Rome and the Romans and Early Christianity. Julius Caesar. Caesar’s reforms alienated Rome’s elite . Saw his as tyrant. 44 B.C. Old conservative ways not possible. Civil crisis for 13 years Octavian. Octavian. Octavian related to Caesar
Anthony and Cleopatra by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Roman Empire, 117 A.D.
Life in Imperial Rome
3rd century: empire attacked from several sides.
Also, internal strife weakened the government
Eastern half became the Byzantine Empire (survived another 1000 years)
Roman Empire still weak – will survive barely 100 years longer
10. It had become too big to control easily.
9. It was too costly to properly protect and maintain. The more money spent on the military meant less money spent on public works.
8. It was too diverse. Soldiers adopted local customs. The Empire had barbarians from the conquered lands. There was less in common.
7. Church leaders became influential and took away power from the emperor. Christian beliefs superseded Roman beliefs.
6. At a critical time in Rome’s history – invasions -- there was no strong military leader.
5. Emperors like Nero and Caligula. Society cared only for pleasure and entertainment.
4. Beginning in 186 CD and continuing for 100 years, Rome had 37 different emperors - 25 of whom were assassinated.
3. Soil Depletion: Romans may have too aggressively farmed land, leading to famine
2. Plague – fewer people to defend empire, decreased desire/strength to fight off invaders.
1. Insecurity led to an early feudal system, which weakened the central government
In the end, many historians argue that the empire did not “fall” – it continued to exist in some regions and transformed itself in others.
The Dark Ages - Part 1 - The Sacking of Rome
Fatal development for the West there was
65% of all revenue came from the East but 66% of the entire army was stationed in the West
Result was horrible and insoluble financial crisis in the West
Troops went unpaid, supplies could not be purchased, bribes could not be paid to barbarian chiefs, etc.
Division of the Empire into two independent halves left the Western half very weak and vulnerable—just as the Germans were renewing their attacks on the frontier again
Constantine had divided the empire in half, each ruled by a co-emperor, with the eastern emperor in Constantinople as the senior partner
The two halves would gradually drift apart and become, by 395, basically independent political entities
Many barbarian kingdoms would not last long but they did mark the way for the future
Europe, as a unified unit, was finished forever—replaced by a multitude of small, competing entities
Clovis, ruler of the Kingdom of the Franks