How has China been able to survive for more than 2000 years and not the Roman Empire?

The Roman Empire has 2206 years of existence (from 753 Bc to 1453 nC) and thus survived more than 2000 years.Furthermore, the Roman state has disappeared but a number of Roman institutions exist to this day. Think of the Roman law that is the basis for modern legal systems. Consider also the use of the Latin language in the form of the modern Romance languages a large part of the world. Think also of the survival of the Roman state religion that was introduced in the fourth century, namely Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church as an institute originates directly from antiquity. The same applies to Greek Orthodox churches. Even most Protestant churches find their origins in the Latin Catholic Church.

Many historians believe that after the disappearance of the Roman state in the west there was continuity.The culture, the institutions and the language continued to exist and would only change slowly as it would have happened within a Roman state as it appeared in the east where the Roman Empire also remained as a state until 1453.

In the millennia, China has made as big changes as the Roman Empire and the successors cultures that emerge from it.A civilization or culture is much more than a state.

Because state exams.

The very big disadvantage of the Roman Empire was that in all its impotence the power was primarily in a small group, with unclear rotation, and appointment on the basis of descent (Patricius).

Then sooner or later, bubble formation and parasitic behavior with associated sigh to perverse stimuli and degradation of circle and frameworks lie lurking.

In Ancient China one had state exams and a nobility that went down with every generation (the son/daughter had a title lower than that of their father).Higher titles were therefore distributed according to performance.

However, every inhabitant (regardless of rank or state) could do the state exam to become a civil servant and thus earn titles and land.Thus, the son of a peasant farmer could have a higher position and title, than the son of the marquis on whose land the Keuter Boertje lived.

The exam consisted of horse riding, archery, martial arts and writing an Opstel.The last one was the hardest, you are going to sit there, not too long, you have only three days (in a closed cell with only food, water, paper, writing and a PO available):

In Schoonschrift, you write an eight-pronged dissertation on the subject you find on the wall in your cell: opening phrase to formulate a theorem; Foreword in which you further expand this statement; Substantiating the theorem, you hereby quote classical thinkers; Enter structured points in which the theorem is defended; Free philopating about the preceding points; Reflections on the substantiation of the points; Concluding words; Final word in free prose, poetically of buildup.Perhaps for the sake of completeness, but one misspelling and you have dropped.

Note: The state exams were officially abolished at the end of the 19th century.But nowadays they are reflected in the entrance exams for the university. The drafting no longer has to be eight (but must contain at least 800 words) and the young people can choose from a selection of subjects and besides the Chinese classical thinkers also quote from works by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin.

You could also ask why Western civilization has been going on for over 5000 years while the Han Dynasti was only around 400 years old.

China has had a turbulent history.Sometimes divided into several states, sometimes in a state with North China or South China as a value point, and the dominant ethnolinguistic group is sometimes Mandarin, sometimes Min, sometimes Mongol and sometimes Manchu.

For instance, the Mediterranean region has also had a turbulent history, sometimes domed by a state (Phoenicie, Perzie, Macedonie, Rome, the caliphate, the Otoman Empire).

Today China is united.In the West we are talking about the history of “China”, not about the history of “the many different states in that are part of the opposed China” because as Westerners we like to simplify the history of Asia somewhat. The Chinese themselves too, probably because they want to encourage a Chinese national feeling and not encourage separatism.

It is true that China knows more continuity than the West.Perhaps the Topographie plays a role here. The Pyrenees, the Libyan desert and the Mediterranean Sea are natural boundaries and there has indeed been no state since the fall of Rome that could keep the whole Mediterranean area under control.

Perhaps the Chinese language also contributed to keeping Chinese culture relatively homogeneous.In The West, the scripture languages grow apart because they adapt to the spoken Dialekten.

The isolated location and the strongly deviating language and scripture will have contributed to that.The Roman Empire was open to all sides and Mare Nostrum has a highly articulated coastline with many harbours. At the Empire of Rome with its cities without walls I think of principled openness, at China with its wall, its Himalayas and tradition of congruence right to untenacity.

A unit was also not fixed there.For a long time, China was a loose conglomerate of each other’s fighting state. Only under Emperor Qin (died 210 BC) was the country united into a great empire. That is later than the Roman Empire but still impressively long. Moreover, you had much longer that area with the state that we can call China by virtue of the agreements in culture for convenience.

You can therefore better speak of a continuity of Chinese culture, irrespective of the state form.And although there are deviating early versions, the language exhibits a remarkably long timeline compared to the western languages.

What about us?We can certainly draw parallels. Greek and Ancient Greek are related, and Italian is told that this is descended from Latin. Today we use Latin letters, the Chinese their characters developed from the Scriptures. In Europe, we speak national languages. But Greek and Latin are important in arts and sciences and connect the areas of knowledge in our Western culture. Our Theatre/opera tradition, our classical music and visual arts also have an umbrella character, just like in China.

The Chinese still speak Chinese, another Chinese than that of 2000 years ago.The image characters of now resemble the old, certainly the traditional ones still used on Taiwan. In many cases their appearance is identical. But they usually mean other things. An ‘ old ‘ Chinese would not understand contemporary Chinese. Thus, the continuity with old China seems so stronger than how it really is.

The China you are citing has in the past known very different forms of existence.

It might be interesting to look at the geographic places and the coming cultures instead of the Roman Empire or the Chinese Empire.The Roman Empire has fallen apart, but other states have emerged or have evolved. This has also happened in China. Here, several dynsasties and Imperial Calibrates have succeeded. During their development, the dynsasties have had several capitals and also very dynamic boundaries.

If this matter is to be examined deeper, I can recommend the following book: Why The West rules–For now (2010) by Ian Morris.You can also find this book in a Dutch version. Highly recommended!

The book goes even further and examines whether the West has a head start on the east (with the current China as its centre of gravity).

To clarify a tip of the veil: the author of the book proposes as one of the (many) conclusions that the West and the east throughout history have very similar developments (social development: development of governance, of cities, Energy and food etc).

The Roman Empire has never been ‘ fallen ‘.It has been slowly changed by external influences, but Rome, Italy still exists now.

China has also known many forms, now it is a communist country, and knows equally many changes.The fact that a name continues to exist topographically does not say so much.

If you find that China has existed for thousands of years, then the Roman and Greek empire still exists and thousands of years too.We just sit there more with our noses on top which makes the differences seem bigger.

‘ China ‘ has not existed for 2000 years.It is really very short by the historical bend to regard China and its history as one long continuous line. Firstly, there were very clearly defined periods in the ‘ Chinese ‘ history history, but there were centuries when there were not one but a number of empires and states where the People’s Republic of China is currently.

‘, “The question is not technically accurate.The idea of China may have about for over 2000 years -arguably, even longer -but the Chinese Empire welded together in 221 BC by the First Emperor of Qin didn’t by any means survive intact through this period.

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