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The Fall of Rome. By Andrew Smardenkas Graham Langdale Michael Donnelly. Introduction. There are many factors that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. Three of the most prominent ones are: The rise of Christianity Political mishaps Economic mishaps. The Rise of Christianity.

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The Fall of Rome

By Andrew Smardenkas

Graham Langdale

Michael Donnelly


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Introduction

  • There are many factors that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. Three of the most prominent ones are:

  • The rise of Christianity

  • Political mishaps

  • Economic mishaps


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The Rise of Christianity

  • Christianity spread very quickly throughout the empire

  • Rome was originally a polytheistic society and was divided between the Pagan followers and the Christian worshippers

  • Emperor Constantine 1, adopted Christianity as the state religion

  • Until Constantine made this reform, Christians were persecuted by the Pagan worshippers

  • Even though Christianity became the common religion, Pagan worshippers still practiced their religion which led to the growing rift within the Empire

  • “Constantine and Licinius' Edict of Milan (313) removed penalties for professing Christianity, under which many were martyred in previous persecutions of Christians, and returned confiscated Church property.After the Edict, new avenues were opened to Christians, including the right to compete with pagan Romans in the traditional cursus honorum for high government positions, and greater acceptance into general civil society. New churches were allowed to be constructed and Christian leadership became increasingly bold ム Christian bishops took aggressive public stances that were unheard of among other religions.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I_%28emperor%29)


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Political Mishaps

  • Many political mishaps led to the fall of Rome

  • A big problem with the empire was that it was a vast city spreading from Spain to the Persian Gulf which caused it to stretch itself thin

  • As a result of poor unity within the empire, Rome was divided in the eastern and the western region

  • The western region was much weaker and collapsed in 400 A.D.

  • Legions of soldiers often lost trust in the Emperor and were more loyal to their generals then to anyone else

  • Emperors such as Diocletine and Constantine prolonged the life of the Empire, but could not stop it’s decline


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Economical Mishaps

  • One of the most significant factor leading to the fall of Rome was the decline of the economy

  • The government had many debts to pay

  • A way had to be found in order to fund public building projects, maintaining the many ‘highways’ that were constructed as well as a sustaining it’s large army

  • Citizens were heavily taxed which they felt was was excessive and unjust.

  • Rome received much of it’s money from conquests but eventually this revenue stopped because there were no more wealthy lands to conquer

  • It was impossible for Rome to maintain its wealthy empire with so many economic problems and no matter what measures were implemented, the empire could not recover.


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Historical Importance

  • The fall of the Roman Empire is significant in many ways because it was the end of an era and of the world’s most powerful empire. Rome’s culture influenced the rest of Europe, but was also the base for Western culture. Even though Rome was gone, it left behind a changed Europe.

  • “Rome enriched the world’s culture with its distinctive architecture, and ground breaking ideologies. Many of their technologies were adapted and improved. Especially the Roman aqueducts, which were a more primitive form of infrastructure. The fall of this grand empire was the greatest event in ancient world history” ( Taken from Meaghan Uyede’s The Greatest Event in Ancient World History)


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Discussion Questions….

  • Out of the three primary reasons for the fall of Rome, which one do you think was the most responsible and why?

  • Do you think that Rome’s downfall could have been prevented? How?

  • After hearing our presentation, do you think that Rome was as great of a civilization as you originally thought it to be?


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Bibliography

  • Bradley, M. F. (1997). The Fall Of The Roman Empire. Oxford, London: Journal Of Political Downfalls.

  • Brunt, P. J. (1980). The Revenues Of Rome. New York, New York: Yellow House Publishing.

  • Brunt, P. L. (2001). The Economic Decline In Empires. Oxford, London: Journal of Roman Studies

  • Newman, Garfield. Echoes from the Past. Toronto, CA: Patty Pappas, 2001.

  • Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Constantine. 18 Mar. 2006. 18 Mar. 2006 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I_%28emperor%29>.

  • Meaghan Uyede’s. The Greatest Event in Ancient World History. 5/9/06


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