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The Decline & Fall OF The Roman Empire

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1 The Decline & Fall OF The Roman Empire

2 I. Emperor Diocletian A. Came to power in 284 CE B. Reign was called
the “New Empire” because he made many new reforms.

3 II. The Reign of Diocletian
A. Instructed farmers and merchants how much they could charge for goods (Edict on Prices) B. Increased size of army and government C. Divided empire into administrative parts: east and west. 1. Each side had own government and was ruled by its own emperor. 2. The two emperors ruled jointly and issued laws together. a. Diocletian ruled the eastern half and made himself the senior ruler. 3. Divided empire was expensive - Diocletian created new tax system to pay for it.


5 III. Emperor Constantine
A. Came to power in 312 CE and ruled both halves of the empire. B. Under Constantine, Christianity became the main religion in the Roman Empire.

6 IV. Constantine’s Reign
A. In 313 CE, Emperor Constantine gave Christians the freedom to practice their religion openly. B. Built new capital at Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople 1. It is located between Greece and Asia, reachable by land and sea, good defense 2. Dedicated in 330 CE; became “New Rome”


8 V. After Constantine A. Nephew, Julian, becomes emperor in 361 CE
B. Christianity becomes official religion of the Roman Empire by 400 CE C. By 400 CE, empire permanently splits

9 The Fall of The Roman Empire

10 WARM UP The chart below shows major events occurring during the Decline of Rome. Write the name of the person which matches each description on the line. Marcus Aurelius _____________ Dies ending the Pax Romana Diocletian _____________ Persecutes Christians and attempts reform. Divides the empire. Constantine _____________ Builds new capital at Constantinople.

11 I. Barbarian Invasions A. Since the time of Pax Romana, the empire had been fighting off attacks from barbarians. 1. Barbarian = people from beyond the Roman frontier B. The huge size of the empire made it difficult to defend. By the 300s, Germanic tribes were pressing hard on the western borders of the empire. 1. These tribes were trying to escape attack on their own territories. 2. They were attracted by wealthy cities and fertile farmlands of the empire. C. Some emperors tried to appease the barbarians giving them land to settle 1. Many were recruited into the army. a. However, these soldiers had little loyalty to Rome. Nero

12 Barbarian Invasions

13 I. Barbarian Invasions D. In 378 CE, the Visigoths, who settled in the eastern part of the empire, revolted. 1. They killed Emperor Valens, the leader of the eastern empire, and defeated his army. 2. The Visigoths marched into Rome in 410 CE. E. In the early 400s CE the barbarians destroyed Britain, Gaul, Spain, and North Africa. F CE is considered the fall of Rome – the Germanic chief Odoacer forced the last emperor out the western part of the empire. G. Constantinople withstood barbarian attacks and remained intact for another 1,000 years. Within the New Testament there are 4 gospels (accounts of Jesus’ life written by four of this followers). a. The gospels were written down from oral and written sources 30 – 70 years after Jesus died.

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