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The causes for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire

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Introduction

´╗┐The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire By Sarah Ruhomauly Question: Describe and account for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire in the west from A.D.198 to A.D. 476. Rome had grown to be a vast empire. It united countries from Spain to Syria and Scotland to Egypt in the Pax Romana, in a period of peace never seen before in Europe. However, no man-established government can last forever, and Rome fell, the whole empire, but the city of Rome in the West Empire. The fall of the city of Rome, the capital in the west of the Empire, was an event that took place gradually throughout many chaotic and corrupted years in the growth of the Empire. Its good emperors had built it and made it strong. However, its crazy emperors, the political infighting, the corruption, the pagan ways of the people, and the fatal invasion of the barbarian Germans and other tribes undermined the city. The whole of the Roman Empire itself did not fall, but the Western Empire, with the city of Rome did fall to the barbarian German invaders led by Odoacer in 476 B.C. ...read more.

Middle

They forgot them and also forgot about ?Senatus PopulusQue Romanus.? The common men, who nearly all used to work as farmers, went to war for the empire and when they came back they noted that they had been dislodged from their farms by slave owning aristocrats. They and their families were forced to move to the city, and there they lived in utter poverty. They lived mainly doing menial jobs and entertaining themselves in the Circus Maximus. They were called proletariats because they were such a poor and low class and owned no property of there own. ?The proletariat are idle, lazy, and devote their whole life to drink, gambling, brothels, shows, and chariot races. Their temple, their dwelling, their meeting place, in fact, the center of their desires is the Circus Maximus. They talk of nothing else.? (Ammianus Marcellinus) All these things were bringing the city down, the Praetorian Guards ruled the empire, killing the emperors they did not like and raising their own, and Rome was ravaged by a fifty year long civil war and Rome needed an emperor who could rule with an iron hand. ...read more.

Conclusion

Forced to live in the city, they lived in a precarious environment and survived by doing menial and various jobs. They also spent their time in the Circus Maximus. A few emperors, for example Diocletian and Constantine, came and tried to improve things, but the empire was already destroyed. Diocletian brought his reforms. He tried to separate power to make it more efficient. He, however, also made mistakes which served more into the undermining of the empire. Constantine united the empire under one religion. This kept the empire for a little while, but after some time the same things happened over and over again, and wars broke out between the men in power. Slowly, but surely the Barbarians, Vandals, and Visigoths took away the empire?s provinces and settled the land. Until, finally, they took complete possession of the Western Empire. Today the Roman Empire is regarded as one of the greatest empire that ever existed. In the 19th and 20th century many leaders tried to follow the example of the great Roman emperors such as Caesar Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, and Hadrian. The Constitution of United States of America was written with examples from that great period. Although many mistakes were made and although it did not last, the Roman Empire and its achievements was and still is an example that men follow today. ...read more.

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