The causes for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire

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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. However, the East Empire did not fall, but rather adapted itself to the emerging civilizations. The event of the fall would have been considered impossible, had it not been for the destruction of Rome during many years from the inside. Throughout the Pax Roman, which was a period of peace, Emperors Augustus, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius ruled. However, with the coming of the Severan dynasty and other dynasties, the empire was destroyed by men who craved for power and wealth, and were ready to obtain what they wanted whatever the cost, whether through barter, treachery, or murder.

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One example of such an emperor was Caracalla. He was a cruel, capricious, and murderous young man. He claimed to have the same visions as Alexander the Great and looked up to that leader as a role model. He was, however, only interested in gaining more power and to please his army. He was ready to do anything to gain what he wanted, even kill his brother, Geta. His assiduous efforts to be popular with his army brought a terrible inflation to the empire. The value of money decreased, and life became very expensive. In the end his soldiers assassinated ...

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