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The LONG Road to

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by

Jesse Conant

on 7 August 2014

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Transcript of The LONG Road to

HISTORIANS HAVE DEBATED WHEN AND HOW THE ROMAN EMPIRE ACTUALLY "FELL" OR "DECLINED"
THERE WERE SEVERAL MAJOR FACTORS THAT DID LEAD TO THE EMPIRE WEAKENING, AND ULTIMATELY COLLAPSING...LET'S TALK ABOUT THOSE!
BARBARIANS!!!
-Germanic tribes to the north
-Foreign invasions
-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"

-Excessive taxation
-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
Other Ideas!
-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
-anemia
-aggressive and odd behavior

-Global climate change impacted Romans ability to farm the land effectively and reliably
The LONG Road to
ROMAN DECLINE
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
Full transcript