Though the invasion of the Roman Empire’s frontier is probably the central problem, many theories exist to explain how Rome first got into trouble. The somewhat outdated, but nevertheless fascinating, theory for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire is the wide spread use of lead pipes in urban centers used for the transportation of drinking water. Some believe this continual exposure to lead poisoned the Romans who drank it. Chronic, long-term lead exposure will caus...
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... own. They are money problems and military ineffectiveness. It is a series of events producing economic limitations which results in the inability to defend the borders at a time when being able to hold the line was imperative. In the past the Roman Empire was able to absorb incoming barbarians while holding its frontier, but additional pressure from the Huns causes the Empire to be overwhelmed and overtaken.
Bury, John B., History of the Later Roman Empire, New York: Dover, 1970.
Heather, Peter, The Fall of Ancient Rome, New York, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006.
Hodge, A. Trevor, "Vitruvius, Lead Pipes and Lead Poisoning," American Journal of Archaeology 85, no. 4 (1981): 486-491.
Nardo, Dan, ed., The End of Ancient Rome, San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001.
Timbrell, John A, The Poison Paradox, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
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