6 4 fall-of_the_roman_empire (1)


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6 4 fall-of_the_roman_empire (1)

  1. 1. The Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 6, Section 4
  2. 2. A Century in Crisis End of Marcus Aurelius’ reign as emperor (A.D. 161-180) brought about end of Pax Romana. Ruler’s after Marcus Aurelius had no idea how to deal with the giant empire and its problems.
  3. 3. Rome’s Economy Weakens Hostile tribes and pirates disrupt trade. Empire at limit of expansion and lacks new sources of gold and silver. – empire raised taxes as a result – empire minted coins with less silver inflation resulted
  4. 4. Rome’s Economy Weakens Agriculture faced serious problems – Harvests were increasingly meager because soil lost fertility. – Years of war destroyed farmland. Serious food shortages, disease, and population decline resulted.
  5. 5. Military and Political Turmoil Roman military in disarray – less disciplined soldiers – allegiance to commanders, not to Rome itself – recruiting of mercenaries who were less loyal to Rome Less loyalty among average citizens – Earlier Romans cared more about the Republic. Later Romans lose their sense of patriotism.
  6. 6. Emperors Attempt Reform Diocletian Reforms the Empire – Becomes emperor in 284. – Severely limits personal freedoms. – Doubles size of Roman army. – Controls inflation by price fixing. – Divides the empire  Greek speaking East (takes for himself)  Latin-speaking West (appoints a co-ruler) – Kept overall control. – Retired in A.D. 305, but civil war broke out. – Four rivals competed for control, including the commander Constantine
  7. 7. Emperors Attempt Reform Constantine Moves the Capital – A.D. 312 Constantine gains control of the western part of the empire. – A.D. 324 he secures the eastern empire and the system of a single ruler. – A.D. 330 Constantine moves the capital from Rome to Byzantium on the Bosporus Strait between Europe and Asia. – The center of power shifts from Rome to the east, Constantinople.
  8. 8. Western Empire Crumbles– Germanic Invasions  A.D. 370 the Huns move into Europe causing the Germanic peoples to flee into Roman territory.  A.D. 410 Germans invade and overrun Rome itself and plunder it for three days. Attila the Hun  In 444 the Huns unite under Attila and terrorize both halves of the empire.  In 452 the Huns advance against Rome, but fail in conquering the city due to famine and disease.  Attila dies in 453.
  9. 9. The Western Empire Crumbles – An Empire No More  14-year-old emperor Romulus Augustulus ousted by German by German forces in 426.  Roman power in the western half of the empire ceases to exist.  The eastern half of the empire comes to be called the Byzantine Empire, and flourishes for 1,000 years.  The Byzantine emperors ruled from Constantinople.  The Byzantine emperors saw themselves as heirs to the power of Augustus Caesar.