You are on page 1of 1

Document Based Han and Roman technology

During the classical era, a widespread increase in technology helped ease the life of the Han and Roman people;
but the monopolizing of goods to the government in Han China also created several difficulties. Technology in the Roman
Empire was also not viewed positively by upper class Romans.
Firstly the point of view from document seven and document five provide an unfair bias, as wealthy people often
degraded the advancements of classes underneath them, as is observed in the industrial revolution of Russia. These
aristocrats of Rome probably never used tools and thus cannot give a proper insight into the importance or ease provided by
them.
Lives of the citizens of Han China and Rome were greatly eased and leisured as a result of the technological
increase observed. As Huan Tan said, "(as) the power of animals (and) later the power of water was applied (to
technology) the benefit was increased a hundredfold" (Doc 3). This clearly shows how advancements in technology helped
people obtain that lives. Similarly, document six states that "stones on either side of the road made it easier for people to
mount the horses "(Doc six). Though this is a smaller technological advancement, it shows how much more thoughtful
people were becoming. Even document 8 tells us how "aqueduct allowed for an abundance of water sufficient for
applications of luxury (or hygiene) (Doc 8). This is a far more intense example of technologys effect on social life.
The monopolizing of goods in Han China by the government lessened the value of life in China and created
several problems for the lower-class. Document 1 talks about how there was not enough workers on the dam. It says "there
should be one high official and one deputy with just enough workers (at least) (Doc 1). This excerpt is coming from a
flood prevention official. The monopolizing of this dam could cost the lives of hundreds of people due to inadequate
numbers of workers. Document 2 says "the tools for workers are hard and brittle (Doc 2). This decrease in quality created
a less productive lifestyle and forced many people to become farmers again.
The aristocracy of the Roman Empire viewed tools as useless and degrading. Seneca says "I do not believe tools
were invented by wise men" (doc 7). This tells us how upper class viewed technology and is confirmed by Cicero, who says
tools are degrading (Doc 5). This confirms that aristocrats disliked tools
An additional document that should be nice would be by a Han official, aristocrat as this would tell us how the
Chinese upper class-men liked it.