The historical marker for the dissolution of the Roman Empire was September 4th, 476 CE. At least, this is the date that historians have proposed was the fall of one of the greatest empires known to man. Romulus Augustulus was considered the last Roman emperor of the East and West Roman Empire. Many historians argue this concept because a Western emperor, Julius Nepos, was recognized by the eastern Roman Empire until 480 CE. Even after that time period eastern emperors considered themselves the rulers of the rest of the Roman Empire. Technically the Byzantine Empire is a continuation of the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Roman influence was spread across the world. Even after Rome’s fall its cultural traditions continued in the Western Empire. Its effects and changes will be and have been felt for centuries. Let’s postulate that instead of the end of the Roman Empire that the marker is the beginning of a complex transformation and melding of other influences. Many facets of the culture of the Roman Empire are still ever-present in many countries and civilizations. Arguably, potentially the Roman Empire still exists.
In 476 CE, the year of the great supposed fall, Germanic mercenaries were refused lands in Italy. Under the command of Odoacer the mercenaries took Ravenna the Western capital of Rome. Disposing of the so-called last emperor of the empire. He quickly conquered the rest of Italy and then recognized himself as ruler of the Western Empire. (Mathisen 494) He was the first barbarian emperor. Soon most of the western provinces were conquered by Germanic invasions. Although many Roman populations continued to holdout by 500 CE, all of the western empire had been incorporated into barbarian kingdoms. Does this ma...
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... The Emperor never had unlimited power just like our President does not either.
So instead of the Roman Empire dying the hypothesis exists that the Roman Empire’s influence has shaped and continues to shape our customs, government, entertainment, and traditions. Differences exist through the evolution of man and adaptations of the cultures. It is certainly quite possible that the Roman Empire’s culture still impacts the way we live today. Characteristics of Roman culture, government, and religion is found across the world. It is said that history repeats itself. Even more interesting, the history of powerful nations do not disappear but rather they morph into our daily lives through the process of slow change while retaining solid foundational concepts. The Roman Empire has had such an impact on history that their footprint in history will never be forgotten.
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