The Fall of the Roman Empire Ernie Quirk

What were causes of the fall of the Roman empire?

Rome in Ruins

There were definitely more than one cause of the decline of the Roman empire. For example, there were political, economic, and war related reasons of the fall. There were more than just those reasons. After the Pax Romana (a sort of peace treaty), Rome was starting to crumble.

Who would become emperor?

Augustus, the first emperor of Rome

This was one of the questions that the Roman people asked. The Romans didn't have an organized way of choosing who would take the throne. Their system made it so that either the current emperor would choose who would be the next emperor or his son would take his place when he died. The system worked well, until the death of Marcus Aurelius. Marcus was kind, generous, intelligent, and devoted to his job of being emperor. When he died in 180 AD, his son, Commodus, was the opposite. He was greedy, cruel, and wasteful. He was so cruel, he was strangled to death by his own body guards, the Praetorian Guard in 192 AD. After his death, no-one knew who would take the throne. The Praetorian Guard soon auctioned of the throne, setting a bad example in front of everyone. When everyone was arguing about who would be emperor, a civil war was started. By 284 AD, there were 37 emperors.

Economic struggles

Houses of the Poor in Rome

The emperor was responsible for supplying his favorite soldiers a considerable amount of money. This caused the Roman citizens to pay large taxes. Another thing that was bad for the economy was that there were no new conquests outside of Rome, which is where most of Rome's gold came from. Because of this, there was less gold in coins. This made the coins go down in value, making the prices of goods go up. Citizens of Rome began to trade more than actually spend money. Also, there were some stupid emperors who wasted money on drinks and prostitutes.

Barbarians attacking

Germanic Kingdom Attacking

When Rome had all of their problems going on at home, the barbarians had the perfect opportunity to attack. Rome was completely unprepared, and they were demolished. Another problem was that Christianity was spreading in Rome, and they didn't believed in war or violence.

Extra reasons of the fall and facts

Health was a major factor of the decline of the empire. One thing that affected disease was from the gladiatorial battles in the Coliseum. All of the blood from the battles would get everywhere and made many people sick. Since most of the people were either lower class or middle class, lots of poor people raised the crime rate. Did you know that it actually wasn't the whole empire that collapsed? Only the western empire fell at the time. The eastern empire (Byzantine Empire) actually kept on until 1000 years later. Did you know that the fall of the western Roman empire was considered the end of the ancient world? It is said to be the beginning of the Middle Ages (Dark Ages.) In conclusion, Rome had its' time, but nothing lasts forever.

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