Humanities Essay

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Roman Emperor Pages: 5 (1830 words) Published: December 7, 2012
At its peak, the Roman Empire was the most powerful force in the world. However, by the 3rd century A.D., the Romans were on fast decline. This fast decline was caused by three drastic changes in their society. The three changes consisted of new leaders controlling the area, Rome becoming spilt up into two sections, and Christianity gaining all of religious control. . Along with these, other achievements were made. The spread of Roman law increased, as so did the trade on the Silk Road. Romans also built dams and drainage systems, as well as developing the arch and dome. The decline is what made Rome so famous, however. If it weren't for this rapid downfall of their society, Rome would not be remembered as the great nation as it is today. Once Roman culture was spread and became widely known, Rome's Republic began to decline. The Roman Empire became larger and almost uncontrollable. More and more slaves were being introduced; therefore there were fewer jobs for the lower part of the social ladder, the Plebians. Because of these slaves, the large gap between rich and poor people widened even more and many civil wars broke out about what is right and what is wrong.

At this time, an emperor by the name of Diocletian took control of Rome. He set out to restore Rome itself by dividing it into two parts, East and West Rome. He, would control the wealthy, West side, personally, and the poverty-stricken, East side would be taken over by a co-emperor. During this time, Diocletian attempted to end Rome's empire's decay and establish fixed prices for goods and services. He made laws that forced farmers to work on special lands, for almost no money, and also required boys to follow his father's occupation. By doing this, Diocletian imagined that there would be a steady production of food and other economic goods. Unfortunately, Diocletian's plans did not work out as planned, and Roman still steadily loss power. The strong belief in Christianity was also a reason the Roman Empire declined. People began to only focus on what the church believed in and what the church, rather than the Roman Republic, accepted. As the Christian church grew, both in strength and in influence, Roman power faded to practically nothing. However, once Rome fell, the Church gladly inherited many of Rome's functions and preserved, as well as adapted and spread, Roman civilization, which soon became the roots of new Western civilizations. If it weren't for Christianity, Rome's customs may not have been told throughout time and may not have be practiced and still learned today. Corrupt Emperors, after Marcus Aurelius' reign, also affected the Roman Empire's decline. Over a 50-year period, 26 emperors ruled over Rome, and only one of them died from natural causes. Not only was this unbelievable, but it also did not help Rome's economy or political society at all. Leaders promoted high taxes that would eventually support the army. The bureaucracy also placed heavy burdens on business people, as well as farmers who worked for the nation, or wealthy landowners. Soon, the government became more oppressive and evolved into an authoritarian form of government. This form of government meant that each and every person in the nation had to favor absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom. Coming after this was dramatic changes in slave labor. The reliance on slave labor discouraged Romans from exploring new technology, also. This left the Romans at the same technological age, with no achievements, for a very long period of time, until Rome lost all of its power. The worst part of the economy, however, was when Rome was split into East and West when it was under attack. There would be no possible way in winning the battle if Rome could never again become "one" with one another. This attack was basically the true and main reason Rome completely declined when it did. The Roman Empire was once the most powerful force in the world. However, after their fast...
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