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The Roman Empire and Han China shared many similarities as well as many differences among them were the effect disease played on these countries reasons for decline in both Empires and the emergence of new religions These are just a few examples of great similarities and differences that these Empires shared The time periods for this essay are roughly 200 BC to 200 AD with some exceptions for the Romans who surpassed the Hans by 200 yearsTo begin with disease as we have learned has played a critical role in determining the outcomes of historical events in many areas of the world We know of the early disease gradients in Europe and in the Middle East and of the Indus River valley area in India By the time of the Roman Empire contact with the Middle East and India through trade and conquest had exposed them to the disease pool of these areas and helped create a common disease pool for the Middle East and in Europe most specifically in areas that were under Roman influence Through conquest Rome spread the common disease pool and helped overcome the isolation of Europe from the Middle East Indus Valley disease pool Like the Romans the Hans helped spread the common disease pool in Asia but unlike the Romans the Hans did not do this by conquest The Hans built a great canal that linked the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers and gradually through more contact and creating more tolerable living conditions for peasants they overcame the harsh disease gradient in the Yangtze area and thus stabilizing the area The Chinese unlike the Romans were very isolationist and did not have contact with other cultures and their diseases so when the Silk Road became more active new diseases entered China like Small Pox Measles and Bubonic Plague The Results were of course disastrous never before being exposed to these diseases the Chinese population declined sharply In Rome the same
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