The Roman Empire

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The Roman Empire was one of the largest, strongest, and longest lasting empires in history. It lasted over five hundred years surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and at its zenith, stretched from the British Isles to the Persian Sea. The empire brought with it many technological achievements and advancements in art, medicine and language. Unfortunately, as with all great empires, it must end. There was much causation for the empire’s demise, most notably barbarian tribes. Rome did not fall in one day; it was a myriad of pernicious event delineated by corruption, stagflation, religious shifts and overexpansion in conjunction with barbaric invasions.
The initial two centuries of the Roman Empire were a time of peace, stability, and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. During this time, the romans “acknowledged that the true principles of the social life, laws, agriculture, and science…were now firmly established by the power of Rome”(Gibbons). It was during this time that the Roman Empire reached its greatest territorial extent. Shortly afterwards, however, civil war and corruption plagued the empire for over a century. Unlike the Greeks who followed primogeniture, the Romans did not create an effective method for determining the new emperor. This led the Praetorian Guard to sell the position of emperor to the highest bidder. Didius Julianus was one of the emperors who bought his throne. He “called out to the troops and promised to give them just as much as they desired, for he had ready money and a treasure room full of gold and silver”(Herodian). Over the next 100 years, Rome had thirty-seven emperors, most of whom purchased their throne, of which twenty-five were assassinated. Consequently, the lack of a consistent ruler drastical...

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...he Visigoths, various tribes, such as the Vandals, devastated the weak and desolate remains of the Roman Empire. Officially the last emperor of Rome, Romulus Augustus, was overthrown in 476.
In conclusion, there were many different explanations as to how the Roman Empire lost its grandeur and power. There was severe corruption in the politics of the empire leading to uncertainty and lack of unity. The tremendous stagflation affected the Roman population by devaluing coinage and creating thousands of unemployed workers who needed government assistance to survive. Continued efforts to attain more land proved costly because the Romans conquered more than they could effectively govern. All of these factors combined to cripple the empire’s power. In this weakened state, they were unable to defend themselves from the rebelling Visigoths and subsequent Germanic invaders.

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