Do Now • Reflecting on the Pax Romana, what do you think may lead to the fall of Rome?
After the Pax Romana. the Roman Empire began to D.E.C.L.I.N.E.
The Decline of the Roman Empire • After Pax Romana, the Western part of Roman Empire declines for many reasons. • Weak leaders = weak Empire • Leads to division and then the collapse of Roman Empire.
Defense of the Empire costs too much http://www.french-at-a-touch.com/Graphics_M-O/new_pa1.jpg
Economic difficulty and the devaluation of Roman currency • Roman emperors continued to debase the coinage. • Debasing = backing the coinage up with less value. http://www.romancoins.info/Brutus-Obverse.jpg
Can’t discipline military, it now includes invaders • Need more soldiers; people begin to fight for pay, not their country. • Rulers hire corrupt soldiers who fight for a price (mercenaries). • Leads to lack of military discipline and loyalty http://www258.pair.com/denarius/images/erf_rr1875.jpg
Loss of faith in Rome and the family http://www.utexas.edu/courses/romanciv/Romancivimages23/severantondo.jpg • The rich started to spend their money on products from the East, making Rome weaker. • Population decline due to a poor understanding of fertility. Notice anything out of the ordinary in this picture?
Invasions on the borders (Barbarians) • Invaders include Visogoths, Ostrogoths, Franks, Huns, and Persians. • Barbarians= “Outsiders” http://wps.ablongman.com/wps/media/objects/262/268312/art/figures/KISH_06_140a.gif
New political problems, civil conflict and weak administration • Pandemic strikes Rome and further depletes it’s population. • Military rivalries drained money and made Romans enemies of each other. http://img360.imageshack.us/img360/1466/rome3ma.jpg
Eeeek! Moral decay!! • People lose faith in Rome • Crime and unemployment increase
How do the Roman Emperors try to prevent the decline? • Diocletian • Rules from 284- 305 • Divides Empire into East and West. • He rules East from the capital of Byzantium; appoints official to rule West http://go.hrw.com/venus_images/0304MC05.gif
Back to the Christian Church • Christianity spreads rapidly through Mediterranean area because of missionaries. • Romans become uneasy with Christianity gaining so much popularity. • Roman leaders like Nero and Diocletian begin to blame Christians for any problems. • Many Christians become martyrs. Martyr= person who suffers/dies for beliefs **Christianity is sometimes named as a cause for the decline of Rome because people’s loyalty was to God instead of Rome.
The Great Emperor Constantine • Takes throne in 313 AD. • During battle, had a vision of the cross. • Took this as a sign and ended persecution of Christians in the Empire. • Issued the Edict of Milan – freedom of worship to all citizens; legalized Christianity.
Theodosius • Takes throne in 380 AD. • Declares Christianity official religion of Empire. • Outlaws other religions.
Closing Remarks of Christianity • Because of Constantine and Theodosius, Christian Church became example of moral authority. • Loyalty to church became more important than loyalty to the emperor. • As Roman Empire loses power in West, Church grows and becomes foundation for Western civilization. • Christian Church becomes unifying force in Europe.
The Huns and Visigoths • 4th century, nomadic group called Huns invade area north of Roman Empire. • The Visigoths in this area, flee to Empire. • Visigoths eventually dominate the Roman military; Romans fear a takeover. • Romans attack Visigoths but lose.
The End of the Empire • 476 AD Visigoths overthrow Rome and end Western Roman Empire. • Eastern Empire survives another thousand years – becomes Byzantine Empire. • Byzantium’s name becomes Constantinople.
Extra Credit Opportunity • Due Monday, February 5th. (15 points) • Write a two page essay comparing the Roman Empire to the United States. • You can take several approaches to this: • Focus on the greatness and importance of both. • Focus on the causes of Rome’s decline and how the U.S. may be showing the same weaknesses. • Focus on the governmental structure and it’s impact. • Focus on the tactics of the military. • Anything else that is reasonable and that you are interested in researching (the impact of Christianity, great leaders, etc.) • MLA Format, citation of resources (should include multiple resources), carefully proofread.
Reflection • Which cause of DECLINE do you think is the most important in causing Rome to collapse?