Explain the four major challenges faced by all classical complex societies. Include one specific example for each challenge and how that society met the challenge.
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The tension of many classical civilisations emerged from a number of different factors. However you might like to consider how paradoxically such civilisations were victims of their own success. Consider the Roman Empire as an example. As it got bigger and more successful, the problems of sustaining peace across vast territories and maintaining an effective form of government and administration became that much difficult.
Issues of how to deal with class conflict also arose to some extent. This was true because (as implied in point 3 of Post 2) there were large numbers of people who were quite poor and were sometimes lacking food. This sort of conflict can be seen in such things as the reforms of the Gracchi in Rome.
Warfare was a pervasive concern, especially for the Greeks. For the Romans, Persians, and Chinese societies, and to a lesser extent, India, many problems were related to how to administer large swaths of land. After all, news, and imperial decrees, could travel no faster than a horse. So setting up a bureaucracy that could rule over geographically isolated people was a major priority, one which China did particularly well. Additionally, many of these societies were exceedingly diverse, especially Rome and Persia, and struggled to create a system where different peoples had a stake in being ruled by the empire. In this, historians generally think that Rome was far more effective than Persia.
This is a hard question to answer, because the word classical is debatable. In light of this I will only comment on classical Western cultures. This means that I will look at the Greeks and Romans. In terms of challenges, there were many. I will list four.
First, there was always the challenge of warfare. The ancient world did not have a version of the United Nations. So, there was incessant warfare. This fact brought much destruction. Hence, there was the challenge of survival. For example, think of the Peloponnesian War War, or the civil wars in Rome.
Second, there was always the challenge of government. The best form of government was always debated. For instance, Rome started off as a monarchy and it was overthrown and it became an Republic. Later on it turned into an Empire.
Third, there was the challenge of food. This is to say that ancient governments always had to procure food for its people. If they did not, there could be riots.
Finally, there was the problem of debt. We see this in the works of Solon, the ancient Greek lawgiver. We also see this in the works of Livy. There is a strong thesis that debt created may revolutions.
According to my book, the societies in the classical period were: Greek and Roman, India, Persian, and China.
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