Romans may have learned from Chinese Great Wall: archaeologists

December 22, 2005

The construction of the Roman Limes was quite possibly influenced by
the concept of the Great Wall in China, though the two great buildings
of the world are far away from each other, said archaeologists and

Although there is no evidence that the two constructions had any direct
connections, indirect influence from the Great Wall on the Roman Limes
is certain, said Visy Zsolt, a professor with the Department of Ancient
History and Archaeology of the University of Pecs in Hungary.

Visy made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua as he attended an
international conference in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi
Province recently, and his opinion was shared by some Chinese and
foreign scholars.

The Roman Limes are Europe’s largest archaeological monument,
consisting of sections of the border line of the Roman Empire at its
greatest extent in the 2nd century AD.

All together, the Limes stretch over 5,000 kilometers from the Atlantic
coast of northern Britain, through Europe to the Black Sea, and from
there to the Red Sea and across North Africa to the Atlantic coast.

Vestiges include the remains of the ramparts, walls and ditches, close
to 900 watchtowers, 60 forts, and civilian settlements which
accommodated tradesmen, craftsmen and others who served in the military.

The long distance and the great number of different peoples and
cultures in Central Asia made any connections between the two ancient
Roman and Chinese empires almost impossible.

However, curiosity and the challenge of covering great distances and seeing remote lands excited people in the past, Visy said.

“Indeed, more information about each other could be gained exactly in
times as the one or the other became stronger and could start some
programs toward the other,” Visy said.

As for the Roman Empire, the silk trade started during the reign of
Augustus. The trade became intensive both on the Silk Route and in the

The Chinese chief commander Ban Chao led an army up the Caspian Sea in
the 1st century AD and sent a delegation to the west to get information
about Rome (called Daqin in Chinese).

Visy noted that there are a lot of similarities between the Roman Limes
and the Great Wall. Both empires wanted to launch a strong barrier
against “barbarians” and to prevent their invasions. In doing so, the
Han Dynasty (226 BC-220 AD) built a continuous wall, but Rome built a
wall only in special cases.

Source: HNN


One Response to “Romans may have learned from Chinese Great Wall: archaeologists”

  1. brock Says:

    Very Very nice information here… Thanks

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