Essay on The Fall of the Roman Empire Due to Army, Citizens, Barbarianism

Essay on The Fall of the Roman Empire Due to Army, Citizens, Barbarianism

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There were many causes of the decline, and eventual fall, of the Roman empire.
The deficient Emperor role led to the lacking
military response to invasions, civil war and peasant uprisings.


     Ever since the adoptive system which was installed by Marcus Aurelius
was never reinstalled after his death, effective leadership in governing Rome was
lacking. It was clearly visible that the Roman Emperor was the backbone of Roman
stability and therefore the strength of the Roman army was also crucial in
ensuing the empire's stability. But this stability was drastically altered when
corruption and “necessary” errors were committed.


     The Roman Empire was plunged into military anarchy and raided by
barbarous Germanic tribes causing a major burden from an economic standpoint.
Emperors, feeling pressure from all directions, resorted to manners which
depleted army and citizen moral. The personal dreams of empirical leaders was
never capable of re-stabilizing the Empire after the invasions. For instance,
Constantine created a “substantial field force where he recruited many regiments
from Germany. He greatly increased the German generals” (1). “Aurelius also
introduced the German element into the Empire. He established a precedent for
settling Germanic peoples, barbarians to the Romans, in Roman territory to try
secure peace”(2). He felt the only way to preserve the Empire was to host all
those who wished to live within its territory.

     These German units under Roman commanders did not easily fall to the
traditional Roman discipline and command. The reluctance to submit to Roman rule
allowed Rome to lose the tactical superiority that it once had and enjoyed over
the German barbarians. This loss of tactical supremacy destroyed the elite,
disregarding their once owned power and thus causing change on top of the Roman
Empire elite. According to Andre Piganiol,”The destruction of the elite handed
over power to a new oligarchy of the newly wealthy and of high officials who
came from barbarous elements of the population”(3). Piganiol continues to state
that”conquered nationalities had in no way lost consciousness of their origin
and many were the means of resistance to the unifying will of Rome”(4)

     Economically wise, the war against the Germ...

... middle of paper ... The
Challenge of the West: Peoples and Cultures from Stone Age to 1740. Toronto: D.C.
Health and Company, 1995.

10) Marvin Perry, Myrna Chase, James Jacob, Margaret Jacob, Theodore Von Laue.
Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics & Society. Boston: Houghton Miffln
Company, 1996

11) Piganiol, Andre. “The Causes of the Ruin of the Roman Empire.” Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire: Why did it Collapse ?: Donald Kagan. ED. Donald Kagan.
Massachusettes: D.C. Health and Company, 1962, p.88.


Jones, A.H.M. A General History of Europe: The Decline of the Ancient World.
London: Longman Group Ltd. 1966

Lynn Hunt, Thomas Martin, Barbara Rosenwein, R.Hsia, and Bonnie Smith. The
Challenge of the West: Peoples and Cultures from Stone Age to 1740. Toronto: D.C.
Health and Company, 1995.

Marvin Perry, Myrna Chase, James Jacob, Margaret Jacob, Theodore Von Laue.
Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics & Society. Boston: Houghton Miffln
Company, 1996.

Piganiol, Andre. “The Causes of the Ruin of the Roman Empire.” Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire: Why did it Collapse ?: Donald Kagan. ED. Donald Kagan.
Massachusettes: D.C. Health and Company, 1962.

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