephew Octavian (a.k.a. Augustus) takes power in 31 B.C.E. He is a dictator, but instead he calls himself princeps, first among equals.

  • An Urban EmpireEven though 50-60 million of Romes citizens were rural farmers, the empire was run by a network of cities and towns.In Rome the upper class lived in lavish houses, many also owned county villas. The poor lived in dark, fire-prone wooded tenements.Smaller towns mirrored Rome in city planning and administration. Upper class dominated town councils.Rural life in Rome involved hard work with little entertainment, rural people had little contact with representatives of the government.

  • The Rise of ChristianityJesus lived in a society that hated Roman rule and believed a Messiah would arise to liberate them.When Jesus sought to reform the Jewish religion, Jewish authorities turned him over to the Roman governor for execution.After the execution Jesus disciples continued to spread his teachings and their belief that Jesus had been resurrected.In the 40s-70s C.E. Paul of Tarsus began spreading Jesus teachings to non-Jews (gentiles).

  • The Rise of Christianity 2Christianity grew slowly for two centuries, developing a hierarchy of priests and bishopsBy the late third century Christians were a sizeable minority.The rise of Christianity came at a time when most Romans were dissatisfied with their traditional religion.

  • Technology and TransformationThe Romans were expert military and civil engineers, building bridges, ballistic weapons, elevated and underground aqueducts, the use of arches and domes, and the invention of concrete.Following Augustus death, the army was organized primarily for defense:The Rhine-Danube frontier protected by fortsWalls protected the frontiers of N. Africa and BritainRome fought for centuries with Parthians on eastern frontier; neither side made gains

  • Romes Third Century CrisesSymptoms included: frequent change of rulers, raids from German tribesmen from across Rhine-Danube frontier, and the rise of regional powers when Rome seemed unable to guarantee security.Romes economy was undermined by the high cost of defense, inflation, a disruption of trade, reversion to a barter economy, disappearance of municipal aristocracy in provincial cities, and a population shift from urban back to rural areas.

  • Emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305) saved the Roman state by instituting a series of reforms that included price controls and regulations, such as hereditary trades; side effects included the black market and a growing resentment against the government.Constantine (r. 306-37) converted to Christianity in 337 and patronized the Christian church, making Christianity the official religion of the empire, and he moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople.

  • Imperial China: Geography China is surrounded by mountains, deserts, hills and plains of the Mongolian steppe to the west. To the east the Pacific ocean.The Yellow and the Yangzi rivers facilitate east-west movement, for trade and movement.

  • Imperial China: OriginsThe two most important resources that supported imperial China was agricultural production and labor. The best region was the Yangzi River Valley.The Qin and Han dynasties exploited the labor power of rural China, with a periodic census.The Han Chinese only settled in areas suitable for agriculture.

  • Hierarchy, Obedience, and BeliefThe family was the basic unit of society, conceived as an unbroken chain from the ancestors to current generations.Confucius teachings formed the base for the structure of the family, the father being the ruler of the family.The upper class believed that women were to cook, take care of the household chores, respect their parents-in-law, and obey their husbands.The Chinese believed in a number of nature spirits , unusual phenomena were bad omens, the landscape was thought to channel the flow of evil and good power, and experts in fengshui were employed for buildings and graves.

  • The First Chinese EmpireAfter the Warring States Period (480-221B.C.E) the state of Qin was able to reunify China.Factors in reunification:The ruthlessness of the Qin ruler Shi Huangdi and his prime minister Li Si.Qin dynasties position in the Wei valleyThe ability to mobilize manpower.

  • The First Chinese Empire 2The Qin established a strong centralized state on the Legalist model including:the suppression of Confucianismthe elimination of rival centers of authoritythe abolishment of slavery and primogeniturethe construction of a rural economy of free landowning/tax-paying farmers

  • The First Chinese Empire 3They standardized weights and measures, knit the empire together with roads, and defended it with a long wall.The oppressive nature of the Qin regime led to a number of popular rebellions that overthrew the dynasty after the death of Shi Huangdi in 210 B.C.E.

  • Liu Bang, a peasant, established the Han dynasty, and based his government on Confucian philosophy and legalist techniques.Emperor Wu (r. 140-87 B.C.E.) expanded the empire during his reign.During the Western Han period (202 B.C.E.-8C.E.) the capital was in Changan, but during the Eastern Han period (23-22C.E.) the capital was in Luoyang.Changan was an easily defended walled city.The elite lived in lavish houses on well planned boulevards, peasants lived in tightly packed houses on poorly planned alleys.The Long Reign of the Han (206 B.C.E-220 C.E.)

  • The Long Reign of the Han (206 B.C.E-220 C.E.) 2The emperor was supreme in the state and society; he was considered the Son of Heaven, the link between heaven and the human world.Emperors were the source of law.Remember the Mandate of Heaven!Emperors lived in seclusion surrounded by a royal retinue that included wives, family, servants, courtiers, and officials.

  • The Long Reign of the Han (206 B.C.E-220 C.E.) 3The central government was run by two chief officials and included a number of functionally specialized ministers, local officials collected taxes and drafted men for military service and corvee labor and settled local disputes.Most people had no contact with the central government.Local officials were a class of moderately wealthy, educated local landowners, that are referred to by historians as the gentry.They adopted Confucianism as their ideology and pursued careers in civil service.

  • Technology and TradeIn metallurgy the Chinese advanced to the iron age by about 500 B.C.E. rather than make wrought-iron goods (as the Romans did), they melted the iron down and used molds to make cast-iron and steel tools and weapons.Other technologies include the crossbow, cavalary, the watermill, and the horse collar. New transportation and communication technology included a road system, courier systems, and canals

  • Technology and TradeThe Han period saw a significant increase in the size and number of urban areas.Long distance trade was a significant part of the Han economy. The most important export was silk, and the most important trade route was the Silk Road through Central Asia.The Chinese government tried to control this route by sending armies and colonists to Central Asia.

  • Decline of the Han EmpireThe major security threat was nomadic tribes on the northern border.Nomadic groups were usually small but during the Han, the Chinese faced a confederacy of nomads called the Xion