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Both Roman Empire and Han dynasty had to defend their northern boarders against powerful enemies, so both of them had the motivation to build a great wall along their northern boarders.

Roman Empire and Han dynasty had roughly the same size and population. If the Chinese had enough resources and manpower to build a great wall, then the Romans should also have.

Why didn't Roman Empire build a great wall, as the Qin dynasty and Han dynasty did? Did it not make sense for them?

closed as off-topic by Semaphore, Comintern, Mark C. Wallace, Rajib, congusbongus Jan 1 '15 at 13:28

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    When it made sense (geographically & politically), they did. See: Antonine Wall & Hadrian's Wall. – yannis Jan 1 '15 at 6:15
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    As for why walls didn't always make sense, my impression (and this pure speculation on my part) is that the very concept of a great wall along their boarders would have been completely at odds with their view of themselves as natural conquerors. Romans didn't really think of their as having a boarder; instead, they would have called it the frontier which was in a constant state of expansion. By the time you finish the wall, the other side might well have already been incorporated into Rome. Even Hadrian's Wall was really kind of a last resort – David H Jan 1 '15 at 8:41
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    @DavidH I think you meant "border" rather than "boarder". :) – Felix Goldberg Jan 1 '15 at 11:07
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    They actually had a wall in central Europe, with watchtowers, checkpoints and the like. But it was of wood rather than of stone. This is because France and Germany had a lot of forests but little stone available. Good question, I vote to reopen. – Anixx Jan 1 '15 at 19:46
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    Also, with exceptions, the borders of the Empire ran over the Rin and Danube rivers, which are more formidable obstacles than most walls. – SJuan76 Jan 1 '15 at 21:47

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