Presentation on theme: "And So It Begins…. The Pax Romana established by Emperor Augustus lasts for 200 years. There were revolts and problems throughout the empire during this."— Presentation transcript:
And So It Begins…. The Pax Romana established by Emperor Augustus lasts for 200 years. There were revolts and problems throughout the empire during this time, but the peace lasted. The government took care of the citizens, the army protected them, and trade made them rich
How the Empire Falls….. Politics: The emperors had no written rule about who was to inherit the throne upon an emperor’s death. Sometimes it was inherited by a son, other time a son was adopted as an heir. For example, Marcus Aurelius became emperor in 161 A.D. He was kind, intelligent, and devoted to duty. His son, Commodus was the opposite. He was so cruel and hated that he was strangled by his Praetorian Guard who sold his throne to the highest bidder. What was the Praetorian Guard?
How the Empire Falls….. Politics: This set a terrible precedent. (What is a precedent? Can you develop an example?) For the next 100 years legion fought legion to put its own emperor on the throne. By 284 A.D. Rome had 37 different emperors. Most were murdered by the army or the Praetorian Guard
How the Empire Falls….. Economic: To stay in office and emperor had to keep the soldiers who supported him happy. To do this he paid them high wages. (what are wages?) This meant more and more money was needed for the army payroll. As a result the Roman citizens had to pay higher taxes. Romans also began to suffer from inflation. (Rising prices)
How the Empire Falls….. Economics: Since there were no new conquests, gold was no longer coming in to Rome, yet a lot of gold was going out to buy luxury items. (define luxury) This meant there was less gold to produce gold coins. Money began to loose its value. People began to barter instead of use money. (what does it mean to barter?)
How the Empire Falls….. Foreign Enemies: While the Romans fought each other over politics and money, their borders were left open for attack. The Roman Army became less disciplined and stopped training as hard. Germanic tribes in the north began to attack. Trade and farming in those areas declined.
Diocletian and Constantine These two emperors tried very hard to save the Roman Empire from collapse.
Diocletian He fortifies the frontier to stop invasions. He reorganizes the state and provincial governments to make them work better. To keep prices down, he set a maximum price for wages and goods. To make sure goods were produced, he ordered workers to stay in the same job until they died. (why would he need to do this?) He also made the city officials personally responsible for the taxes their communities had to pay. (What might this mean?)
Diocletian He established the official policy of rule by divine right. This meant that the emperors powers and right to rule came not from the people, but from the gods. He also realized the Roman Empire covered too much area for one person to rule well, so he divided it into two parts. He allowed someone else to govern the western provinces, while he ruled the richer eastern provinces
Constantine I In 312 A.D. Constantine I became Emperor. He decreed that the sons of workers had to follow their father’s trade. The sons of ex-soldiers had to serve in the army. To escape government pressure and control, wealthy landowners moved to their villas or country estates. Most villas were like small independent cities. Each villa produced its own food and goods to meet the needs of everyone who lived there.
Constantine I Despite the changes by both Diocletian and Constantine, the Roman Empire continued to decline in the west. In 330 A.D. Constantine moved the capital from a dying Rome east to the newly built city of Constantinople in present day Turkey.
End of the Empire German attacks increased, especially in western Europe. In 378 A.D. a Germanic group defeated Roman legions at the battle of Adrianople. They were able to defeat the Romans because of an invention borrowed from the Huns-the iron stirrup. The stirrup made the cavalry stronger than infantry because the force of the charging horse was added to the force of the weapon.
End of the Empire By 400 A.D. Rome had grown quite weak. In 410 A.D. the Germanic chief Alaric and his soldiers invaded Rome. They burned records and looted the treasury. The Roman Senate told the people, “You are on your own.” What would happen if our government said this to us today?