The Fall of Rome - Thematic

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The ancient world was marked by many successful and great civilizations and their equally great falls from power. Perhaps the most grand of failures in this time was that of the Roman Empire. After the death of Marcus Aurelius, an empire that had stood strong for centuries began its long, painful decline which lasted almost three centuries. No one person could possibly be blamed for this progression of abasement in the empire, but rather the entire Roman population. There were multiple political, economic, military, and social causes of the fall of the Roman Empire.

The early Roman Republic will always be remembered for its revolutionary government. Citizen-elected leaders who represented both the rich and the poor worked together for the well-being of the country as a whole. After the decline of the Empire began, however, politics in Rome became less and less respectable. The emperor, who was at one time chosen fairly and based on merit and potential as a leader, was now being given away on other terms. The Praetorian Guard, who had the job of being the emperor’s private army as well as the selectors of his successor, began to take bribes from prospective emperors. They were essentially selling the throne of Rome to the highest bidder. This kept very able men out of leadership, and contributed a lot to the deterioration of the empire’s political infrastructure. Greed began to take over the elite in Rome, and over the course of 100 years, there were an astounding 37 emperors who entered office. Of them, 25 were assassinated by power-hungry generals and officials looking for the position of emperor. Because of this corruption, many Romans lost faith in their leaders, which lowered the overall quality of Roman government very much.

The economy in Rome was at a point one of the greatest parts of the empire. The city of Rome flourished as it was the Mediterranean’s largest and most wealthy seaport, bringing in goods from all around the world....
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