Fall of Roman Empire

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Byzantine Empire Pages: 3 (1190 words) Published: November 18, 2011
The Fall of the Roman Empire
The Ancient Roman empire was one of the most prominent and successful societies of its time period. By the end of their reign, the Romans had conquered almost all of the Mediterranean including parts of present day Europe, Asia, and Africa. Rome was at its strongest during the rule of Augustus Caesar, this time was known as the “Pax Romana” or Roman peace. It wasn’t until later, when Emperor Trajan took over in about 98 C.E. that the Empire reached its peak. After this, the Empire became too large to be governed in unity, so Emperor Diocletian (284-305) decided to divide it into the Western and Eastern Empires. At the same time, Christianity was diffusing throughout the Empire, and had become too large for the Roman officials to control. Previously they would persecute anyone who claimed to be a Christian inside of the Roman Empire, but now they were unable to do so. Not only did the internal stability decrease in a religious aspect, but an economical aspect as well. The separation of the social classes began to grow causing inflation to occur when Diocletian tried to compensate by creating more money. By now the Empire was instable and vulnerable to outside attacks on its land. Many factors contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire including division of the empire, internal instability, and foreign intruders. After Emperor Trajan came to power the Roman Empire was divided into multiple kingdoms within the newly created Western Roman Empire, and its Eastern counterpart; the Byzantine Empire. Due to the separation of power throughout the two empires, there often was tension between them and this lead to civil war outbreaks. Civil wars were common, and often lead to disruption of power which brought to light a new Emperor. The costs that they created were devastating; from the soldiers’ lives lost, to the money they spent on weapons and armor, and the homeland protection they risked when fighting. These battles affected...

Bibliography: Gibbon, Edward. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 1955
 Heather, P. J. The Fall of the Roman Empire: a New History of Rome and the Barbarians. New York: Oxford UP, 2006
MacMullen, Ramsay. Corruption and the Decline of Rome. New Haven: Yale UP, 1988
Tacitus, Cornelius. “Tacitus: The Histories Books I-V”. The Internet Classics Archive. The Histories. <http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/histories.5.v.html>, [October 2, 2011]
[ 1 ]. Edward Gibbon, The Decline and The Fall of The Roman Empire, 432
[ 2 ]. Ramsay MacMullen, Corruption and the Decline of Rome, 79
[ 3 ]. Ibid 145
[ 4 ]. Peter J. Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians, 328
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