According to historians, the fall of Western Rome was linked to numerous causes including the frequent attacks from invaders. Inefficiency of the political administration and several other factors that eventually resulted in the decline in power of the Roman Empire. This event can be found on the Bible Timeline with World History around 500 AD. While there were some attempts to prevent the empire’s decline, the lack of power caused the division of its territory.
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Causes of the Roman Empire’s Decline
One of the primary causes of the Roman Empire’s decline was the inability to enforce its rule. Whether it is via civil administration or by using armed forces. For instance, when Odoacer took charge after the removal of Emperor Romulus, there was an evident lack of efficient military and political power throughout the empire and its territory. Invaders were able to hold power over several parts of Western Rome. Their influence lasted for centuries, and it contributed to the empire’s difficulty in rising from their fall.
In 410 AD, Alaric led the Visigoths toward invading the empire’s capital. Which was a successful attempt on the part. They forcefully found their way in Rome, and once they were in the city, it was easy for them to loot, destroy, burn and sack the entire area. This grim event in the history of the Roman Empire went on for three days, and it was the very first time in about a thousand years that the city fell int the hands of invaders. While this was the initial successful attempt to seize the capital of the Roman Empire, there were more invasions that occurred which contributed to its decline.
Another factor that has led to the decline in Western Rome’s power was the spread of Christianity. This was the opposite of the polytheistic or the Romans’ traditional religion. In fact, the rise of Christianity resulted in the persecution of people who have converted to this new religion. Specifically the poor citizens of Rome. However, Constantine the Great, a Roman emperor, put an end to the sufferings of Christians by imposing tolerance for this religion. It did not take long before Christianity spread to different parts of the empire.
Traditionally, Romans looked up to their Emperor as their god. This was different from Christianity. Since in this religion, there is one God whom they should worship. This caused the people to believe that “God” is not the emperor, which caused the empire’s supreme ruler to lose credibility and authority over time.
Aside from the introduction of a new religion, Constantine decided to split the Roman Empire into two areas. It was in 330 AD when the empire was divided into west and east. And while the western part had Rome as its capital, the eastern section’s seat of power was in Constantinople – named after Emperor Constantine. There were major differences in these two empires such as the religion practiced and the language spoken. However, during the western empire’s decline, the East continued to thrive and remain in existence for centuries even during the establishment of the Byzantine Empire. On the other hand, Western Rome experienced a significant reduction in its production of agricultural products, massive trade deficit, inflation, and attacks from invaders such as the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Franks, Visigoths and Saxons. This put an end to the empire’s power.
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