Han and Roman Views on Technology

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Mortar and pestle Pages: 3 (1073 words) Published: May 14, 2012
“Han and Roman Views on Technology”
The Hans and Romans understood the importance of technology, but unlike the Hans, the Romans viewed anyone who worked with tools or with their hands to be a person of lowly status. The Romans only showed appreciation for technologies that could hold some benefit for the upper-class. The upper-class Romans thought that craftsmen, people who made a living out of making tools, was hardly an occupation that deserved any respect. The Hans appreciated the use of tools in their labor and how it could help the people. The Hans showed a great appreciation of their technological advancements, and its effect on society. The Roman attitude toward technology was that any person who worked in workshops, devoting their time to making or using tools, was engaged in a vulgar work, unbecoming to any gentlemen (Doc 5). This view also holds true in Document 7, as Seneca, an upper-class Roman, expressed his disdain for those who made tools. Seneca did not believe that tools were created by wise men, and does not care about the invention of tools. He knows they were invented by some individual but does not believe that that individual was of high social status. In Document 6, the advancements made by Gaius Gracchus are stated by Plutarch, a Roman high official. The Romans created vast roads, paved with quarried stone and tightly packed sand. Bridges were built over streams and ravines that interrupted the flow of the roads. The roads were measured mile by mile through the use of stone columns, and other stones were set beside the roads to help those who rode horses to mount without the help of a groom. This can be seen as a sort of technology since the usage of the stones was replacing the help of a groomsman. In Document 8, Frontinus tells of the Roman aqueducts and its transportation of water. The volume of the aqueducts was measured by calibrated scales. There was such an abundance of water not only was it used for the public, but for...
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