The Real Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire
The Fall Of The Western Roman Empire Was Mainly Because Of Christianity
The decline and fall of the Roman Empire was not because of a social welfare state or bread and circus mentality of the population. It can even be argued that the Roman empire never really fell but just moved away from it's old center on the Italian peninsula. The Roman Empire was relocated from the city of Rome under the imperial Emperors more than once. The first move out of Rome was by the Emperor who moved the place to the Island of Capri. Another Emperor moved the palace and essentially the seat of power to a fortified palace city at the present day location of the city of Split on the opposite side of the Adriatic sea from Italy in what is now formerly Yugoslavia. Emperor Hadrian moved his place outside of Rome at the site now known as Hadrian's Villa. Another emperor relocated his palace and capital with in the empire to Libya and of course Constantine moved the entire capital to Constantinople. The move to Constantinople was the major death blow to the city of Rome and that is because where ever the emperor happened to be and where his place was located was the center of the empire. Constantine moved the entire apparatus of state from Rome including all his concentric layers of mercenaries to the new capital across the Mediterranean Sea. The Byzantine empire grew out of this but it really was a continuation of the Roman empire and not a new empire. The City of Rome was not abandoned. Constantine went to the trouble to build his arch: the arch of Constantine in the old city which means the city of Rome still had very significant value to the Roman Empire. The problem with Rome was living in the palace there it was increasingly expensive for the emperor. It took his time and his patience. The city of Rome was well built and most of it was a sanctuary to the ancient glories of Rome which means there was no room to build a monumental new city . Rome was a place to have to worry about political intrigue and riots so as other emperors moved out of town Constantine did too but with a more permanent intention. The reason for moving to Constantinople was a economic no brain-er of the time. In Constantinople the far east trade in Silk and other goods could be controlled with lucrative possibilities for what we call tarrifs and customs imposed by the emperor on the imports. In other words he was getting rid of the old middle men and putting himself and his dynasty in charge of that lucrative business. Very lucrative. More active mines were located in the eastern empire than the west including the salt mines of Judea which provided a major eastern trade commodity Constantinople was the ultimate toll booth for virtually all east west trade so long as the Roman Empire could patrol the eastern frontier there was virtually no way around Constantinople. Emperor Constantine wanted to make certain that he could raise vast sums of cash and without that he could not have built his new city. It was a perfect economic business plan and venture. With the city of Rome so far away Constantine would not have to spend loads of cash on new public works programs, deal with the entitled unions or be expected to provide urban charity. Instead he could put much of his new found wealth into building the new city. Profit margins for imports from China and India were much higher than the outsourcing margins gained by Nike and Apple today, By controlling what came over the frontier Constantine and his imperial predecessors would thrive in Constantinople more than they ever would have at Rome.
Constantine converted to Christianity on his death bed though he had already made Christianity the imperial state religion of Rome. There must have been plenty of people associated with all the offices of forums and temples who were displeased by that decision. It was no longer legal to worship in the old ways and a lot of institutions in Rome because obsolete immediately. It used to be that the slaughter and sacrifice going on at temples in Rome provided most of the meat consumed by the city. After Jesus Christ fish mongers may have started to move up in stature. Things were going to change pretty quickly in Rome in an unpleasant way for many people. One more reason for the emperor to get out of Rome and relocate his palace. For Roman priests there was an immediate life style downgrade throughout the empire unless they converted to Christianity. Some temples were immediately converted to christian churches others had no known immediate re-use. That is not the cause of what is seen as the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. It was the christian religion itself that would ultimately cause the empire to fall apart and fall into the hands of new owners.
The Christian religion taught concepts of love and forgiveness, loving they neighbor, brotherly love unlike the old Roman religion where Mars the god of war was sometimes worshiped. Before Christianity Romans were taught as children that aggressive conquest and ruthlessness was the core of their religion . After Christianity that immediately started to change. Children were taught that they might suffer future after death consequences of bad behavior . The Gladiatorial games went on in Rome long after Constantine so that part of the culture did not die out immediately but it did introduce a great sense of popular guilt that never had existed before in Roman Society. It is much the same kind of popular guilt we see in America because of the great overwhelming success of their society. That kind of guilt and Christian turning the other cheek results in self condemnation which leads to an unwillingness to become a mercenary society as much as Rome used to be. With the core mercenaries all having moved to Constantinople and Christian values of peace, understanding and love taking over the militaristic state or Rome, the Rome founded on raping the innocent Sabine women after murdering all the Sabine Men and Children was gone. POOF! It was a new Rome and one without the direct funding of the emperor in the relocated capital where the funding of mercenaries continued. The Emperors of Constantine soon realized that products they wanted from the western empire would remain cheap with excellent roads and mediterranean shipping lines where as products from the central and far east could be priced at many times the actual costs just like a $2 to make pair of Nike shoes made in Vietnam can sell for $150 in the USA today. The emperor really did not care much about collecting tolls from the west so he could ignore it. The money from the eastern trade was so good and for so long that the muslim conquerors took constantinople to control the exact same trade lines and in someways they took over aspects of Roman civilization and not just the territories.
Christianity played a major role in what is seen as the decline and fall of ancient Rome coupled with the economics of the strategic position of the city of Constantinople as a imperial toll booth for east west trade. Christian values made the Romans soft less war like people. Christians became concerned about others which included people out in the provinces and they promoted ideas of equality as never before among men. That was not the Roman solution of empire but rather a Roman solution to dissolve the empire. It was intentional and no accident. It is sort of like the green flat earth environmentalists today. Guilty about everything humans ever did to create wealth for themselves on the planet and talking about a zero growth "sustainable" economy. The reality is that they are saying they want the American civilization they know and hate to decline and fall . When they say they want internationalism where the US is just a nation among nations they may actually be intending to say they want to be conquered from the outside. When they say they believe in peace and love and never war they are saying they want the country to fall apart , decline and fall as it were. It is a fantasy they have that you see in every post apocalyptic movie ever made. We all go back to nature and we live with equality in some kind of utopia except for the radioactive zombies and the talking apes. Christianity actually caused the Roman apocalypse. All the true believers went to heaven and the ancient Roman state and city went to hell. After the apocalypse the city of Rome did go back to being a rural area where crops were grown over parts of the ruined city. That was not an ancient Roman fantasy but became an old European Romantic fantasy with the adoration of ruins.
Rome's decline and fall was mostly due to the new Christian religion coupled with the relocation of the imperial economic center far to the east in the city of Constantinople. It can be argued that it was not only christian ideology that caused it but the expiration of all the old Roman capital's institutions including temples and forum which really means a kind of thing we now call and economic game changer in business parents. That is the idea that a company will for ever destroy its old competition by having invented a new more successful way of doing business. Constantine actually did this very well and it left the old ancient capital city without the means of competing and without the means of paying it's bills the way it used to with Roman imperial empire conquests. Constantine found a new business that was more toll booth than corporate conquest of territory by war which is directly associated with what a new more Christian imperial empire would have been about. The city of Rome eventually became expendable. Rome did not die it just morphed into a new eastern version of itself. When Constantinople fell the virtues of Roman culture just came to be relocated again with less of a power center but Constantinople remained the economic glory that Emperor Constantine intended it to be until Christopher Columbus went looking for a western route to China and set into motion what would become the reinvention and just maybe the preservation and extended life of the Roman Empire based in Washington DC.