History Essay: A Comparison Between Roman Society and Medieval Society
There are many distinct differences between Medieval society as illustrated by Achen in 800 AD and Roman society as illustrated by Pompeii in 79 AD, with some similarities. There are many aspects to examine, such as education, religion, tolerance, social classes, materialism, view of time, infra-structure, trade and cities.
The first difference to look at is cities and that they were structured differently. In Pompeii, there was the patrician and plebeians. In Achen, classes were different, although the Christian church viewed everyone as equal. The classes contained and separated lords, knights, peasants and serfs. One thing common between these cities were slaves.
Education is another part of these cultures. In Pompeii, many of the citizens were literate and schooling began at an early age. In Achen, even Charlemange couldn’t read or write, although he made repeated attempts to revive learning. The people who were literate were mainly monks.
Religion is another difference between the cultures. In Pompeii, religion was based on polytheism, whereas in Achen it was monotheistic because most were Christian. From religion comes another aspect, that of tolerance. In Achen, there was no tolerance or acceptance of other religions. In Pompeii, they mostly were accepting.
Materialism consumed people of Pompeii. For example, during the eruption of Vesuvius, citizens could be seen running away carrying all their valuable gold jewelry and belongings. In Achen, there was the Christian belief that you should die a pauper because your afterlife is what mattered.
Afterlife is what affected the people of Achen’s view of time. They were thinking about heaven and their life in eternity. In Pompeii, people were concerned with their every day life and chores.
Another part of the cultures to compare is infra-structure. In Pompeii, they had aqueducts, which was an advanced water piping system and stone roads. In Achen, the most they had was ruins of the Roman civilization. This relates to the affect of trade in the time periods. In Pompeii, trade was bustling because of the easy transportation on roads. For Achen, there was no trade at all. They were most concerned with providing enough food for themselves. This makes another difference between the two places. Pompeii was a busy, fairly-sized city. Achen was merely a village, hardly busy in the least.
There are many more things to compare between Achen and Pompeii. But from what is represented in my essay, it is clear how far from similar Achen and Pompeii are.