Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Downfall of the Roman Empire :: Ancient Rome Roman History
Downfall of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire was strong for a time. It was founded on geography, family values, military strength, and wise leadership. It flourished because of social, economic, political, military and religious strengths. However, when the very things that make a civilization flourish start to decline, the civilization will also lead to a downfall. The first reason for the fall was economic decay. The rulers of Rome had expensive lifestyles. To aid their image, they needed money. They gained money through taxation on the poor. In response to the torment of tax collectors, the poor fled to barbaric lands. The poor made up a large percentage of the Roman population. Barbarians disrupted trade on the Mediterranean sea. Rome's gold and silver were being drained into buying luxuries from China, India, and Arabia. The government decreased the silver content in money. The value of the money also decreased. Diocletion attempted to curb the inflation. He issued an edict that fixed maximum prices and wages throughout the Empire. It was an unrealistic and unenforceable idea which failed. The emperors still felt the tax issue needed to be addressed. They decided to make the hereditary class of tax collectors pay the difference. In other words, if a poor person could not pay their full share, the tax collector paid the rest. This concept wi ped out a whole class of moderately wealthy people. Later, slavery split communities. Rome believed the workers of society should not benefit from slavery. Slaves then had to reason to try hard or improve. Eastern slaves started doing technical work. Thus, all technical work was looked down upon. Labor was cheap and worthless. Upper-class Romans were content with what they had become. They felt no need to improve their inventions, they were content with slaves. Another reason for the fall of Rome was political issues. Citizens no longer displayed patriotism, they were indifferent. Only the rich ran for office. Only the rich could run for office. It had become too expensive to hold office. The officers were forced to pay for public engagements themselves. The wealthy men destroyed Greco-Roman civilization. The loss of Greco-Roman civilization led to the decline of classical civilization. The general pattern of the classical civilization was based upon slavery being at the root of society. The army had proven itself to produce many leaders. The army needed to be maintained. Again, taxes were forced mainly on the poor or made more people impoverished.