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Published on October 29, 2007

Author: Talya

Source: authorstream.com

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Pax Romana and Rome’s Decline:  Pax Romana and Rome’s Decline Rome’s Vast Empire Roman Trade The Crisis in Rome Rome’s Vast Empire:  Rome’s Vast Empire 27 BC – AD 180: Pax Romana “Roman Peace” Population 60-80 million; 1 million in Rome Emperor Augustus- 63 BC – AD 14 Created organized system to govern this expanse Formed a civil service- workers paid to manage gov’t affairs Grain supply, tax collection, postal system This system allowed for Rome’s stability after Augustus’ death New emperors came & went, but civil service remained Roman Trade:  Roman Trade Dependent on wheat to feed soldiers & citizens Wheat imported from Egypt Huge food giveaway programs for citizens Imported luxury items from India & China – depleted treasury Roads built to connect far-reaches of empire Roman Decline:  Roman Decline Economic Collapse Political Collapse Military Collapse Changing Geography Invasion All played role in collapse of Roman power; not in this particular order Economic Collapse:  Economic Collapse Tribes on Roman periphery and pirates weakened trade Luxury spending drained empire of needed gold & silver Gov’t raised taxes; minted coins w/ less silver Farm lands overworked in Italy & W. Europe Poor farmers abandoned land Use of slave laborers decreased need for hired workers Military Upheaval:  Military Upheaval Germanic tribes continually invaded Roman lands in the North Persia threatened Roman interests & territory in Syria & Anatolia (modern Turkey) Soldiers no longer loyal to Rome; loyal to commanders Commanders in a continual fight among themselves for power Rome hired Mercenaries- foreign soldiers who fought for $- no loyalty to Rome Political Collapse:  Political Collapse Loyalty key to Roman self-awareness and sacrifice Poor conditions caused citizens to lose sense of pride and love for Rome Citizens became disenchanted & indifferent Public office no longer a sense of duty and honor Political system suffered because of this Changing Geography:  Changing Geography Constantine a military commander who gained power over Western Rome 312 AD He gained control of Eastern portion of empire in 324 330- Constantine moved capital of Rome to Greek city of Byzantium- strategically located for trade and defense Western Rome Overrun:  Western Rome Overrun Germanic tribes invaded Roman territory (376-476) Ostrogoths, Visogoths, Franks, Angles, Saxons, Burgundians, Vandals to name a few Huns invaded northern frontier regions; forced Germanic tribes to migrate Germanic Tribes- Franks and Vandals moved through Provinces of Gaul, Spain and N. Africa Roman army unable to defend itself from onslaught Britannia overrun by Angles and Saxons (modern Anglo-Saxon term derived from this) Western Roman Empire fell apart, while Byzantine Empire remained powerful (Eastern half of empire) Historical Commentary:  Historical Commentary “The Decline of Rome as the natural and inevitable effect of moderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight…instead of inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, would should rather be surprised that it had lasted so long.” Edward Gibbon, 1780s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Commentary Continued:  Commentary Continued “The year was 476. For thos who demand to know the date Frome fell, that is it. Others will realize that the fall of Roem was not an events but a process. Or. To put it another way, there was no fall at all- ancient Romean civilization simply became something else, which is called medieval. [It evolved into another civilization, the civilization of the Middle Ages.] Finley Hooper, Passage from Roman Realities (1967)

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