Presentation on theme: "The Decline and Fall of Rome During the AD 200’s, while Christianity was spreading through the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes began to overrun the western."— Presentation transcript:
The Decline and Fall of Rome During the AD 200’s, while Christianity was spreading through the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes began to overrun the western half of the empire. Many inhabitants in the area reported widespread devastation and chaos. The Germanic tribes had always been a threat to the empire. Why were they so much more successful now?…
The Problems of the Empire 1) Political Instability Commodus, Marcus Aurelius’ son, spent so much money that he bankrupted the treasury. In 192AD his own troops plotted to kill him. Commodus was one of many poor leaders for Rome… He was not the first, and he would not be the last… Commodus though of himself as Heracles (Hercules) reborn never lost a gladiatorial battle though… From 192 AD to 284AD army legions installed 28 emperors… only to kill most of them off… Legions often supported different people for emperor, because of this the legions were often fighting each other… too busy to fight off Germanic tribes like the Goths, Alemanni, Franks, and the Saxons.
2) Economic Decline Political instability led to economic decline… warfare disrupted trade and commerce. By this time Rome was buying more goods than it was making… not good… Items in small supple caused inflation. Warfare also destroyed farmland, causing food shortages. As inflation rose, the landowners were taxed, meaning less profit for farmers who later would abandon their lands.
Unsuccessful Reforms 1) Diocletian 284AD – Diocletian comes to power. To hold back invasions he raised the number of legions in the army, and spent time traveling the empire to inspect them. Realizing the empire was too big for one man to govern, he split the empire into two; he was coemperor of the eastern provinces, and General Maximian was coemperor of the western provinces. He also tried to slow inflation by issuing the “Edict of Prices” – he froze wages and set maximum prices for goods. Under penalty of death though citizens still sold goods in illegal trade. He also required farmers who rented land never to leave, and all workers to remain at their jobs for the rest of their lives.
2) Constantine Takes over in 312AD… He made it legal for landowners to chain workers to keep them on the farm, and declared most jobs hereditary. He moves the capital from Rome to Byzantium, and names it Constantinople… 3) Theodosius I Following Constantine’s death in 337AD the empire falls into a civil war, of which the western half suffers… At his death Theodosius wills that the empire be split into two separate empires; in 395AD this division takes place. The western was the Roman Empire, and the eastern was the Byzantine Empire.
Barbarian Invasions Germanic tribes start migrating into the Roman Empire during the late 300’s AD seeking warmer climates, better grazing lands, and a share of Rome’s wealth. Most came because they were fleeing the Huns…
The Visigoths During the late 300’s AD Germanic groups extended their hold on Roman territory; the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, Franks, Angles, and Saxons. At first, in 378AD the Visigoths rebelled against Rome and defeated a large Roman army, killing the eastern Roman emperor… Peace was made by giving land. Then in 410AD, under Alaric, the Visigoths sacked Rome. On his death they retreated back into Gaul (Spain).
The Huns A nomadic group that came from central Asia led by Attila. The Huns were such great fighters that in 451AD Rome and the Visigoths joined forces against them. Plague and famine took their toll on the Huns, and following Attila’s death in 453AD they retreated to eastern Europe.
The Fall of Rome… In 455AD the Vandals sacked Rome In 476AD a German soldier named Odoacer seized Rome and named himself king of Italy… Rome had fallen…