Presentation on theme: "C HAPTER 6 S ECTION 4 T HE D ECLINE OF THE R OMAN E MPIRE Preview: What do you think might have been the most important factor in the decline of the Roman."— Presentation transcript:
C HAPTER 6 S ECTION 4 T HE D ECLINE OF THE R OMAN E MPIRE Preview: What do you think might have been the most important factor in the decline of the Roman Empire?
A C ENTURY OF C RISIS Empire declined after the reign of the five Good Emperors 1. Nerva – began custom of adopting heir 2. Trajan – had vast building program enlarged social welfare empire reached its largest extent 3. Hadrian – consolidated earlier conquests reorganized the bureaucracy 4. Antoninus Pius – reign largely a period of peace and prosperity 5. Marcus Aurelius – brought empire to height of economic prosperity defeated invaders
Rome suffers an economic and military decline 1. collapse of the economy collapse of trade and coinage too many people and not enough food no one took care of the field higher taxes caused inflation-drop in value of money and rise in prices cheap slave labor - inferior technology disease spread – population declined 2. collapse of society breakdown of social classes 3. barbarian invasions military troubles - discipline loyalty had collapsed use of mercenaries - defend against threats against empire - no sense of loyalty 4. Collapse of civil administration political corruption
Diocletian and Constantine Brought Temporary Reforms
E MPERORS A TTEMPT R EFORM Diocletian became emperor in A.D. 284 (absolute ruler and limited personal freedoms) a. forced farmers to keep farming b. set fixed prices for goods c. double size of army to protect borders d. tried to restore status of emperor by claiming divine authority Felt Christians a threat - passed decrees to persecute them Divided empire into Greek-speaking East and Latin-speaking West 1. Diocletian ruled the East and General Maximian the West The Tetrarchs Reforms slowed decline. Diocletian retired due to ill health Civil war break out and four rivals compete for power
C ONSTANTINE The Battle of the Milvian Bridge - defeated Mexentius The “conversion of Constantine” Gain control of western part of empire A.D. 312 The Edict of Milan – A.D. 313 Secure control of the East A.D. 324 - single ruler The Capital moved from Rome to the Greek city of Byzantium strategically located for trade and defense purposes between West and East - shift the center of power to the East Constantinople – new name Constantine died in 22 May, 337 at Nicomedia, shortly after his baptism by the Arian bishop, his friend Eusebius of Nicomedia. Empire divides again: the East survives, the West falls
I NVADERS O VERRUN THE W ESTERN E MPIRE Internal and economics problems and invading tribes bring down the Western Roman Empire 1. invasions of the Huns led by Attila - fierce Mongol nomads from central Asia - destroyed various regions 2. invasion of Italy and other provinces of Rome by the Goths (Germans) - Visigoth leader Alaric seized Rome in 408 – Rome plundered and sack AD 410 3. in 444 A.D. Attila terrorized both halves of the empire - failed to climb high walls of Constantinople - advanced against Rome, but weak by famine and disease -Pope Leo I negotiates their withdrawal in 452 A.D. - Attila dies in 453 A.D., but the Germanic invasions continue
Rome’s last emperor was a 14 year-old boy named Romulus Augustulus - sent into exile by a German general - Roman power in the west ceased to exist - eastern half became the Byzantine Empire - it preserved the Greek and Roman heritage - empire lasted until 1453, when it fell to the Ottoman Turks Although Rome’s power is gone, its cultural heritages continues in Western civilization. Greco-Roman culture refers to as classical culture.