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Roman Empire. Reasons for the Decline of Rome. Political. Political office was seen as a burden, not as a reward The military interfered with politics  Civil war and unrest broke out  The empire was divided into East and West The capital was moved from Rome to Byzantium. Military.

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roman empire

Roman Empire

Reasons for the Decline of Rome

political
Political
  • Political office was seen as a burden, not as a reward
  • The military interfered with politics 
  • Civil war and unrest broke out 
  • The empire was divided into East and West
  • The capital was moved from Rome to Byzantium
military
Military
  • There was a threat of invasion from northern Germanic tribes
  • Funds for defense were low
  • Problems with recruiting Roman citizens occurred, so they had to recruit non-Romans
  • Patriotism and loyalty among soldiers declined
economic
Economic
  • Poor harvests
  • Disruption of trade
  • Lack of gold and silver
  • Inflation
  • The tax burden was crushing
  • A widening gap between rich and poor, with an increasing poverty in the West
social
Social
  • There was a decline in interest of public affairs 
  • Confidence in the empire was dropping
  • Loyalty and patriotism was falling, corruption was wide-spread 
  • A contrast between rich and poor
roman empire1

Roman Empire

Efforts at Reform

diocletian s reforms
Diocletian’s Reforms
  • Became emperor in 284 C.E.
  • Doubled the size of the armies 
  • Hired German mercenaries (foreign soldiers who fought for money)
diocletian s reforms1
Diocletian’s Reforms
  • Tried to control inflation by setting prices for goods
  • Froze jobs, no one could switch professions
  • Passed laws to persecute the Christians
  • Divided the empire into the Greek-speaking East and the Latin-speaking West
results of diocletian s attempts
Results of Diocletian’s Attempts
  • Slowed the decline of the empire
  • Borders became safe again 
  • The emperor’s prestige was restored 
  • After he retired, civil war broke out and four rivals competed for power
constantine
Constantine
  • Took over in the West in 312 C.E.
  • Took over the East in 324 C.E.
constantine s reforms
Constantine’s Reforms
  • Moved the capital from Rome to the Greek city of Byzantium
  • Protected the city with massive walls and filled it with imperial buildings like Rome
  • Gave the city a new name, Constantinople
results of constantine s attempts
Results of Constantine’s Attempts
  • Capital was now located on major East-West trade routes
  • The center of power in the empire shifted East
  • After his death, the empire was divided again and the East survived while the West fell
roman empire2

Roman Empire

Foreign Invasions

foreign invasions
Foreign Invasions
  • Wars in East Asia caused the Huns to migrate across Central Asia. By 350 C.E., the Huns reached Eastern Europe.
  • Germanic Tribes sought safety (escape from the Huns) by crossing into Roman territory.
  • Roman armies were unable to defend themselves against the Germanic tribes.
foreign invasions1
Foreign Invasions
  • In 434 C.E., Attila the Hun’s invasion of Europe sent more Germanic tribes into Rome.
  • In 476 C.E., Odoacer, a Germanic leader, ousted the emperor in Rome.