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The Fall of the Roman Empire. The end of the “good times” Death of Marcus Aurelius ends the Pax Romana (c. 180 AD) Order restored briefly, but from 235-285 there were 26 emperors (only 1 died of natural causes) Constant revolts Bad leadership “ Bread and Circuses ”. A Brief Pause.

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the fall of the roman empire
The Fall of the Roman Empire
  • The end of the “good times”
    • Death of Marcus Aurelius ends the Pax Romana (c. 180 AD)
    • Order restored briefly, but from 235-285 there were 26 emperors (only 1 died of natural causes)
    • Constant revolts
    • Bad leadership
      • “Bread and Circuses”
a brief pause
A Brief Pause
  • Diocletian (284-305)
    • Divided the Empire into 4 parts (Tetrarchy)
      • Why?
  • Constantine (305-337)
    • Seized property, high taxes
    • Built Constantinople (trade)
    • Legalized Christianity 313 AD (Edict of Milan)
    • Out of control inflation
internal causes for rome s fall
Internal causes for Rome’s fall
  • Smaller pop (Less soldiers, taxes etc)
  • Weakened army
    • Barbarization, more troops for border defense, Civil War
  • Oppressive government
    • High taxes etc…
  • Declining farms and cities
  • Stagnant economy
    • Lack of spoils, infrastructure broke down, competition from East, slaves
more internal causes
More Internal Causes
  • Loss of confidence
    • Was Rome still worth defending?
  • Christianity (Enfeebling?)
    • St. Augustine (The City of God)
    • Constantine The Edict of Milan
    • Theodosius 380 official religion of the Roman Empire
external causes
External causes
  • Barbarians on the frontier
    • What is a barbarian?
    • Why did they want in?
    • The Goths (1st appear in 258)
    • The effect of the Huns
      • 376 Goths settled and agree to help defend Eastern border
the huns
The Huns
  • Arrived in Europe around 370 AD
  • Eventually took tribute from Rome in return for peace
  • Attila comes on the scene in 434
  • Attacked Rome when they did not pay all of their tribute (called the “Scourge of God”)
  • By 444 he unites the Huns
  • By 453 Attila had died (nosebleed)
the fall of the roman empire in the west
The Fall of the Roman Empire in the West
  • The Vandals
    • Sacked Rome in 455
  • By mid 5th Century German Chiefs not Roman Emperors held all real power
    • 476 AD Odoacer became the first Germanic King of Italy (replaced Romulus Augustulus the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire)