The Development Of Leaders In Ancient China, Rome, And Persia
JOEL M. DiCICCO
PAQ, Vol. 27 No. 1, (2003)
Each society holds a unique perspective of leadership and the goal of
education in producing leaders. Education has played a critical role in
developing leaders in both ancient China (Feudal Age, 1500 BCE – 221
BCE and the First Empire 221 BCE – 221 CE) and ancient Rome
(Republican Rome, 509 BCE – 27 BCE and the early Roman Empire,
27 BCE – 285 CE) as the production of leaders was the primary purpose
of education under each regime. Ancient Chinese educational
philosophy was single-mindedly geared toward enlightening students to
the wisdom of the ages because they believed that, through this
enlightenment, great leaders were created. The ancient Roman system,
in contrast, moved from an initial disdain for formal teaching to valuing
schools of rhetoric and law in support of the Roman conception of the
orator as the ideal leader. The author concludes that a uniformity of
mission, culture, and leadership education contributed to the longevity
of the Chinese system of government just as dissonance between these
elements contributed to the eventual collapse of the Roman Empire.
Comparing the above with the Persian system of education for leadership,
the author uses the history of ancient Persia (6000 BCE – 651
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