History Paper By Alex Prindle

874 Words Apr 24th, 2016 4 Pages
History Paper by Alex Prindle

The definition of civilization or whether a culture is considered civilized or not has been argued throughout the course of history. Groups such as the Mongols, the ethnic groups surrounding the Roman Empire, and just about every group of people not part of a large, unified, strong empire in ancient history especially, has been thought of by their “superior” empire peoples as barbaric and uncivilized. Through the comparison of Tacitus’s Germania, and Sima Qian’s Account of the Xiongnu, it has been established that Tacitus paints a the Germans as a simple, and barbaric uncivilized group of people, whereas Sima Qian looks at the Xingu as barbarians, but respects them as a power a bit more. This is in regards to how children are trained, military tactics used, traditional family life, and the availability and use of resources of these certain ethnic groups. Although there are some similarities between Tacitus and Sima Qian’s portrayal of different ethnic groups, there were also some distinct differences between the ways both authors portrayed their enemy neighbors. Specifically, Sima Qian does not try to show his bias of superiority of the Han Chinese Empire as much as Tacitus’s more blatant belief that the Roman Empire is far superior to the Germanic tribes in the north. Stronger groups tend to look down on the weaker groups over the course of history, and while I don’t find any civilization mentioned in these readings to be necessarily…

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