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6.4 Decline Of The Roman Empire
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Decline of the Roman Empire

  1. 1. THE DECLINE OF ROME Social Studies for 9th EGB Teacher: Mauricio Torres
  2. 2. Introduction • As you have read, foreign tribes had settled along the Roman Empire’s northern borders in the 200s. • A century later, these bands began raiding deep into the heart of the empire.
  3. 3. Early Invasions
  4. 4. Early Invasions • The source of these raids were a group of people called the Huns, fierce warriors from Central Asia. – They first invaded southeast Europe, pushing another group, the Goths (Visigoths and Ostrogoths). Unable to defeat the Huns, they fled into Roman territory.
  5. 5. Clashing with Goths • Roman leaders feared that the Goths would destroy Rome’s land and property. They fought hard to keep them out. – Eastern armies were successful and pushed them towards the west. – As a result, the western armies were defeated by the Goths. In this way, many Goths moved into the Roman Empire.
  6. 6. Desperate Fighting • The Romans fought desperately to keep the Goths away from Rome. Even as far as paying them not to attack. – In 408 Rome stopped making payments, and later in 410 an army of Visigoths invaded Rome!
  7. 7. The End of the World • This invasion devastated the Romans, because their city had not been invaded in 800 years! – The now Christian Romans thought it was the end of the world.
  8. 8. The Fall of the Western Empire
  9. 9. More Barbarians • The Gothic victory inspired more foreign warriors to invade the western half of the empire. – The Vandals, Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Franks all launched attacks. – Meanwhile, the Huns, with Attila as a leader, raided territory in the east.
  10. 10. Attila the Hun
  11. 11. Power Vacuum • Rome needed strong leaders to survive these attacks, and by now emperors were weak! Therefore, military leaders took power away from emperors. – Conflict with one of these foreign generals gave way to a situation in which one of them (Odoacer) overthrew the emperor and declared himself King of Italy. – This event is considered as the end of the Western Empire.
  12. 12. FACTORS IN ROME’S FALL
  13. 13. Main Factors 1 • The Empire’s vast size 2 • Political crisis and corruption 3 • Wealthy citizens with independent armies
  14. 14. The Empire’s vast size • Communication among various parts of the empire was difficult, specially during conflict. • It just became to big to govern.
  15. 15. Political crisis and corruption • By the 400s, corruption (a decay of people’s values) had become widespread in Roman government. – Corrupt officials used threats and bribery to achieve their goals, often ignoring the needs of Roman citizens. – As a result, government was no longer efficient.
  16. 16. Wealthy citizens with independent armies • Wealthy Romans fled from the city to their country states and created their own private armies for protection. – Some of these men, used their armies to overthrow emperors and take power for themselves. • For those who stayed in the city, life became more difficult: – Rome’s population decreased, schools closed, taxes soared, making many Romans poor.
  17. 17. Fun Fact • Among the many threats posed to the Romans, one of the most serious came from a group called the Vandals. A Germanic tribe, they attacked Spain, Gaul, north Africa before they sacked Rome itself. • Today’s use of the word vandal comes from the damage and destruction Vandal raids caused in the Roman Empire.
  18. 18. Ask Yourself • Recall How did Romans deal with Goth invaders? • Sequence What sequence of events led to the sack of Rome in 410? • Identify What factors weakened the Roman government? • Cause and Effect What were the effects of wealthy citizen’s leaving Rome? • Elaborate Which factor do you think played a major role in the downfall of Rome?
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    Apr. 11, 2014
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