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The Fall of the Empire

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Eugene Earnshaw

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of The Fall of the Empire

The Fall of the Empire

Not These Kind of Goths

These are Goths

GOTHS: 376
Goths Sack Rome in 410
Goths Settle in South of France in 418 with Imperial permission
376: The Battle of Hadrianople

Goths gain permission to enter the empire.
Then they fight with Roman troops.
Emperor Valens moves to attack them
His co-emperor Gratian is delayed
Valens engages alone, loses catastrophically, and is killed
405-408: Vandals, Alans, and Suebi
Just Vandals: 422-439
409-412: Vandals, Alans, and Suebi
Causes of the Fall:
Internal Limitations plus external shock
Internal Limitations:
Technological:
Slow communication
Immobility of Armies
Organisational:
Limited tax base
Decentralised command
Succession problems
Valentinian III
– Western Roman Emperor from 425-455. Came to the throne at age 6. By the time he came of age, his chief general Aetius was the effective ruler of the empire, which continued until Aetius' death.
Aetius:
Effectively the ruler of the Roman west during Valentinian's reign. Managed to re-establish Roman authority over large parts of Gaul (France) and Spain. Defeated the armies of Attila the Hun on two separate occasions, in 451 and 452. Tried to arrange for his sonGaudentius to marry Valentinian's daughter Placidia.
Petronius Maximus:
An aristocratic Roman Senator who had filled several important posts under Aetius' authority. Crowned himself emperor in 455.
Heraclius:
A eunuch, the Chief of the Sacred Bedchamber – in other words, the person in charge of the Emperor's personal staff – maids, hairdressers, masseurs, etc.
Optila and Thraustila
: Two members of the emperor's personal gaurds, friends of Aetius.
Geiseric:
The king of the Vandals, in 455 reigning in Carthage over extensive territories in what had been Roman North Africa.

A Year in Roman Politics: 455
External Shock: The Huns
A nomadic tribe of herders from the eurasian steppe.

Fought from horseback using asymmetrical compound bows.

Their arrival caused the Goths to flee across the border into Roman territory in 376.

Their relocation to Hungary probably caused the invasion of the Vandals, Alans, and Suebi in 306.

By the 430s, the Huns were a major menace that threatened both the Eastern and Western Empire.

This threat prevented Rome from dealing with the invaders already within their borders – who had attacked Rome in order to escape the Huns.

After Attila's death in 453, the Hunnish empire collapsed.
376 - 382: Theodosius can't decisively win war, makes a deal with goths to settle in Roman territory
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