10/17/12 DBQ Athens vs Han China In the 5th century BCE Sparta and Athens constantly battled for 27 years for the number one spot in Greece. Despite being at war for such a long time, Athens made their culture most memorable in our world’s history. Athens, located in Attica was rather small surprisingly, smaller then Rhode Island. Athens was known for it’s talent; like we know today, Pericles, Plato, Socrates and more. While Athens Greece was prospering, China was suffering. During this period, Confucius lived and taught. His teachings had a rather big influence on Han China and China’s Golden Age.
Chinese achievements rivaled the achievements of the Athenians. In spite of Han China and Athens Greece, they were two major empires that both ruled around the same time frame. They had differences such as population, government, and religion/culture. One of the differences Athens and Han China shared were there forms of government. Document 4 shares the characteristic of government with documents 5, 6 &7. In “the oration of Pericles”(4) “Our form of government is called a democracy because it’s administration is in the hands of the peoples” while “Mandate of Heaven” (6) In this document Mencius tells the story of Yao and Shun.
The Mandate of Heaven is China’s belief that emperors where chose by Heaven. In the document Wan Chang asked “in that case who gave the Empire to Shun? ” and Mencius said, “ Heaven gave it to him. ” Wang Chang believed that Heaven gave Shun the Empire. He had that point of view because of what Mencius had told him about the Mandate of Heaven. In “Government in Athens” (5) It discusses how the Athenian Golden Age was inspired by the development of democracy by the Athenians. “In the most precise and literal sense Athenians governed themselves” there wasn’t a King or an almighty ruler. Generals were elected from the Assembly and served for a year’s term” On the contrary, “A remarkably Successful Kind of Government”(7) discusses how the Emperor appoints governors to each district. This type of government was effective because the central government was further enhanced by delegation of different areas. “The Chinese empire was indeed the largest political system in the classical world. ” A document that would have been nice to read about would be a document with citizens from both Athens and Han, and their perspective and outlook on their form of government .
Another difference Athens and Han China both had were population. Document 1 shares the characteristic of population with documents 2 & 3. In document one it shows two maps, one of Athens, and one of the Han Empire. These maps are a biased point of view though because it has the Han Empire map enlarged so it makes the map of Athens look smaller, but also on the map of Athens in the bottom corner it has an enlarged box of Attica. This document is not resourceful if you wanted to compare the size of Athens and Han because the maps are two different sides.
It would have been helpful to have the maps the same size, also they could have showed the populations in the areas and where most people lived and where they traveled. “Athens population distribution” (2) This document shows the total population of Attica which is 315,000 . It also shows how many people were in each class, the class that had the most people were the slaves with 115,00. “Han China : population distribution”(3) This document shows the total population in Han China, 65,000,000 . Clearly Athens and Han differed in there size and population.
Also in this document it shows how many people were in each class. The class with the most people is, Peasant farmers/urban workers with 58,500,000 people. Culture/ Religion is another difference Athens and Han China had. Document 8 shares the characteristic of Culture/Religion just like documents 9,10,11 &12. “what is a good citizen”(8) This shows Athenian culture and what they had believed is a good citizen. This document discusses how each individual isn’t just interested in his own problems or his own self, but he’s also interested in the state and it’s affairs.
While in document 10 “Confucius on the Individual and the State” This document is showing culture because the people of the Han China culture believed what Confucius taught and said. In this document Confucius said that fathers are to cover up for their sons and sons to cover up for their fathers. What would have made this document more relevant to Han China’s culture would be facts on how Confucius culturally and religiously influenced Han China and it’s peoples to believe his teachings. “Dialogue of Socrates and Crito in Prison”(9) This document is about Crito trying to get Socrates to escape from prison.
Socrates was thrown into prison because he was charged for not believing in the gods that everyone believed, introducing other gods, and corrupting the youth. This shows culture because that’s what people did if you did not believe in the same Gods they believed in. Socrates did not believe or listen to Crito, he had that point of view because nothing would convince him other wise of what he thought, “ I know that anything more, which you may say, will not convince me” – Socrates. Document 11”Discus Thrower” is a painting of an Athenian man throwing a discuss, the cultural style of art differed from Han China’s style of art. Ch’ iu Ying Landscape (12) differed from document 11. This is a painting of a landscape, while document 11 was a portrait. What would have been better to help further contrast these different cultures styles of art would be more documents of Han & Athens’s artworks. In closing, Han China and Athens Greece had there differences in three categories, but there are more differences then just those three. For example, everyday life for the citizens. Although Han China and Athens Greece were two major empires that both ruled around the same time frame. They had there differences such as population, government, and religion/culture.
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