Roman Barbarians And Christians Essay

1331 words - 5 pages

Roman Barbarians and Christians

The Middle Ages came about as a result of the fusion of what remained from the Roman Empire, the indigenous 'barbaric' peoples of Europe and the rise of Christian society. Each one of these elements played a major role in the development of the medieval society. The Roman Empire had been the authority in Europe for more than 400 years when its collapse in the west finally came about. As a result of this 400+ year span of time that Rome dominated the region, it has lasting effects on the peoples of Western Europe after its collapse. The 'barbaric' peoples of Europe, be it the Goths, the Visigoths, the Franks, or the Huns, or any more in a series of indigenous European peoples from the North of Rome, at some level filled the power void in the west after Rome's collapse. For the years between the collapse of Rome and the rise of Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire, these barbaric peoples controlled Western Europe. The rise of Christian culture is taking place at the same time that Rome is declining. Whereas Rome was the thing that bound the peoples of Western Europe together during its rule, Christianity becomes the unifying element of Europe after Rome's fall. A combination of the aforementioned three elements created what historians today call the Middle Ages.
Rome can be classified as an empire in a stage of decline and then eventual collapse after the second century ACE. Rome experienced a civil war during the 3rd century and this nearly caused an internal collapse of the Roman Empire. It took a strong revivalist movement from internal Rome to bring about peace and restore order to the collapsing empire. As a result of this civil war and the reform needed to restore order to the Empire, Rome had undergone a series of changes that played a major role in the demise of the Western Empire. The first major change was the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Empire, which did not aid in the collapse of Rome. The second major change was a new pattern of government and new ways of economic life. The 5th century saw more radical change, which was met with barbarian invasions on Rome's borders. Rome, as a result of these Barbarian invasions, finally collapsed in or around 476 ACE. Rome's influence was still greatly felt by the peoples of Europe after its collapse. Rome was the first structured government ever to be put into place in what is present day Great Britain, France and Spain. Rome was the first organized form of high civilization for most all peoples of Western Europe. Rome is also responsible for the rise of Christianity, under the Emperors Diocletian and Constantine, and more so under Symmachus. Rome saw a decline in trade as the Western Empire neared its end and as a result of this decline in trade, the peasant peoples of the Empire became more dependent on what they could produce on their own; thus the rise of a rural based farming economy. Rome's long drawn...

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