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The Fall of Rome - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Fall of Rome
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  1. The Fall of Rome

  2. Internal Weaknesses • Civil Wars robbed the Empire of unity • Power became based on loyalty of legions rather than legitimacy • The legions had more mercenaries than citizens with no attachment to Rome

  3. Internal Weaknesses • Constant warfare on the frontiers were expensive • Extra legions had to be raised and paid for • Legions based on the frontier made Italy vulnerable to invasions

  4. Internal Weaknesses • Constant turmoil meant an increase in piracy and banditry • Commerce decreased causing a need for higher taxes • Inflation caused unrest in Rome

  5. Attempts at Reform • Diocletian • Absolute monarchy • Divided the empire • Rigid social classes • State direction of economy • New tax system • Emphasis on defense of the empire

  6. Attempts at Reform • Constantine • Supported Christianity • Created a new capital at Byzantium called Constantinople • More wealth in the east

  7. External Threats • Movement of peoples from Central Asia pressured Germanic tribes • Germanic tribes moved into the empire • German leaders knew Roman tactics from time in the legions

  8. Invasion • Huns invaded into Gaul weakened the west • Germanic tribes started controlling western provinces • Ostrogoths & Vandals attacked Rome • 476 CE Odoacer defeated the last Western Emperor

  9. Byzantine Empire • The Eastern Roman empire survived because of greater wealth • Increasing Greek influence made it different than Rome • Later period called the Byzantine Empire from site of Constantinople