The Fall Of The Roman Empire

621 words - 3 pages

The Fall of the Roman Empire
There are adherents to single factors, but more people think Rome fell because of a combination of such factors as Christianity, and economy, and military problems. Even the rise of Islam is proposed as the reason for Rome's fall, by some who think the Fall of Rome happened at Constantinople in the 15th Century. Most people think it occurred during the fifth century, after the western division of the empire.
There were several reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire. Many often blame the initiation of Christianity for the decline. Christianity made many Roman citizens into pacifists, making it more difficult to defend against the barbarian attackers. Some say the money used to build churches could have been used to maintain the Roman Empire.
Maintaining an army to defend the border of the Empire from barbarian attacks was a constant drain on the government. Military spending left few ...view middle of the document...

Yet much gold was being spent by the Romans to pay for luxury items. This meant that there was less gold to use in coins. As the amount of gold used in coins decreased, the coins became less valuable. To make up for this loss in value, merchants raised the prices on the goods they sold. Many people stopped using coins and began to barter to get what they needed. Eventually, salaries had to be paid in food and clothing, and taxes were collected in fruits and vegetables, taking the Roman economy backwards in time.
Another factor that had contributed to decline and fall of the Roman Empire was that during the last 400 years of the empire, the scientific achievements of the Romans were limited almost entirely to engineering and the organization of public services. They built marvelous roads, bridges, and aqueducts. They established the first system of medicine for the benefit of the poor. But since the Romans relied so much on human and animal labor, they failed to invent many new machines or find new technology to produce goods more efficiently. They could not provide enough goods for their growing population. They were no longer conquering other civilizations and adapting their technology, they were actually losing territory they could not longer maintain with their legions
For years, the well-disciplined Roman army held the barbarians of Germany back. Then in the third century A. D. the Roman soldiers were pulled back from the Rhine-Danube frontier to fight civil war in Italy. This left the Roman border open to attack. Gradually Germanic hunters and herders from the north began to overtake Roman lands in Greece and Gaul (later France). Then in 476 A. D. the Germanic General Odovacar overthrew the last of the Roman Emperors, Augustulus Romulus. From then on, the western part of the empire was ruled by the 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. Rome was no more in the West, thus bringing the total fall of the Roman Empire.

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