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The LONG Road to
Transcript of The LONG Road to
THERE WERE SEVERAL MAJOR FACTORS THAT DID LEAD TO THE EMPIRE WEAKENING, AND ULTIMATELY COLLAPSING...LET'S TALK ABOUT THOSE!
-Germanic tribes to the north
-Most discussed aspect of Roman decline:
-Asian group called Huns invade North and Central Europe
-Forces Germanic groups closer to Rome
-300s-early 400s CE Germanic groups invading further into Italian lands
-410 CE King Alaric sacked Rome
-476 CE German leader, Odoacer removes the sitting emperor of Rome...city is plundered...GAME OVER
$$$$ WEAKENING ECONOMY $$$$
-Over reliance on slave labor...no more new people to conquer, that meant less people to become slaves
-Too much war...wars costs A LOT OF money
-Widening gap between wealthy and poor
-"BREAD AND CIRCUSES"
-burdens Roman middle-class (farmers, businesses)
-farmers leave their farms for large estates (almost like being a serf)
CORRUPTION and POOR LEADERSHIP
-Over one 50-year period, Rome had 26 emperors!!
-constant civil war and unrest for who is going to lead
-one man would take over, get assassinated-the process would repeat
-Praetorian Guard (emperor's bodyguards) killed their emperor then auctioned the job to the highest bidder!
-Roman senate also became more and more corrupt
-Romans lost the pride and loyalty to their ideals as well as their system of law and order
LOSS OF "TRADITIONAL" VALUES
-Foreigners filling ranks of Roman legions (were not loyal to Rome)
-a lot of Germanic (Goths) would fight for treasure and maybe their commanding officer...
-these "soldiers" did not care about Rome
-Roman polytheism (belief in multiple gods) was being surpassed by Christianity and monotheism (belief in one god)
TOO MUCH EMPIRE
-Rome expands too far (geographic boundary)
-Effective communication between Roman
outposts and the capital is not happening
-Could not keep enough healthy, able troops at all of their borders
-New technologies and ideas were becoming fewer and fewer
ROME MOVES EAST...
-284 CE, Emperor DIOCLETIAN divided the empire into two halves (Western Empire in Milan and Eastern Empire in BYZANTIUM)
-Greek speaking Eastern Empire becomes more powerful, wealthy, influential
-312 CE Emperor CONSTANTINE grants greater toleration to Christians, he actually converts on his deathbed
-CONSTANTINE moves the capital of Roman Empire from Rome to BYZANTIUM...gets renamed...CONSTANTINOPLE
-This becomes the BYZANTINE EMPIRE...ROMAN EMPIRE Part II in many ways
-Some historians think that lead poisoning may have contributed to Rome’s decline:
-Roman winemakers used lead pots to boil crushed grapes, the empire’s aqueducts carried water through lead pipes which lead to...
-low birth rates
-aggressive and odd behavior
-Global climate change impacted Romans ability to farm the land effectively and reliably
The LONG Road to
GROWTH OF CHRISTIANITY
-EDICT of NANTES in 313 CE legalized Christianity
-State religion by 380 CE
-Ended centuries of religious persecution, but also weakens "Roman" ideals, tradition, religious concepts
-Polytheism v. Monotheism
-Popes and other Christian leaders took increased political roles throughout Rome