The Fall of the Roman Empire

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Fall of the Roman Empire

The Golden Age in Rome, from about 96 to 180 CE, was a time of unparalleled prosperity for the Romans. It was a period of five good emperors, who brought peace and wealth to the Romans. The Romans were influenced by other countries in the Mediterranean, through trade and conquest. Although the Romans were prosperous, their decline began soon after the end of the Golden Age. While many claim that Christianity caused the downfall, the fundamental cause of the collapse was weakening in military, causing the allowance of barbaric invasion and a decline in the economy.

Historians claimed Christianity played key a role in the downfall of Rome. Edward Gibbon, an 18th century historian, believed that Christianity was the source of Rome’s quandary. Gibbon argued "Christianity had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman Empire… The active virtues of society were discouraged." (Gibbon, 1788). Christianity required unfaltering devotion and dedication, averting the attention of the Roman citizens. This took away from the strength that had previously been exerted in running the empire. The Christians also believed in god before the Emperor. This often angered the Emperor and diverted his focus from the concern of the downfall. Christianity united the citizens against the rise of the empire. Though many agreed with Gibbon, their theory was flawed. The Roman military played a large part in Roman society. The military was mainly composed of farmers. The Roman emperors were generals in the military, and led warriors into battle. Many emperors erected arches to promote their victories in the military. For example, Constantine constructed an arch to commemorate his victory over Maxentius in 312.The Romans won most of the battles they fought, and they were successful. They expanded into new areas, gaining new resources. This brought wealth and prosperity to Rome. This also caused the Roman economy to be dependent on the military's...
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