Emperor Qin vs Emperor Hadrian

Categories: James Monroe

Qin Shi Huangdi; who became China’s first Emperor, and Emperor Hadrian, who was perhaps the Roman’s greatest Emperor, both tried to control their empires. They were both good commanders and they used various methods such as building roads for ease of travelling, training a strong army with clever military tactics, building frontiers to keep out invaders, divided their country into different states and introduced government systems with officials to look after the state and each head of official of the state would report back to the central government under the emperor.

Qin’s methods were very harsh and cruel.

If somebody broke a law, that person and many of his relatives would be executed. He burnt books that he didn’t agree with which oppose his government. Hadrian on the other hand, was kind and he gave rewards to people who did well. He got rid of old laws that were cruel such as masters killing slaves. He travelled around his empire to be with his people to see their problems.

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He made many different kinds of weapons and buildings and he even built houses for his people! In this paragraph, I think Qin was more effective in control because his laws were harsh and people lived in fear of him because his government was powerful.

He conquered 7 kingdoms by 221BC which proved that he was a clever commander and strong leader. Qin unified China for the first time. Many people think that Qin was fierce and he was more demanding and cruel to his people.

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He buried 460 scholars alive when he learnt that they were talking about his arrogance. He also burned books to prevent his people to think freely (freeessays). However Qin was very aggressive which made the people in his empire work really hard which made China powerful and wealthy. Qin standardised one official written language throughout the country so when governments write reports, everyone can understand it.

He also unified weights and measures, introduced a money system using a coin called ‘banling’ (A circle coin with a square hole in the middle). Hadrian wasn’t as fierce as Qin, he was kind to his people and he stopped execution and instead of burning books and burying people, he listened to other people’s opinions. He travelled around and inspected his armies and he gave them a training routine The Roman and Chinese armies were both useful in helping the Emperors to keep control. Qin’s army was aggressive, mean and selfish. Although their army was fierce.

The army seldom got any rewards at all. Qin set a spy system so whenever somebody did anything wrong, anyone who saw it can report it and the person who did the mistake will get punished or executed. Other than that, Hadrian’s army was better rewarded and the soldiers were proud to be in the legions. They had good organisation and very good weapons to fight against enemies. Both armies were organised and they had good fighting strategies and they were well equipped. Hadrian’s army might be more proud but, Qin’s might be more obedient.

I think Qin’s army was better than Hadrian’s because they used advanced military tactics, strategies, organisation and weapons as we saw in the terracotta army discovery. Also, Qin’s army conquered the 7 warring states. Transport systems were important in keeping control because they needed to send messages to people. Qin’s road systems were highways, roads, canals and bridges which were so much wider than most of the Roman roads and it goes throughout China. Qin’s chariots had 2 wheels compared to Hadrian which had 4 wheels to make the chariot more stable.

Hadrian’s road systems were quite similar to Qin’s but, Hadrian’s were more advanced. Hadrian road systems had drains and trees were away from roads, to prevent being attacked. Hadrian’s road systems were much better than Qin’s because Hadrian had good organisation and safety. He had drains to prevent flooding. Keeping control of the frontiers was very important to keep out invaders. Qin’s wall known as the Great Wall of China (31,000 miles) which is the world’s biggest man made structure was 50 times longer than Hadrian’s Wall (73 miles), as well as being wider and taller.

The great wall was built of earth, stones and rocks. The wall took around 20 years to complete. Qin demanded many people and slaves to complete it. Many died. However, it was effective in keeping out the invaders, as fire signals could be lit, in the first sign of an attack. There were fortresses where soldiers lived, areas to keep weapons and food storage. On the other hand, Hadrian wall took 6 years to complete with 3 legions working together. Hadrian’s Wall was made out of stone and it was built so well, part of the wall is still standing!

Hadrian decided to build forts for defensive works against intruders to avoid people from Scotland attacking them. Qin’s frontier was slightly better than Hadrian’s Wall because it is bigger stronger, and more soldiers can be stationed there. You can go on the wall now when visiting so, I think Qin’s wall is better. Other factors in keeping control were laws, money, language, etc. Qin changed the money form to one single currency to reduce confusion. He also changed the different languages into one single common written language. Qin made everyone equal of the laws made to avoid arguments.

He made trading and communications better for people. Hadrian did not make any unification because he did not think it was needed. Hadrian had problem controlling people from other land who prayed to their own gods and had a different religion to the Romans as seen in the Jewish rebellion As a result, Emperor Shi Huangdi was more effective at keeping control of their empire than Emperor Hadrian because he was more demanding, very aggressive, a very massive frontier and most of all, his army was very fierce and they conquered seven states which is amazing effort.


  1. Brooman, Josh (1991) Imperial China Longman
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin_Shi_Huang
  4. http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/history/qin/
  5. http://www.allfreeessays.com/essays/Emperor-Shi-Huang-Di-Vs-Emperor/28556.html
  6. http://www.allfreeessays.com/essays/The-Great-Wall-Of-China/133714.html
  7. http://geography.about.com/od/specificplacesofinterest/a/greatwall.htm
  8. http://www.thechinaexpat.com/how-long-did-it-take-to-build-the-great-wall-of-china/
  9. http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/romans/hadrianswall.htm
  10. http://www.mnsu.edu/
  11. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/greatwall/Emperor.html
Updated: Mar 11, 2022
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Emperor Qin vs Emperor Hadrian. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/emperor-qin-vs-emperor-hadrian-essay

Emperor Qin vs Emperor Hadrian essay
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