The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire Essay
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The era dominated by Roman empire is one the most well-known and influential periods of history, home to famous names from Julius Caesar to Jesus Christ. At its height, Rome’s territory stretched from the Atlantic coastline to the Middle East, reigning over 60 million people, one-fifth of the population of the ancient world. However, the Roman empire’s treatment of their conquered people’s and their own citizens ultimately led to the permanent downfall of Rome.
Even in the century before the official replacement of the Roman republic by the empire, Rome expanded immensely as a result of the Punic wars. Rome fought the Punic Wars between 264 and 146 BCE against the nearby trade empire Carthage over the nearby island of Sicily, a…show more content…
The Roman empire owed its existence to Julius Caesar’s military genius and leadership. At the time of his birth, the Roman republic was rife with corruption, losing touch with the people as Rome rapidly expanded. In addition, the republic suffered much unrest due to an excess of slave labor, leaving many unemployed for the government to sustain with basic food and entertainment, or “bread and circuses.” Caesar changed this, joining partnership with two other prominent men, the wealthy Crassus and the general Pompey, to form the First Triumvirate. However, he quickly took the reins of the new government, securing his position as dictator with many populist actions, such as distributing land to poor farmers. They, in turn, showed loyalty toward their leader, providing unity and patriotism. The Roman empire was born into the perfect geographical and cultural circumstances to rise to greatness.
The Roman empire suffered many problems throughout its rise and several centuries of subsequent power. To begin with, they dealt with many outside invasions, including the Burgundians, Franks, Alemanni, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Visigoths, and Anglo-Saxon peoples. The invaders considered most barbaric were the Huns, which the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus describes as people who “surpass all other barbarians in the wilderness of life.” He further describes “they are so little advanced
The Decline of Rome Empire
When we hear a phrase “the most powerful and magnificent state” the Rome Empire firstly comes to our minds. Even those, who have nothing to do with history know, that the Rome Empire was the queen between other states. It was invincible for enemies, stable for its citizens and unreachable for others. The city of Rome was considered to be the largest city in the world. The Rome Empire was founded in 27 B.C. and it was divided into Western and Eastern parts in 396 C.E. The Western part disintegrated in 476 C.E. unlike the Eastern – it existed up to 1453 C.E. It’s obvious that nothing is eternal. But what are those crucial events that brought to ruin such a magnificent state?
There are different points of view regarding the fall of Rome Empire. Researchers explain it differently. But most of them come together with a thought that the fall was only in the west. The eastern part continued it’s existing for several centuries and it actually reflected the original Roman culture. There are several external facts that influenced the fall of Rome Empire. The most crucial is the influx of barbaric horde. Barbarians took advantage of problems already existing in the Roman society – overpopulation, poor leadership, culture and moral decay. The fall of the Empire occurred not due to a war or revolution. The facts imposed on each other and lead to the slow fall. Moreover, in the last day of Rome Empire the barbarian leader entered the city of Rome unopposed and the military and financial power of Mediterranean was not able to exist anymore. When he entered the city, Rome has already lost the control of Britain, Spain and North Africa to Goths and Vandals. If we speak about the internal facts, that influenced the fall of Rome Empire, there are researchers who believe that the fall occurred due to the structure of the Roman society.
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Historian Polybus affirms that the Rome was a victim of its declining moral virtue. Edward Gibbon, for instance, claims that the Christianity badly affected the Rome. It was religion that leads to such consequences, as people were trying to rebuild the society in accordance to the postulates of the religion they shrove. Moreover, most barbarians were Christians. But if we take a look deeper, we can conclude that actual fall of Rome Empire occurred not due to the factors mentioned above. The actual split happened several decades earlier, when the Rome Empire was divided into two mentioned above parts. The reason of division was the massive size of its territories which extended from the British Isles to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and into Africa. But the barbarians were always present along the northern border and Rome remained vulnerable to its attack. The situation aggravated because of Goths, who never wanted to conquer the Rome Empire, but to be a part of it. But once they caused a great war which lasted 5 years and affected badly the Rome. After Goth other barbarians did not stop to invade the city. All these factors obviously were a great threat for the Rome Empire, making it weak and unable to resist the pressure of invaders.
In conclusion, we can say that there were many factors that lead to sorrowful consequences. It was absence of army, which lacked both equipment and training and unstable government. Also unstoppable invades from the barbarians’ side, culture and religious decline. Rome’s fall ended the ancient world. However, western civilization has to be grateful to Romans. Consider Latin language- it gave birth to French, Spanish Italian and other languages. Also many European cities were founded by Rome. Nevertheless, Rome had fallen, its merits still exist in the modern world.