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The Fall of Rome. 1. Empire Weakens. Weak leaders and growing problems Came after the 5 Good Emperors Problems Civil Wars Increased threat of invasion Increased size of the army Prolonged economic crisis. iii. Empire will become a military dictatorship

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1 empire weakens
1. Empire Weakens
  • Weak leaders and growing problems
    • Came after the 5 Good Emperors
    • Problems
      • Civil Wars
      • Increased threat of invasion
      • Increased size of the army
      • Prolonged economic crisis

iii. Empire will become a military dictatorship

  • Military will elevate their own leaders and dispose of emperors

b. Economic Troubles

  • Problems facing the empire
    • Increased robbery and piracy
    • Hazardous travel
    • Military required increasing amounts of revenue
    • Rising taxes decreased the value of money
    • Growing inflation
      • Dramatic rise in prices
2 attempts at reform
2. Attempts at reform
  • Diocletian
    • Took power in 284 A.D.
    • Made empire into an absolute monarchy
    • Divided empire in two
    • He ruled the eastern half and appointed a co-ruler to the western half
      • Both will have assistants called Caesar to help run the empire

v. Established a rigid order for society

  • Sons followed the trades and social positions of their fathers
  • Peasants permanently tied to the land
  • Increased the army

vi. Geared commercial and manufacturing activities toward meeting the needs of imperial defense

vii. All of this kept the economy from collapsing immediately


b. Constantine

  • Becomes emperor when Diocletian and co-emperor abdicate
  • Not long after a civil war erupted
  • When order was restored Constantine was proclaimed the new emperor

iv. Continued Diocletian’s policies of state control over society

v. Two key decisions

  • Supported Christianity
  • Built a new capital, Constantinople
    • Located on the shore of the Bosporus in an area called Byzantium
3 invasion and fall
3. Invasion and Fall
  • The Huns
    • They had speed and were ferocious
    • Had strong leadership
    • Started attacking areas around the Roman empire sending Germanic tribes into the empire
      • Visigoths will sack Rome in 410 A.D.
    • Attila the Hun (leader of the Huns) will start to attack Rome but will be persuaded not to by Pope Leo I

b. Fall of the West

  • Germanic tribes ruled most of the western provinces, including Italy
  • 476- Odoacer, a Barbarian commander, overthrew the last emperor of the west
  • Western empire collapsed but the Eastern empire continued
    • Eastern empire became known as the Byzantine Empire