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Technological Advances for the Han and Roman Empires

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    Both the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire covered a lot of territory in Eurasia. From the year 1000B. C. E. (when the first settlement on the site of Rome occurred) to 600C. E. (just after the fall of both empires) the technological advances made were astonishing. Maps, pictures, and written documents are able to portray the details of what life was like in both of these large empires. All three of these will be used to explain how more technological inventions allowed these two empires to expand their control over the land.

    Although the Han Dynasty and Roman Empire were both large and powerful, it was mainly due to their technological advances. Maps like those shown in Documents one, two, and four, help portray the well-constructed trade routes of the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire. Document one shows the economy and trade routes of the Roman Empire around 200C. E. Document two shows the economy and trade routes of Han China between 206 B. C. E. and 220C. E. Lastly, Document four shows the Asian trade routes connecting China all the way over to Arabia which is where the Roman Empire trade market ends too.

    In order to be able to travel across the land easier new inventions were needed. The invention of the stirrup was from northern Afghanistan but the idea soon spread to other parts of Eurasia. Soon people were learned that riding on a camel made the overland trade easier and more materials were able to b e moved at the same time. Once the Silk Road connecting China and the rest of Asia together was constructed and thriving, a quicker means of trading was thought about: ships, like the Chinese “Junk” ships.

    From the time when Document two was accurate to the time when Document four showed the trade routes, the perfection of ships increased dramatically. As people began to realize what “traits” of a ship were needed in order to make the journey through the tough waters, stronger ships were being built. This shows the connection between the technology and the expansion of the Roman and Han civilizations that would soon become large, well-built empires. Maps differed between the years because of empires creating better technology allowing them to control more land.

    Metals, slaves, and silk all brought wealth to the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty. Copper, gold, and silver were being able to get extracted from the ground at a quicker pace with new technologies. Mining these precious metals allowed empires and dynasties to gain more money leading to more power. In Document seven there is a picture of a gold belt buckle. Trading was an important factor during the 2nd century B. C. E. and new materials were getting traded. With the technology to do detailed belt buckles as portrayed in Document seven, it shows how the technology had advanced. Especially since nomadic herders made that belt buckle! ) The more money and materials that an empire brings in, the more control and power it will gain over other people. Document five points out how many materials and items were being traded across Eurasia. It does not seem to have a bias because it just states the facts. Listed are items that are traded across the Indian Ocean and where they came from, and what the King is given. Showing that the king was given “costly vessels of silver” shows the economy of the empire at this time.

    Technology and the development of large Eurasian empires go hand in hand. The construction of buildings and aqueducts in cities requires money to pay the people building it. Large Eurasian empires and dynasties could afford to make their cities and villages have more “features” in them. Document three portrays a Roman aqueduct, which is a water and sewer system. As time wore on, people were looking to abandon their nomadic lifestyles and become civilized. The better equipped a city was to take care of the daily needs, the more people would live there.

    Technology helped communities grow larger until people had to live outside of the city gates in suburbs like those in China. Although Document six is written by a Chinese traveler named Xuanzang, there does not20seem to be a bias because he is simply stating facts like “their houses are surrounded by low walls. ” Documents three and six both show how civilized the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty were and how well their advancements in technology and economies helped them gain people making them stronger. The Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty were two great Eurasian civilizations.

    They had much involvement in the Silk Road and Indian Ocean trade routes, advancements in technology, and many people in their communities. Yet in order to further prove the point that technology has a strong relationship in the development of large Eurasian empires, one needs a couple more documents. The first document needed would be one from either empire showing what materials were imported and exported. This would help because it would allow us to see exactly how much money was made, showing the economy of each large empire at this time period.

    Another document needed would be one portraying the slave system. Technology is needed in order for slavery to happen, and slaves cost a lot of money to buy. So the more slaves an empire or dynasty has, the more money they could potentially have as well. Overall though, there is a strong relationship between technologies and ruling empires shown by Documents one through seven. Without all of the new advancements in technology to help trading and building are completed quicker, there would not be as strong, thriving empires and dynasties ad the Roman and Han.

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