The Dark Ages
Ancient Rome was the most feared, wealthiest, well designed empire of its era. Many people felt like Rome was everlasting and it could withstand any threat posed against Rome, but then the unthinkable happened. The mighty Roman Empire had fallen. Possibly the biggest threat to Rome was Rome itself. With Rome falling, this led to the Dark Ages, which influence has been imperative to the advancement of modern day society. Without the fall of Rome, medieval way of life would have prolonged which would have delayed the advancement in technology, science, literacy, culture, art and governmental advancements, but many of its values still live in society today. One of the most important lessons the fall of Rome taught us, was that even the biggest most feared empires aren’t indestructible. The Dark Ages and Renaissance era rebuilding process was significant to the development of future civilizations. The Roman Empire was known for its extensive political system and strong military base. Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor, laid the building blocks of Ancient Rome with a strong political base and a fearsome military power which lead to Ancient Rome’s great success. Augustus Caesar was also able to reform Roman laws, build a defense to withstand enemy invasion, astonishing revenue reform, building the Ara Pacis, and he is also credited to building Rome’s first Pantheon. Although Augustus had such strong military power, he was far from a bloodthirsty emporer. His estimated 50 plus years of emperor, Augustus believed in peace and prosperity. One of Augustus Caesar’s famous quotes was “I found a Rome of bricks; I leave to you one of marble”. After Caesar’s successful reign, Ancient Rome changed through various emperors such as Tiberius (14-37 AD), Caligula (37-41 AD), and Claudius. Caligula was the most unstable of the Roman emperors and was the first to be assassinated. Caligula had drained the Roman Empire of its money with bizarre building projects. The most bizarre of Caligula building projects was when he hired hundreds of Roman merchants ships to construct a 2-mile floating bridge across the Bay of Bauli so he could he could spend two days galloping back and forth across it (History). Claudius reign was a successful one with the expansion Britain due to its wealth. Then there was Nero, one of the most scandalous emperors from the Roman Empire. Nero is best known for his political murders and persecution of Christians. Nero’s mother Agrippina had married, at the time emperor Claudius in 53 AD after arranging her second husband to be killed. After Claudius had died from poison mushrooms, Nero became emperor in 54 AD at the age of 17. After years of being emperor, peers sought out for Nero to become his own man and stop ruling under his mother. His mother turned against him and tried to get her stepson Brittanicus to become the heir to the throne, and both died nearly instantly after. In 62 Nero married his soon to be killed wife. Roman historians Tacitus stated Nero killed his wife Poppea with rage with a single kick to her belly (History). Nero also had his advisor commit suicide after a conspiracy to assassinate Nero. Nero soon later committed suicide when his arrest was looming. Nero was the final emperor of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. The Roman Empire was one of the most admired civilizations of their era. There are many theories of why exactly Rome fell, but nobody quite knows the exact reason. Edward Gibbons a historian claimed the rise of Christianity to be the main reason for the fall of Ancient Rome. Edward Gibbons stated many Roman’s started to believe life after death would be easier to live with than the tough military they had grown accustomed too. He believed Christianity weakened the people and military, thus putting trust into barbarians to protect them, who ultimately turned on the Romans and destroying their cities. According to Gibbons theory, after the...
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