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5.5. The Roman Empire Declines. What caused the Decline?. Economic Problems Foreign Invasion Decline in traditional values. Dividing the Roman Empire. Political Violence The Pax Romana comes to an end with the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180

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5.5

The Roman Empire Declines


What caused the decline
What caused the Decline?

  • Economic Problems

  • Foreign Invasion

  • Decline in traditional values


Dividing the roman empire
Dividing the Roman Empire

  • Political Violence

    • The PaxRomana comes to an end with the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180

      • Leads to a 100 year period of political and economic turmoil

      • In a 50 year period at least 26 emperors reigned

        • Only one died of natural causes

  • Social & Economic Problems

    • High taxes

    • Over-cultivated farmland


Reforms
Reforms

  • Diocletian tries to restore order

    • Divides the empire into two parts

      • Kept control of the wealthier eastern part for himself and appointed Maximian as co-emperor

    • Tried to slow inflation by fixing prices on goods and services

    • Forced farmers to remain on the land and sons were required to follow their fathers occupation


Constantine
Constantine

  • Continued Diocletian’s reforms

  • Granted tolerance to Christians

  • New capital at Byzantium, renamed Constantinople

  • Results

    • Revived the economy

    • Held the empire together for about another century

    • Failed to stop the long-term decline


Invasions
Invasions

  • Rome had faced attacks from Germanic Tribes east of the Rhine and north of the Danube for centuries

  • Wars in East Asia sent the Huns migrating to Eastern Europe

    • Reached Europe by 370

    • Caused Germanic groups to migrate into Roman territory

    • Roman legions were unable to withstand attack

      • Gave up lands in Britain, France, and Spain


Invasions continue
Invasions Continue

  • Roman army suffers defeat in 378 when it tries to turn back to Visigoths at Adrianople

  • Invaders were attacking Rome’s borders, especially in the west

  • 410 Visigoth’s overran Italy and plundered Rome

  • Vandals moved through Gaul, Spain and into North Africa

  • Attila the Hun’s conquest of Europe sent more people fleeing to the Roman Empire


The fall of rome
The Fall of Rome?

  • 476 Odoacer, A Germanic leader, ousted the Emperor of Rome

    • This event is referred to as the Fall of Rome despite the fact that Rome had already lost many of it’s territories


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