Rome and Han were two classical civilizations which collapsed in many similar ways. For instance, they were similar because they both had problems protecting their borders from invading nomads, which helped lead to their demise. Also, another similarity is how the empires split and create provinces. Although, there were similarities between these civilizations, there were also many differences.
One difference between the fall of the Han and the Roman empires is how China had the ability to revive itself and return to its former glory under a new dynasty after the fall of the Han, and the land of the Roman Empire never regained its previous power. Another difference is the matter of isolation, and how it effects China and how being a trade forerunner in the Mediterranean helps the empire.
First, one similarity between the fall of the Han and the Roman Empires is the problem of expansion. Expansion allows an empire to gain wealth and prosperity by expanding their control over land and trade routes. Although, the larger and empire becomes, the harder it is to maintain its boundaries and is also more susceptible to invasion by other empires or nomadic tribes. Both empires had to build walls to protect the northern side of the empire.
Rome spread its borders to wide for them to control, so as Germanic invaders started to invade from the north, Rome couldn’t protect its borders which ranged from Macedonia to the Indus River Valley.The Han also had a similar problem with herders from the north. Many would invade small peasant villages and pillage whatever they needed or wanted.
With a current problem of feeding the countries large population, this didn’t help matters, actually it only made matters worse. Riots and mobs formed which stormed major cities until finally the Han fell and China was split into three kingdoms similar to Rome being split into two kingdoms.
Rome and Han had many differences as well as similarities. One difference is after the decline China was revived during the Ting dynasty, and brought back to a unified state while the lands of the Roman Empire was never able to reach its former height after the Germanic tribes invaded from the north. Although, the Eastern half of the Roman empire, the Byzantines survived and strengthened over the next thousand years.
Another difference between the Roman and the Han empires is isolation. China was isolated by mountains and deserts to the west. This provided not only a natural barrier against invasions, but it helped create an isolation from the many other classical civilizations. Rome, on the other hand, was not isolated, it sat mostly on the Italian peninsula, which jutted out into the Mediterranean Sea, a forerunner in sea trade. China being isolated created a problem with the economy, where the governments money only came from the taxation of the peasants and citizens.
This depleted the money of the peasants and lower class, and still, the government didn’t have enough money to run properly. This effected the outcome of the invasion of the Huns which helped lead to the Han downfall because the government didn’t have enough money to pay for military action.
Both the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty arose and expanded to become superpowers of their time, but at the end of their reign, China fell as it will do with many other dynasties after the Han, but still revive itself and create new. China has done this up to modern times, but Rome never recovers and will never become the superpower it once was again. It is amazing though how two civilizations that are completely isolated from each other can be so similar though, and still influence the world we live in today.
Courtney from Study Moose
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