Survival of the Fittest

591 Words3 Pages
The Roman Empire as a whole was based upon expansion. When expansion declined, so did the Roman Empire. But lack of expansion was not the only reason the Roman Empire went into decline. The three main reasons that the Roman Empire went into a decline, and soon fell, each empire at its time was: economic stagnation, political instability and demographic decline. In 285 CE, the emperor Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into two empires: the Western Empire whose capital was Rome and the Eastern or Byzantine Empire whose capital was Constantinople. He divided the empire because it was becoming too big for one person to rule. From this time on, the two empires would seldom work together and not because of rivalry, but merely because of one, the Byzantine Empire, surpassed the other, causing it to need the Western Empire less and less. Constantine succeeded Diocletian as ruler of both empires after going to war with the Western Empire’s ruler Maximian due to the fact that they both wanted to be the ruler of the entirety of the Roman Empire. As the ruler of both the Western and Eastern empires, Constantine set out to make the Eastern Empire the dominant one. One aspect of the plan was to give it a stronger capital, so he recreated Byzantium, turning it into Constantinople. The new capital was easier to defend because of its location in a little peninsula surrounded by water . Constantine’s new capital flourished rapidly, becoming richer than Rome itself. With the flourishing of Constantinople came the flourishing of the Eastern Empire itself. From Constantine, to Justinian I, the Eastern Empire managed to keep itself on its feet. This is due in part to the fact that they were so strong enough that invaders went to the Western Empir... ... middle of paper ... ...e/>. "Byzantine Empire to 1095." Byzantine Empire to 1095. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014. . "The Division of the Roman Empire, A.D. 284." The Division of the Roman Empire, A.D. 284. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014. . "The Flow of History." FC36: The Collapse of the Western Roman Empire (395-c.500) -. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014. . "The Flow of History." FC44: The Byzantine Empire (c.500-1025) -. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014. . Mark, J.. N.p.. Web. 4 Apr 2014. . "Western Roman Empire." Ancient History Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. .
Open Document