This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Social And Economic Decline In The Western Roman Empire

877 words - 4 pages

By the fourth century, the Roman Empire had developed exponentially with significant growth in cultural, social, and political activity. Leading up to the Battle of Adrianople of 378 AD, the Empire suffered significant division and its once uniform body began to splinter. After multiple attempts to unify the empire, the East and the West grew increasingly independent. The battle proved a critical turning point in the prominence of the West significantly foreshadowing its future. While the declining reputation of Rome was apparent long before the battle itself, it was clear that the Roman defeat at Adrianople significantly contributed to the Western Empire’s gradual disintegration as the dominance of the East thrived.
Nearing the fourth century, the Roman Empire had experienced a teetering struggle for uniformity under the rule of Diocletian and the tetrarchy. Though Diocletian’s goals had been to strengthen the empire, more division resulted and as a result, the Western Empire suffered. This back and forth transition in leadership left the Empire in political disarray. The attempts to assimilate by Germanic tribes into Roman territory also played a significant role in this chaos. In addition, the economy suffered considerably. An increased inflation resulted from “Diocletian’s attempts to establish a reliable currency” (Kagan 154). Romans struggled to pay their taxes, and subsequently grew resentful of the emperor. The economic differences that existed between the more rural West and commercial East further distanced the two empires from the others affairs. This separation continued beyond the Battle of Adrianople and the empire found itself in a spiraling state of turmoil.
The Battle of Adrianople served as the vehicle by which the decline of the Western Roman Empire continued. In order to escape persecution from the Huns, Germanic tribes requested the opportunity to settle in Roman territory. As the two mingled, conflict arose and the Goths revolted. The conflict grew and the forces met at Adrianople. The Roman army numbered 30,000 as the Germanic tribes numbered nearly 60,000 (Barbarians). The Western emperor, Valens, acted in haste attacking the Goths head on using little strategy. The Romans ill-prepared army was defeated, losing two thirds of its men and even its emperor.
The Roman loss at Adrianople proved very significant to the decline of the Western Empire. Being such a powerful empire, the inconsistency of leadership left the social and economic order in a state of jeopardy. “…in the course of fifty years some twenty-three emperors succeeded to the imperial throne” and with so many emperors, there was little sincere leadership for the success of the Empire (Barbarians 5). As Valens rose to power, he quickly became unpopular in the eyes of the...

Find Another Essay On Social and Economic Decline in the Western Roman Empire

The Decline of the Holy Roman Empire

3239 words - 13 pages legal basis of the 1555 Peace of Augsburg…” R. Po-chia Hsia describes in Social Discipline in the Reformation: Central Europe 1550-1750 (176). All parties were to recognize the Peace of Augsburg in 1555; princes would determine the religion of their state. Territories were redistributed, Calvinism was officially acknowledged and the concept of sovereignty was introduced (“Treaty of Westphalia”). The Holy Roman Empire, fragmented into hundreds of now

The Roman Empire and Its Influence on Western Civilization

1503 words - 6 pages The Roman Empire and Its Influence on Western Civilization      Rome's vast empire lasted for an amazing one thousand-year reign. Half of it referred to as the republic, and the other as the empire. However, after its fall in 5oo-a.d. Rome has still remained in existence through its strong culture, architecture, literature, and even religion (Spielvogel 175). Even after its disappearance as a nation Rome left behind a legacy that will never

The Fall of the Western Roman Empire

1560 words - 6 pages thousands of soldiers. This natural rebelliousness could possibly explain why the Roman government became so dysfunctional when it split into the East and the West. This unsatisfactory government was especially apparent in the west, as the Eastern Emperor managed/was forced to become leader of the whole Empire three times, while the Western Emperor did not step up once. This circumstance, besides indicating a frightful lack of strong leadership in the

Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

1894 words - 8 pages becoming a lost paradigm so quickly. The argument should not be solely based on whether or not virtue matters, but on how the characteristics of a leader, coupled with the military and economic prosperity of a state, led to the decline. Gibbon focuses largely on the social themes of barbarism and Christianity, and in doing so, gives a humanist approach as the reason for the end of the Roman Empire instead of analyzing all the pieces. Gibbon begins

Asnwer these Questions: Define "defense-in-depth" and "barbarization." In your opinion, what role did both of these, as incorporated into the Roman army, have on the fall of the Western Roman Empire?

686 words - 3 pages rather, the execution of the strategy. For example, the drastic decline in the emperor's ability to conjure and commit military forces to the frontiers and once committed the lack of trained, disciplined, and shock (via psychologically--the Roman armies had been consistently defeated in skirmishes between the late third and early firth centuries) infantry made the overall basics of the defense-in-depth null and void. The strategy was also further

Church and State in the Roman Empire

827 words - 3 pages Church and State in the Roman Empire As most of the civilizations studied so far in Western Civilization – the Romans were a religious people. From the rise of the Roman Empire to the fall of its institutions, there was always a backdrop of religious involvement in the affairs of the state and people. Polytheism seems to reign throughout the majority of the Empire. Although the book states very little about the religious affairs of

Assese the Military and Social Roles of Centurions in Roman Society during the Early Empire

1230 words - 5 pages Under the principate the career of a centurion played an important role in military, and social aspects of Roman society. The centurions formed the backbone of the Roman army and provided a limited avenue of social mobility. According to modern scholars L. Keppie and R. Alston, the centurionate were the highest positions an ordinary soldier can aspire. Epigraphic evidence also suggests that ambitious equestrians used the centurionate as a

The Decline of Education: Social and Economic Inequality

1192 words - 5 pages In the year 2020, Kevin Hanley works as a janitor. By 2050, his son is a beggar on the street. How did this happen to Kevin Hanley’s son? This story was just a fictional one, titled “The Fable of the Lazy Teenager” by Ben Stein. It is about the decline of America through the degradation of the American educational system. If the educational system fails, than we will become no better than our ancestors in that we will have no education, and

Mercy in the Roman Empire

738 words - 3 pages Throughout all of Roman history, the basic Roman principle has always been that no mercy is to be shown. By A.D. 300, an emperor’s primary job was to defend their Empire from barbarians, and all other affairs, including the choosing of emperors, laid in the hands of the Imperial Guard. What brought down the fall of the Empire? It was not the greed, incompetence, brutality, or insanity of many emperors. Rather, it was the showing of

Women in the Roman Empire

1819 words - 8 pages .. In order to answer this, this essay will primarily be focusing on the reign of Augustus and the women in his life. It will compare them to notable women in their near future, and discuss how as a whole these women show the lifestyles and treatments of the upper class women in the Roman empire. The Reign of Augustus Caesar The first era of the roman empire is traditionally known as beginning with the assent to power of Gaius Octavius, also

Rome and the Roman Empire

2580 words - 10 pages Rome and the Roman Empire      As the story goes, Rome was founded by a pair of feuding brothers who were allegedly raised by wolves. Romulus and Remus. From that point on, the Roman Empire would play a pivotal role in the development of both Eastern and Western society alike. Its influence can still be noticed. The Empire bought us such inventions as aqueducts, elevators, and innovations like urban planning. This essay will discuss the

Similar Essays

"Discuss The Reasons For The Decline And Ultimate Fall Of The Western Roman Empire, Evaluating Internal And External Influences."

1712 words - 7 pages Greece and Gaul (later France). Then in 476 A. D. the Germanic general Odacer or Odovacar overthrew the last of the Roman Emperors, Augustulus Romulus. From then on the western part of the Empire was ruled by Germanic chieftain. Roads and bridges were left in disrepair and fields left untilled. Pirates and bandits made travel unsafe. Cities could not be maintained without goods from the farms, trade and business began to disappear. And Rome in the

Edward Gibbon's The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

876 words - 4 pages The decline of the Roman Empire has been the subject of intense scholarly research. Yet the causes of the decline are still the subject of vigorous debate. The classic work on the collapse is the massive text titled The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, written in 1776 by the English historian Edward Gibbon. Over two hundred theories have been advanced to explain the decline. Despite many areas for conjecture regarding the decline of the

Notes On The Roman Empire During Constantine, His Successors And The Decline Of The Roman Empire

618 words - 2 pages king•Eastern part of empire survived until 1453 and is what we call Byzantine empireTHE DECLINE AND FALL OF Rome•Saint Augustine one of the first church father, wrote a book called “Rome’s fall in the city of god”•It was an analysis of Rome’s fall•Since then many writer wrote about the decline of Rome•There is no major reason why Rome declinedECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS•Rome suffered an economic

The Decline Of The Roman Empire

715 words - 3 pages The fall of Rome The Roman Empire stood for nearly five hundred years as world's strongest empire and is believed to have fallen sometime around 467 A.D. There are many reasons that lead to the Western Roman Empire decline. In this paper I will discuss what issues lead to this great empire's demise. The first proposed idea for the collapse of the Roman Empire is when Germanic migrations started, along with the aggressive westward movement of