Why did Rome fall?

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Byzantine Empire Pages: 4 (885 words) Published: June 10, 2004
The Fall of Rome

The Fall of Rome

The Fall of Rome

The Roman Empire was without a doubt the most powerful governing body in the Mediterranean ever. Why did Rome fall?

There was not any single cause to the fall of Rome. It was many things occurring in succession to each other.

After the Punic wars with Carthage, Rome acquired many new lands that it did not have before. During peace times it was easy to govern these areas but during war times it proved difficult.

The government had to pay soldiers to patrol the frontiers of the empire; it could no longer rely on the loot to serve as the pay for the soldiers.

This took a significant amount of money out of the Roman treasury. Some emperors wanted to save money and made the army too small to have control over such a large empire.

The economy of Rome was also suffering.

Rome was importing goods from its colonies but wasn't exporting nearly as much. This created an imbalance of trade. The colonies were creating their own finished goods and no longer relied on Rome for them. New coins were then made out of lead and gold to devalue the currency. Merchants now charged more money because these new coins were not worth as much as the old ones. This created inflation, this problem plagued the empire until its fall.

The problem of succession also contributed to the fall of Rome. There was never a set system of succession. After the death of an emperor, generals competed with each other for power. Once someone gained power they didn't rule for long; someone often assassinated them. This weakened the authority of Rome; corruption was common and law was almost non-existent.

Diocletian tried to make reforms to make the empire as strong as it was before. He realized that the empire was too large for one person to govern, he split the empire in half and took control of eastern part himself. He then appointed a co-emperor to rule in the west. He also reorganized the problems in the civil service and...
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