Han China and Classical Athens Dbq
Peter C. DBQ Essay 09/12/12 3rd block For many reasons, Han Empire and Classical Athens have many differences. As Rudyard Kipling once wrote, Oh, East is east, West is west, And never the twain shall meet Kipling stated the obvious, the Han Empire and Classical Athens are completely different (Introduction). However, is it true? Of course these two civilizations have many differences, one is located in the west and the other is located in the east.
The two civilizations are different not just for their locations but also population distribution, government, society treatments, and culture. The main difference between the Han Empire and Classical Athens is their population distribution. While Classical Athens population was total with Environs equal to be 315,000, the Han Empire consisted of 65,000,000 total (documents B & C). The population classification is also different, one is more specific and the other is more general.
For instance, the population of Athens were divided into four sections: free male citizens, free male non-citizens, free females, and slaves, while the Han’s classes are more specific: emperor & appointed officials, educated mandarin bureaucrats, land aristocracy, peasants farmers & skilled urban workers, merchants, and “mean people” (documents B & C). As you see from the list above, Han classified their classes specifically. Even though the two are very different, they also have some similarities like the peasants and the slaves are both the highest percentage in the population for both Han China and Classical Athens.
A third of the Classical Athens’ populations were slaves and 90% of the Han China’s populations were peasants (document C). Han China and Classical Athens’ governments were completely different. The state of Athens had a form of government where the citizens’ votes will decide on the political choices called democracy (document D). The democracy government of Athens was the first democracy state formed in the world at the time. The assembly was open to all free males of adult age (18 and older) (document D & E). The officials composed of five hundreds men, fifty from each of the ten Attic tribes (states).
On the other hand, the Han Empire had a monarch ruled over them (Online). The first emperor of the Empire was Liu Bang. The monarchy system works through descendants of the emperor, if the current emperor passed away, his son will take over the throne, and then the son of his son will be throne as emperor and so on (Online). On the forms of governments for the two empires and state there is not any similarity in them. The third most important difference is their way of treatments to the society especially to children and women.
In both Han Empire and Classical Athens society, women and children were treated poorly. For example, in Athens women were not allowed to be in the council, instead they had to serve their husbands as their master (document Q). As for the Han’s empire, the women were to be at service to the men with a straight manner, no humors, jokes, or anything (document R). Children were treated even worse; they weren’t being considered as children or a living creature, maybe more like products that can be kept or disposed at will.
In Athens, if the child makes it through the first night, he or she is to be kept from being abandon (document N). But for the next ten days will be tough, because the father of the child will be inspecting him or her for any deformation, if it is confirmed that the child is deformed in anyway, he or she will get abandon, no matter what can happen to his or her life (document N). The Han Empire isn’t any better. A mother may give up a child at will due to the fact that she doesn’t know how long she can live to take of the child (document O).
The Han China and Classical Athens’ culture also had a huge different to how the arts were created. The arts of the Athenians were more focus on themselves, the human body. For example, on the front cover page, there is a drawing or statue of a Greek man, the Greek man is standing in a weird position with his arms pointing down, there are a few lines emphasizing his muscles, torso, biceps, etc. (Front Cover). While the art of the Han China were more focus on the landscapes and scenes surround them, along with the serenity and balance of the world drawn on to canvases in great details (document L).
In most paintings, the five Chinese elements called Wu Xing will most likely be included in the paintings; the five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Looking at Ch’iu Ying’s painting, you can clearly see the how Wu Xing is being presented in the painting, how the trees and mountains were presented in the background (document L). However, as you can see in the painting, there are only two men in the painting, this could mean that humans were inconsiderable in their arts (document L).
As a conclusion, the two artistic styles were complete different from each other, the Han’s arts were more focus on nature in great details, while the Athenians’ art were more focus on the human body. As for conclusion on this essay, despite the fact that the two civilizations are different because of their locations, there was also much information given above as to how the two differ from each other. They both discovered many remarkable findings, developed many new creations, and have defeated many great wars. Although they both have many differences, the two were still significant in their own points of view.