Reason for the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Decline of the Roman Empire Pages: 2 (747 words) Published: April 2, 2013
Reasons for the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the most powerful empire prior to the middle ages. It is considered to have fallen in 476, when Rome’s last emperor was disposed of. Many Theories have been presented as to why it fell, from decline in morals and social policies to a mass lead poisoning. The real cause of the fall of the Roman Empire though, is political corruption and a failing economy due to over spending and over expansion on the military. The political corruption in Rome had gotten out of control, especially with the Praetorian Guards, the elite soldiers who directly defended the emperor. Sometimes these guards didn’t feel like they would find someone who was offering to pay them more than the emperor, or in some cases, like the story of Sejanus, commander of the Praetorian Guard for Tiberius, had put out an auction for the throne to the highest bidder. This caused a frequent change in untrained emperors, not yet ready to handle the power they had bought. The political system had fallen apart and the emperors had less and less control and spinning Rome into economic declines, plagues, poverty, and an overpopulated empire. This made Rome a giant target, holding the entire known world’s power weak and easily obtainable.

Another one of the main causes for the Fall of the Roman Empire were the constant wars and heavy military spending. Constant warfare required heavy military spending. Money that the empire could not afford to give away. The Roman army became over-stretched and needed more and more soldiers, but again, more soldiers meant even more money. The barbarians, who had been conquered many times, and other members from foreign conquered territories were allowed to join the army. This led to Barbarian knowledge of the Roman Military tactics. Men who had once served for the barbarians were now playing both sides of the field, staying true to their homeland and helping out their now “enemy”. The knowledge that...
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