Julianna Crozier Mrs. Peavey World History AP period 7 28 September 2011 Comparing and Contrasting Following the time period of the development of the first civilizations came the Classical age. During this era, one learns about the different developing classical empires of their time, and their dissimilar customs of life. This time period consists of the rise and falls of the first Empires in India and China. Moreover, due to their different locations, each Empire adapted to their land and formed customs of their own best fit for their people.
In the era of the Classical age, both the Han dynasty and the Gupta Empire reveal the diversity generated during the Classical period. While these two Empires certainly portray contrasting qualities of the other, some aspects of their lives mirrored each other as well. Both China and India had distinct differences that, in dissimilar aspects, unified them as a people. One of the main differences between the Han dynasty and the Gupta Empire is the concept of their contrasting views of religion.
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While the Gupta ultimately settled on a primary religion, the Han opted for separate religious philosophical systems that would serve the needs of others differently. Another factor that portrays the difference between the two Empires was China’s political structures and values compared to that of India’s. There was a dynastic cycle, the dynasties would rise and fall, and be taken over by a new person. India went back to independent city states when a ruler fell.
China was generally able to be re-united through a ruler, however, India was not. Quite frankly in the Classical era, the Gupta Empire and Han Dynasty created vastly different cultures due to their surrounding influences. Unlike the previous differences between the Empires, both the Gupta Empire in India and the Han Dynasty in China were similar in their social structures in that they stressed inequality as well as maintaining order and stability throughout the empires. Both were patriarchal societies.
Moreover, both societies of people had rulers that made large impacts on the economy at the time of their rule. Also, both dynasties surpassed in art, math, science, and other discoveries. Moreover, the peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. Hence, Historians place the Gupta dynasty alongside with the Han Dynasty. As agricultural societies, both civilizations depended on a large peasant class, organized in close-knit villages with much joint cooperation.
However, cities and merchant activity played a secondary role. When it came to the role of the family members, the power of husbands and fathers in the family encompassed Indian and Chinese families alike. So although these civilizations derived from different places, both Empires had qualities that reflected each other’s immensely. Along with the Classical age came the development of some of the first classical civilizations that were not only of great importance then, but their actions have impacted society of today as well.
Of the Empires who were included in this era, one can infer that although the civilizations came from all over, they had their share of similarities. Moreover, these similarities show that each civilization influenced the other. However, there are also distinct comparisons that can be made that contrast the two Empires. This is revealed between the Gupta Empire and the Han Dynasty whereas both were capable of having their own distinct ways of life while benefiting from new ideas along the way.