Mercy in the Roman Empire

615 Words3 Pages
Throughout all of Roman history, the basic Roman principle has always been that no mercy is to be shown. By A.D. 300, an emperor’s primary job was to defend their Empire from barbarians, and all other affairs, including the choosing of emperors, laid in the hands of the Imperial Guard. What brought down the fall of the Empire? It was not the greed, incompetence, brutality, or insanity of many emperors. Rather, it was the showing of mercy toward barbarians by emperor Valens. In A.D. 364, the Empire was already split, and both emperors had to spend much of their time, most of their time, battling at the borders. They traveled with their Imperial Guard, to make sure that they didn’t have a dead emperor on their hands. When Emperor Julian was killed by the Persians, the Guard needed a new emperor, however, the replacement was also killed on the way to Rome. The Guard then appointed a soldier named Valentinian. The Imperial Guard then requested that Valentinian choose an emperor for the Eastern half of the Empire. Valentinian stupidly chose his brother, Valens....
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