What cause the downfall fo the Roman Empire? - Page 2




 
--
 
August 29th, 2004  
Damien435
 
 
And the Huns also deserve an honorable mention, it was them that forced the Goths out of Germany and into Rome.

And when I think of Rome I always think of the Western Empire, the east just started to change alot more, like choosing Christianity as their religion, that and Rome was in the Western Roman Empire, Constantinople/Byzantium/Istanbul was the capital of the East.
August 29th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Right, the problem is that its a loaded question because lots of things factored in. The fall of the (West) Roman Empire is best thought of as a long process and hitting from all direction, both internal and external.
August 29th, 2004  
Damien435
 
 
A guy walks into a bar, gets in a fight, gets stabbed in the chest. While trying to run home he is shot in the chest. When he gets to his house he finds that it is on fire, he runs inside, the roof collapsed on him.

What killed him? the knife? the bullet? the smoke inhalation? or the roof collapsing?

That is essentially the same thing as this question.
--
September 18th, 2004  
Delta210
 
True the Roman Empire was divided into the Eastern and Western Empires, and were "technically" the same Empire with an Emperor in Rome, or increasingly on the front or in Ravenna, and the Emperor in Constantinople. Laws passed in either Empire were binding in both Empires, as was currency. The Eastern Empire was situated better by both position and wealth/resources. The Eastern Empire was thus better able to withstand many of the internal and external pressures that the Western Empire could not. Also the Roman Army was not what it had been in previous times. It had been divided into a mobile, highly trained Field Force, and a less well trained Frontier Force guarding the borders. As the Field Forces were depleted by near constant civil wars, the generals and emperors were forced to move the Frontier Forces into combat, leaving the borders with less and less defenders.

Add in the decreasing tax base in the Western Empire, and you can see why things were continuing to decline. The government began to issue edicts tying people to the professions of their fathers, which caused a lack of motiviation for people to try to better themselves, so the tax base continued to dwindle just as more money was needed for national defense. The Army was forced to start impressing men and boys into the ranks, and many would try to avoid being drafted by cutting off their right thumb so they couldn't hold a sword. Also, many people ran to the estates of the rich to avoid taxes and military service, and in return for their complete servitude, the rich would protect them, thus depriving the government of tax revenue and manpower.

The pressures of the various tribes cannot be underestimated, but the Romans had many times defeated superior forces easily, but with the manpower and revenue shortages, and a general apathy among the populance, the government was powerless to resist their foreign invasions. Once the tribes were on Roman soil, the Romans failed to Romanize them as they had others, leaving distinct cultures intact within their borders. These potential sources of revenue and manpower that could have revived the Western Empire were instead goaded into becoming enemies by the actions of incompetent leaders of the government and military. The results were disasterous, with the Roman Army being virtually wiped out over a short period of years, leaving the government to rely on mercenaries to protect the Empire, mercenaries they could ill afford to pay.

Add to the mix the relationship between the rulers of the Eastern and Western Empires. At best of times there was some degree of cooperation, but those times were not the norm, and usually the two rulers and their Praetorian Prefects were plotting against each other. The true wonder is why the Western Empire lasted as long as it did.

While the Western Empire ceased to exist in AD 476 with the removal of Romulus Augustulus from the throne, the Eastern Empire continued until 1453 until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks. Since Odovacar returned the Imperial Regalia to the Emperor Zeno in the Eastern Empire, the division was, official, over, although the west was of course lost. Given that Nepos, who had been nominated by the Eastern Emperor Leo (457-474), still reigned, albeit in exile, there was no question of Romulus ever receiving recognition from the east.
September 29th, 2004  
doddsy2978
 
IMHO It is the natural order of things - Look at every major empire that has ever existed throughout history - they all have self destructed in the end - even our own. I believe that they become too expensive to maintain.

I just wonder who is next - USA? They seem to be growing at a rate of knots. Just don't over due it guys - or you are in for a fall. Take it from a nation that has been there. Otherwise - best of luck to you
September 29th, 2004  
Delta210
 
While every great civilization and empire has fallen at one time or another, it is perhaps inevitable that the US will decline over time. Does that mean we just shrug our shoulders, and accept it? No. If you look at history, every great nation's decline and fall started at home: immorality, loss of faith, out of control economy, out of control government, ect. If we see it happening, and it is, it is our responsibity as citizens to do everything to prevent it. Unlike any other nation in the world, Americans are sovereign. The government is us. If we sit back and bow to the "inevitable", we deserve the consequences. I have faith in my fellow citizens to do the right things to keep our nation strong and free.
September 29th, 2004  
doddsy2978
 
What you say is true Delta210, but - are you likely to see it - Your Government is more than capable of pulling the wool over your eyes as ours is!
September 29th, 2004  
Delta210
 
Oh I have no illusions as to that. It has happened before, and will again. The government will continue to get away with doing slight of hand tricks until the American people are fed up and force it to change, which has happened repeatedly in our history.
September 29th, 2004  
Damien435
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doddsy2978
What you say is true Delta210, but - are you likely to see it - Your Government is more than capable of pulling the wool over your eyes as ours is!
Who says Freedom of the Press is a good thing?
October 2nd, 2004  
Shadowalker
 
 
Stagnation, corruption ae two of the ossible factors that lead to a decline in roman leadership and hence there downfall in western europe.