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

The Fall Of The Western Roman Empire

1560 words - 6 pages

In 410 CE, the city of Rome was sacked by the Visigoths led by the chieftain Alaric. By 476, the largest and longest lasting empire the world had ever seen and will ever see again had collapsed. How did this happen? This sudden collapse was really a 300 year process that can be explained by three features of the empire during and after the reign of the five good emperors . The first and most significant feature, was the constant murder and replacement of the emperor and his government, "The previous eighty-four years had seen just five emperors; during the next 104 , there were twenty-nine" . The second cause was the loss of the loyal citizenry that had made the empire so resilient to invaders, "Another cause of disorder and weakness was intercity warfare. Owing to Rome's centuries old policy of 'divide and rule,' feelings of mutual hatred persisted among neighboring [sic] cities not only preventing co-operation but on occasions leading to intercity mob warfare." The final cause was the invasion of Eastern Europe by the Huns, lead by Attila, forcing three different barbarian tribes into Roman territories.The constant civil war and regicide in which the Romans were engaged caused an incoherent policy in all regions and allowed the empire to reach a state of decay unseen before. As stated in the introduction, after the reign of the five good emperors, the empire went through a period with an average of one emperor every 3 and a half years. As Isaac states, "[I}t has been calculated that between 133 [BCE] and 394 [CE], on average, one year in every seven was given over to civil war." A prime example of typical Roman government at this time is embodied by Kamm in this statement, "There followed a similar ominous pattern of events such as had unfolded after the death of Nero. Commodus was succeeded by Publius Helvius Pertinax, prefect of Rome and a former governor of Britain. He was murdered three months later by the imperial guard, who offered the empire for sale to the highest bidder in terms of imperial hand-outs. The winner was Didius Salvius Julianus, an elderly senator, but there were three other serious contenders out in the field, each with several legions behind him." This seemingly careless approach to peace meant that there was no real attempt, for over 100 years, to better the empire or to improve its defences against its enemies. This meant that, when the Empire finally had a decent leader, it required an incredibly quick build-up of a very large military force to hold off the barbarian forces. "[D]uring the late empire [specifically under Diocletian] the ratio of soldiers to civilians was at least as high [meaning this is a ratio which is generous in its estimate of the number of civilians] as 1 to 150. [In comparison, during] the reign of Francis I, France maintained the same ratio for about a year, but the burden was considered too great to be safely borne for any length of time, and in relation to the population the national income of...

Find Another Essay On The Fall of the Western Roman Empire

The Fall of the Roman Empire

1800 words - 8 pages Italy. This essentially ended Roman line and rule in the Area(Fsmitha). People, such as the ones in UsHistory.com, suggest that when, Constantine the Great, split up the Empire and moved the capital to Constantinople, that it accelerated the fall of the Empire. This did not do the Western Half of the Empire many favors. Enacting this move did make the Western Half of the Empire vulnerable to attack from Germanic Tribes, and less prosperous(The

The fall of the roman empire

2316 words - 9 pages In the year 476, the last Roman emperor was deposed. Over the previous two centuries, Barbarian invasions had brought the once-mighty Rome to its knees, and this is taken as the final fall of the Roman Empire in Western Europe. What are the political, economical and social implications of this event, and to what extent does it constitute a true turning-point in history?In the period immediately after 476 it is possible to see the structure of

The fall of the Roman Empire

1564 words - 6 pages The Fall of the Roman Empire could be linked to many different aspects:army,citizens,barbarianism. Personally I think that all these reasons are linked and headed by the decline of the Roman emperor. The deficient Emperor role led to the lacking military response to invasions,civil war and peasant uprisings.ROMAN EMPIRE AND ITS EMPEROREver since the adoptive system which was installed by Marcus Aurelius was never reinstalled after his death

The Fall Of The Roman Empire

902 words - 4 pages The fall of the Western Roman Empire was caused by economic, social, and political problems, as well as foreign invasions, slavery, and religious disputes. Being one of the most important moments in time, as well as one of the most important civilizations ever in creation, Rome is still questioned today as to its fall. Numerous reasons can support the fall of Rome, but all are still in question as to their importance. Though there are many

The Fall of the Roman Empire

1290 words - 5 pages Empire in the West are also the most complex. In the book The Fall of the Roman Empire, by Peter Heather, he contends that there are many factors, including issues of money and manpower, which produce military limitations and culminate in the Roman army’s inability to effectively repel invading barbarians at the frontier. The Western Roman economy was already stretched to its limit in the 4th and 5th Centuries C.E. due to continual conflict and

The Fall of the Roman Empire

1091 words - 4 pages SegrestThe Fall of the Roman EmpireThough it started as a Republic, Rome quickly grew into one of the largest empires the world has ever seen. It flourished for over a thousand years, with a population of over seventy million people at its peak. The Roman Empire conquered over forty modern-day countries; this included the majority of Europe, small portions of North Africa, and the Middle East. However, even Rome had its issues. In 476 CE, the

The Fall of the Roman Empire

1933 words - 8 pages administration of the empire, and it soon caused the empire to separate into eastern and western segments.Rome housed over 1 million inhabitants, most of which was poor and lived packed into apartment houses near the center of the city. The Roman emperors provided free food to hundreds of thousands and sponsored an endless series of games to avoid the discontent that would endanger the rule of the emperor. Local elites often used their own resources

The Fall of the Roman Empire - 1147 words

1147 words - 5 pages in the Eastern Empire provided continuing support while cities in the Western Empire were newer and weaker. When these cities came under pressure, much of the population fled to the countryside. (Microsoft 5)Germanic tribes also played a big role in the downfall of the Roman Empire. They were strong enough that through successive attacks they forced the people of Rome to fall further and further back. Microsoft states this by saying, "As Germanic

After the Fall of the Roman Empire

1051 words - 4 pages teaching methods of the Greeks, Romans, and Asians and made incredible advances in the fields of science and mathematics. Also during this time another way of life and culture begin arising in medieval Europe.After the Western Roman Empire collapsed many Germanic tribes established several small kingdoms in Europe and began plundering the European countryside. The most powerful of the tribes in Europe were a small band of Franks who were led by a

The Fall of the Roman Empire - 598 words

598 words - 2 pages senate first then taking it to the Plebian Assembly (Tiberius broke this tradition). When they killed Gaius, they weakened the government. The senate broke up in the evening after Caesar made his proposal. All who belonged to that order were summoned by Pompey.There are certain individuals who are at fault of the fall of the Roman Republic. The main ones are Pompey, Julius Caesar and Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Lucius Cornelius Sulla went to Italy to

Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

1094 words - 4 pages The Romans were on one of the greatest people of all. They had power, wealth, and even a half of the world. They built one of the strongest and vast empire that world has ever seen. They came from nothing to something awesome. It started of as a city and ended up being one of the greatest empire of all. This essay is going to focus on the Roman Empire from the rise to the fall and the government, architecture, mythology, Family Structure, and

Similar Essays

Fall Of The Roman Empire Essay

1420 words - 6 pages relationship between the two regions. Crumble of the western empire and fall of the Roman Empire The decline of the Roman Empire in the western part took place over a large number of years. However, the final decline of this empire came because of the worsening of the internal problems that existed in the Roman Empire. Due to the separation of the western empire from the wealthier eastern empire, the region was more prone to invasions and attacks. As

Fall Of The Roman Empire Essay

1786 words - 8 pages Arunav ThakurDiscuss the reasons behind the fall of the Roman EmpireThe Roman Empire was one of the most powerful empires in the history of mankind. However, the mighty empire of Rome has fallen. From 31 BC to 476 A.D the Roman Empire went from being the most powerful annuity of the Mediterranean to nothing. Succession, military, economic conflict, ethnic issues and barbarism were the five major factors that contributed to the downfall and

Fall Of The Roman Empire Essay

551 words - 2 pages When discussing the Roman Empire one of the most popular topics is how this mighty empire fell. There are two main views about how the Roman Empire began to fall apart, some believe that it was because of inner strife that occurred in the empire, and weakened the empire so that it could be torn apart from the out side. On the other hand some scholars believe that the Roman Empire crumbled because of out side forces that stressed the empire to

The Fall Of The Roman Empire 819 Words

819 words - 4 pages The fall of the Roman Empire happened after a extensive history of power. History’s biggest empire collapsed after about 1000 years. This occurred because Rome changed for the worst during the end of its time of power. Rome had 147 emperors throughout its time in control. There were also the good and corrupt times of Rome which all happened before the unexpected fall of the biggest empire in history. There are precise reasons for why the Roman