fall of the roman empire ms. carmelitano. crisis the start of the decline of the roman empire is...

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Fall of the Roman Empire

Fall of the Roman EmpireMs. CarmelitanoCrisisThe start of the decline of the Roman Empire is blamed on Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD)His reign ended Pax RomanaEmperors failed to control the large empire with increasing problemsBy the 3rd century, AD Rome began facing problemsWithin and outside of the Empire1. PoliticalThe Military began to fight over the throneCausing much civil war and unrestThe emperor had difficulties controlling the massive empirePolitical office seen as a burdenDivision within the EmpireCitizens became less loyal to governmentRomans had cared so much for the Republic that they would have sacrificed their life for itAs citizens lost respect for the empire, they became indifferent to its fate

2. SocialHarvest in western Europe became meagerOverworked soilYears of war destroyed farmlandFood shortages and disease lowered the size of the populationDecline Morals of RomansDisloyalty and lack of patriotism and corruption among the citizensGrowing contrast between rich and poor

3. Economy WeakensPirates on the Mediterranean disrupted sea tradeNo new resources of Gold and SilverBecause Rome ceased to expandGovernment had to raise taxesStarted minting coins that had less silver in order to make more coinsThis resulted in inflation: a drastic drop in the value of money coupled with rising prices4. Military TurmoilRoman military began to declineSoldiers were less disciplined and loyalAllegiance was given to commanders not RomeCommanders were constantly fighting for the throneGovernment recruited mercenariesForeign soldiers fighting for moneyNot as loyal

Attempt at ReformRome would survive another 200 years after Marcus Aurelius Diocletian Reforms284 ADDiocletian was a strong willed military leader and new emperorReforms:Doubled size of army Gained control of inflation by setting fixed prices for goodsClaimed descent from ancient Roman Gods and created new ceremoniesThe Roman Empire DividesDiocletian divided the empire in to 2 halves with 4 total parts by 293 ADtetarchy means: rule by fourHe felt it had become too large for one person to ControlThere were two rulers in the west and 2 in the eastThe 2 were expected to rule their halves as partnersEast: Greek SpeakingAnatolia, Greece, Syria, EgyptDiocletian acted as EmperorWestItaly, Spain, western EuropeNot as wealthy as the east

Rise of ConstantineDiocletian retired in 305 AD because of illnessCivil War broke out between the remaining rulersConstantine, Maximian, Galerius311Constantine was victorious at the Battle of Milivan BridgeConstantineGained control of the western portion of the empire in 312 ADGained control of the east, restored the empire in 324 AD330 AD moved capital from Rome to Greek city of Byzantium in what is now TurkeyHe named the Capital Constantinople Surrounded the city with protective wallsWould again divide after Constantine's death5. Outside Invasion: The West FallsGermanic invasions370 AD Mongol Nomads from Asia, the Huns, began to attack the western part of RomeGermanic people fleeing moved into Roman lands barbarians into Gaul, Spain, and North AfricaFranksVisigothsVandalsHunsAttila the Hun444 AD all Huns united under Attila100,000 soldiersAttacked east and western RomeCould not get over the high walls of Constantinople452 AD famine and disease kept them outAttila died in 453 AD, but the Germanic invasions continuedRomulus Augustus14 year old emperor Ousted by German forces in 476 ADWestern power fellEastern half, now called Byzantine flourished