The Fall of the Roman Empire

September 12, 2012
Three causes for the fall of the Roman Empire are Inflation in Economy, Military Upheaval, and Germanic Invasions. As said the fall of the Roman Empire is said to be at the end of Marcus Aurelius’ reign, who was the last of the Good Emperors. Most rulers after Marcus didn’t know how to rule, for example Marcus’ son Commodus was brutal and incompetent therefore left Rome weakened. During the Pax Romana Rome prospered greatly and routes overflowed with trade and farms grew enough grain to feed the population of cities but by 3rd Century A.D all of this evaporated. Since the Roman Empire stopped expanding, there were no new sources of metals.

The Roman Empire caused inflation in economy by raising taxes when they became desperate to pay off the raising expenses, including military. Also agriculture faced equally serious problems such as harvests in Italy and Europe became very poor because farmland soil lost its fertility and nutrients. Farmland was also destroyed by warfare. The raised taxes forced the farmers to leave their farmlands and to either go to the cities or go into slavery. Eventually diseases spread and the population declined.

The Roman Empire faced Military Upheaval when its economic crisis was worsened by its growing military problems. The Germanic tribes repeatedly overpowered the Roman legions guarding the northern frontiers. Rome was humiliated in terms of military when the Persians captured the emperor Valerian. Soldiers stopped giving loyalty to Rome but instead to the Roman Commanders. To defend the empire against raising threats the government began to recruit foreign soldiers who fought for money they were called mercenaries. Even though the mercenaries accepted less pay than the Romans, they felt little sense of loyalty to the empire.

The Roman Empire also fell to Germanic invasions since the days of Julius Caesar, Germanic people had gathered on the northern borders of the Empire. Eventually they adopted Roman ways. Some settled into peaceful farm life others remained nomads. The main reason for the Germanic invasions were invading Huns. So the Germanic tribes fled the invading Huns and entered Roman lands. Meanwhile the Huns, who were indirectly the reason for the Germanic assault on the empire, became a threat. The Huns united with a powerful Chieftain named Attila and attacked both halves of the empire. But even after these attacks and Attila’s death the Germanic invasions continued.

All these causes tell us that even though the Roman Empire fell due to many reasons we can say that military, invasions, and economic inflation were some of the main reasons. But even though these were some of the reasons we know for sure that Rome fell due to greed and power. This was because all government officials became corrupt. Even though Rome’s political power ended, its cultural influence, through its ideas, continued to be deeply embedded in History.





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