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The Causes of the Fall of Rome and why it was Inevitable
Transcript of The Causes of the Fall of Rome and why it was Inevitable
The Causes of the Fall of Rome and why it was Inevitable
Over expansion and over spending on military
During its reign as the worlds foremost super power Rome over expanded and overspent on its military. At its peak the Roman Empire was 2 million square miles and stretched across Western Europe and encompassed parts of North Africa and Asia Minor. As Rome grew in size it was soon unable to support the cost of such a huge empire. Rome began to have economic problems once they stopped expanding as their treasury was no longer benefiting from the conquest and plunder of the wealth of foreign lands. Rome was forced to pay huge sums out of their own pocket to preserve their empire by building large armies, roads and forts to guard their empire. Even with all this spending Rome was no longer able to maintain their size. After Rome stopped expanding they were constantly under attack by barbarian tribes. This constant onslaught of foreign enemies proved to be to much for the Roman Empire to handle as their borders shrunk, gradually at first then rapidly towards the end. This barbarian enemies such as the Vandals and the Visigoths took control of the former Roman territory and eventually they sacked the city of Rome.
Invasions of barbarian tribes
Towards the end of its reign the Roman Empire suffered many invasions by barbarian tribes. Around the year 370 the Huns began to make their first appearance in Eastern Europe. The arrival of the Huns in the East forced the former barbarian inhabitants to migrate westwards towards Rome.In the year 376 the Visigoths crossed the Danube River one of the traditional boundary of the Roman Empire and migrated south. Two years later the Visigoths a barbarian tribe defeated the Romans at the battle of Adrianople which further weakened the already declining empire. In 410 the Visigoths sacked Rome and continued on to Spain. In 406 the Vandals another barbarian tribe crossed the Rhine River another traditional boundary of the Empire. They continued their assault southward to Spain, crossing the Pyrenees Mountains in 409. In 429, the Vandals crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and reached the shores of Africa. They continued attacking along the east coast and re-crossed the Mediterranean to land in Italy. In 455 the Vandals also sacked Rome. In the year 450 Atilla the Hun invaded the Roman province of Gaul and was only defeated by a joint effort between the Romans and the Visigoths at the battle of Chalons and in 452 he invaded Italy which severely crippled the Roman Empire. Finally in 476 the Visigoths under the rule of Odacer attacked Rome and deposed of the last Western Roman Emperor Romulus Agustulus and Odacer became the first king of Italy.
Weakening of the Roman Legions
Rome was renowned for the power of its legions during its peak but during its decline its legions were severely weakened. Rome's legions were at constant civil war with each other, the Roman legions were diluted with barbarians and soldiers became loyal to their commanders instead of the Empire. Towards the end of it's empire Rome's legions were constantly at civil war with each other. Usually the legions fought because they wanted to replace the current emperor with a one they thought would be stronger and a better leader as the emporers towards the end of the Roman empire were characterized by weakness. These unending civil wars left the Roman legions severely depleted of battle hardened and fully trained legionaries which forced them to dilute the legions with untrained and untested reserves who weakened the army. Also Rome was not receiving enough volunteers to join its once proud military and was forced to start paying barbarian mercenaries to join their army and fight battles for them. Unfortunately for the Romans this lead to the barbarians who served in the Roman army to gain intimate knowledge of Roman battle tactics and strategies which is what lead to Roman defeat as the barbarians were always one step ahead. This is what allowed Odacer who was a former soldier to conquer and depose of the last Roman emperor. Finally soldiers became loyal to their commanders instead of being loyal to Rome. Towards the end of the Empire the once glorious and proud Roman legions had gone from serving Rome to serving only their commanders and gold. These soldiers were mainly barbarians who often turned on their Roman leaders at the bidding of their officers who were also usually barbarians who spoke little Latin who wished to seize power.
Why the fall of Rome was inevitable
The Fall of Rome was inevitable for three reason which can be seen in the demise of most great empires. Firstly the Romans expanded their empire to far from their capital, secondly the corruption and political instability and lastly the creation of enemies. The sheer size of their empire made it a logistic nightmare. Messaging could not be carried out fast enough and troops took to long marching from one end to the other to be effective. Even with the costly construction of many roads and brides the Romans could not sustain an empire of this size and magnitude as they did not have the population required to do so. The Romans had become to greedy and payed the price as they lost much of their land and foreign conquest to invaders because they just didn't have enough man power and were not quick enough deploying troops to effectively safeguard their territory from barbarian invaders. Rome was known for its corruption and political instability. Most Roman politicians became corrupt but the worse than the politicians were the Praetorian Guard who assassinated politicians and Caesars frequently and once even auctioned of the leadership of Rome to the highest bidder. Rome became increasingly politically unstable. The people began uprisings all over the Empire over unfair taxes and conquered people began rebelling in hope of freedom. Also in 75 years more than twenty men ruled Rome each usually starting their reign after the murder of their predecessor. Lastly like all great world power Rome had many enemies. Over the course of over 500 years the Romans had savagely conquered and butchered much of the known world leaving a trail of enraged conquered foes in their wake. But as Rome started to falter its enemies saw their opportunity and decided to attack. Rome was constantly pounded by foreign invasions which over time lead to its collapse.
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Over the course of history the world has been shaped by empires. But even these great empires eventually fall and pave the way for new empires to form. One of the greatest empires which ever existed was the Roman Empire, but like all empires which came before and after it Rome fell. One reason why Rome fell was that it was severely crippled and weakened by invading barbarian tribes such as the Huns, Vandals and Visigoths the later two which eventually sacked the city of Rome. Another reason for the fall of the once mighty Roman Empire was over expansion and over spending on military, Rome expanded their territory to much and over spent on their military once they stopped expanding. Roman legions were severely weakened, Rome's legions were at constant civil war with each other, the Roman legions were diluted with barbarians and soldiers became loyal to their commanders instead of the Empire.The Fall of Rome was inevitable for several reasons. Firstly the Romans expanded their empire to far from their capital, secondly the corruption and political instability and lastly the creation of enemies.