Compare and Contrast the Fall of the Byzantine and West Roman Empire

Topics: Byzantine Empire, Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire Pages: 3 (1141 words) Published: November 9, 2010
The era from about 1025 to 1453 witnessed the decline of the Byzantine Empire and its ultimate destruction. Loss of territory, internal discord, and defeats by the crusaders were blows from which the empire could not recover. The decline of the Western Roman Empire refers to the societal collapse encompassing both the gradual disintegration of the political, economic, military, and other social institutions of Rome and the barbarian invasions that were its final doom. The Byzantine Empire, much like the Roman Empire, faced a formidable array of external enemies. However, it was largely internal decay which destroyed both empires. The east was split from the west to help the large empire to be better managed. The main reason the east stayed around for a thousand years longer was that the east was richer and had less barbarian armies to attack it. Overall, their declines differed in that the Byzantine Empire had declined due to outside forces/pressures; their declines were similar in their suffering from weakened militaries and political issues- While the decline of the Western Roman Empire was caused by mostly internal problems. The decline of Byzantine Empire and Western Roman Empire are similar in which both had military decline that affected the overall decline. In the Byzantine Empire, a major factor in the decline may have been the disintegration of its traditional military system, the “theme” system. As one of the main strengths of the Byzantine Empire, the theme system was never replaced by a viable long-term alternative. This led to decline because Constantinople was taken over by 1204 after having a weak military. In the Western Roman Empire, Germanic mercenaries were being put into ranks in legions thus leading to a more “barbaric” army since they were more loyal to the commanders than the government itself. Just like the Western Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire had small civil wars that had occurred which played small parts in the decline of the...
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