The Fall of RomeFor centuries after the rule of its firstemperor, begun in 27 B.C., the Roman Empirewas the most powerful state in the ancientworld. Rome continued to expand to include 3continents: Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Many factors cause the decline of RomeBy the second century, the Roman Empire seemedindestructible. Yet, by the end of the fifth century ithad collapsed. Rome did not fall instantly.Instead the empire went through a longslow decline. Many conditions caused the fall ofRome including internal (inside) and external(outside) forces.
The Fall of RomeInternal Forces External Forces3 Main Categories:- Political - Invaders, also called- Economic barbarians- Social
Political • Corruption in government • Plebeians had no rights • Empire too large to control • Emperors plotted against each other for control instead of uniting • Civil wars • Government lost loyalty as patricians moved to villas and stopped caring about government • Army deteriorates
Social • Christianity • Loss of citizen’s confidence and loyalty • Population declines • Hierarchical classes • Too many cultures • Bread and circuses • Plague
External ForcesInvaders, also called barbarians, began to invade inthe 3rd century. Germanic tribes from northernEurope crossed the Roman frontier and invadedGreece, Italy, Spain, and coastal areas of Asia Minor.The warmer climate, rich farmlands, and wealth ofthe Roman lands attracted the Germanic tribes. Bythe 5th century, the Roman Empire was overrun bybarbarians.
The Fall of RomeOnce the Roman army could no longer defendits borders, Germanic tribes began pouringinto Europe. One Roman province fell afteranother. In 476 A.D., the Western Romanemperor was overthrown. Odoacer was thenproclaimed king of Italy. The ancient worldwas drawing to a close.