The Decline of Ancient Rome
The Roman Empire was one of the greatest, but their fall was inevitable and the result of many separate causes. The main causes are as follows:
As time wore on, the Romans discarded their original Roman gods and goddesses for Christianity. Under this new religion, Romans didn’t believe in killing, war, or fighting, greatly weakening their military as their past values, such as strength and power, were changing.
Division of the Empire
After the empire split, the wealth and military and governmental power shifted to the East while the West was left defenseless against invasions.
Rome slowly crumbled both socially and physically. With a prolonged period of peace, as Rome was no longer expanding, the Roman military was slowly weakening. There was a lesser need for soldiers unlike in times of war. Many who had trained their entire lives for the army were put out of work having no skills other than fighting, while the soldiers who remained in the military weren’t trained as tough or disciplined as in the past. Also, as Rome grew poor, they were unable to remain in conquered provinces to enforce laws or protect the peoples, instead withdrawing from the lands. This, along with a weak military and poor leadership, led to a lost in loyalty and a low confidence in Rome. Also, Rome’s physical state decayed as well, such as buildings and roads, as the Romans became too poor to maintain them.
An excess of money wasted on statues and entertainment also weakened Rome. With a growing population of the poor, the government spent a lot of money to keep them alive and happy, such as providing free bread. The rich, including emperors, also hoarded riches and wealth, leaving even less for the poor.
Barbarians and vandals, such as the Germanic peoples and the Huns, attacked an already weakened Rome, wanting revenge because the Romans had conquered their land along with the riches that Rome held.
Bad emperors such as Caligula, Nero, and Domitian, also aided in the downfall of Rome since an emperor had absolute control over every aspect of the Roman Empire, including bad decisions.
Lead from pipes and stained glass sickened and killed much of the population of Rome and since they had no idea what was causing their illnesses, it remained a silent killer.
As Rome stopped expanding, so did their mines of gold and silver. With no new resources, the silver denarius’s value fell from 100% silver to .02%. This greatly weakened the value of the Roman money and widened the gap between the rich and poor.
Rome stopped conquering new lands because they felt there was nowhere left worth taking over. This reduced jobs in the military and diminished their resources such as silver.