Technology In Ancient Rome

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Technology refers to the application of knowledge for practical purposes, whether in the form of roads, irrigation systems, or agricultural aids. The Han Empire displayed a more appreciative and objective attitude towards practical technologies in hopes of protecting their realm and securing power. Meanwhile, the Romans exhibited an apparent indifference to the aspects of technology concerned with the lower classes while the upper classes marveled at the empire 's magnificent innovations. The Han Empire’s appreciative and open-minded attitude on the importance of technology was crucial to their success. In the first document, we see the practical Chinese notion that technology had the ability to aid people in disastrous times, particularly…show more content…
Rome’s apparent distinction between the aristocratic and the under-privileged may be a result of the existence of slave labor which rooted their less grateful attitude concerning technology. The Roman upper class authors of documents five, six, and seven all display a lack of interest in technology which aids only commoners. The author of the fifth passage, Cicero, states craftsmen are in “vulgar occupations” which the mighty upper class would never even dream of. He ridicules their inventions in an attempt to prove to his audience of other upper-class men, the clear distinction between “enlightened” citizens and “unbecoming” ones. While maintaining the Roman attitude that technology is essentially a necessity, Cicero doesn’t believe it concerns the upper classes. The philosopher, Seneca, displays an attitude very similar to Cicero as he once more disrespects the craftsmen, or lower classes, and degrades their abilities by claiming their creations do not benefit the nobility (Doc 7). In contrast, we see Plutarch advocate and admire Gracchus’s involvement in the creation of roads, a means of technology which is both useful and practical that also beautifies Rome (Doc 6). While Plutarch does convey a sense of pride in Roman technology, he once again raises the idea of social class partitions when he…show more content…
Exploring the attitudes of lower social classes might provide us with ample insight on how they were affected by various technologies or how they might have physically implemented novel technologies. While the Roman and Han empires both valued the importance of technology and made fine use of such innovations, Han China carried a more appreciative and open-minded attitude regarding technology as it would aid their multitude of populations, while Rome’s approval of technology differed based on its benefits to social
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