1 Coach Parrish OMS Chapter 9, Section 3 Fall of RomeCoach ParrishOMSChapter 9, Section 3
2 ConstantineConstantine – Emperor of Rome from 312 – 337 AD. He converted to Christianity after a vision and strongly encouraged the spread of Christianity. (We discussed Constantine earlier in the year when we studied chapter 10.)
4 From Good Rule to BadThe Roman Empire began its decline in 180 AD when Marcus Aurelius died and left his son Commodus in power.Commodus mistakenly allowed others to help him run the empire causing many problems. He failed to recognize the Senate on important decisions and bribed the army for power.
5 Commodus He was only 18 when he took power. This picture is him dressed up as Hercules. He often portrayed him in the Colosseum.He was assassinated on December 31, 192 AD.
6 Weak, Corrupt RulersAfter Commodus, emperors were often generals and not politicians. They stole money from the treasury and used it for themselves.The Roman economy became weak and the senate lost power. Between 180 – 284 AD, Rome had 29 emperors. (Most were assassinated.)
7 Mercenary ArmyThe Roman army had been reduced from willing citizens to mercenaries – foreign soldiers who worked for pay. The mercenaries often switched sides based on who was paying more. The mighty Roman soldier was a memory.
8 Size of EmpireThe size of the empire was so large that it became harder to defend without a standing army. Many conquered territories regained their independence.
9 Serious Economic Problem When Rome stopped conquering new lands, wealth for the empire was hard to obtain. The empire raised taxes and people became unemployed.Food was scarce so its price went up. The government had to make more coins, thus resulting in inflation – economic situation in which more money circulates, but has less value.
10 Constantine and Christianity After Diocletian retired in 305 AD, a struggle for powers between generals lasted for 7 years. The general that finally won was Constantine.Constantine became the emperor of the western Roman empire.
11 Freedom of ReligionIn 313 AD, Constantine and Licinius (Ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire) declared that the Roman Empire would have religious freedom in both the Eastern and Western halves.Christians could now organize churches and get land back that had been taken from them. Christianity was about to become the official religion of the Roman Empire.
12 Another Christian Victory In 324 AD, Constantine won several battles against Licinius and gained control of the entire empire.This was a victory for the Christians because Licinius was still torturing Christians in the Eastern half of the empire.Constantine saw this as proof that God was working through him.
13 Building a FaithDuring his 25 years as emperor, Constantine helped the Christian religion grow. He helped fund several churches including St. Peter’s church in Rome.Constantine also planned and paid for a church in Jerusalem where it was said that Jesus was crucified, buried, and risen from the dead.Today, St. Peter’s Church is home to the Pope in Vatican City. It is also the site of St. Peter’s tomb.
20 A New CapitalIn 330 AD, Constantine moved the capital of the Roman empire to Byzantium, which later was called Constantinople.With the move, the power of the Roman empire was clearly in the east.
21 Invasions and Collapse Once Constantine died, invaders came inside the empire and overwhelmed it. The invaders were Germanic tribes whom the Romans called barbarians.In 410 AD, the Visigoths captured and looted Rome. The Vandals took Rome in 455 AD. The last Roman emperor was Romulus Augustus (He was 14 when he took power.)