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Presentation on theme: "THE DECLINE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE"— Presentation transcript:


2 THE DECLINE The Roman Empire suffered invasions by Persians and Germanic people. Invasions, civil wars, and plague almost caused the Roman economy to collapse in the 3rd century. Trade and small industry declined, and there was a large shortage due to plague. Farm production declined on fields ravaged by invaders. Money was short, but Rome needed soldiers more than ever. By the mid-third century, the state was depending on hired Germanic soldiers. They had no loyalty to Rome, nor did they understand Roman traditions.

3 THE DECLINE At the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth centuries, the emperors Diocletian and Constantine revived Rome, founding a state the Late Roman Empire. It had a new governmental structure, a rigid economic and social system, and a new religion-Christianity. Diocletian ruled from 284 to 305.

4 Diocletian Diocletian believed his empire was too large to have only one ruler, he divided the empire into four sections, each with its own ruler, including himself. His military power, however, made him the ultimate authority. Constantine, who ruled from 306 to 337, extended many of Diocletian’s policies.


6 Diocletian Both expanded the bureaucracy and enlarged the army to five hundred thousand troops. Expanding the civil service and the military drained the treasury. To fight inflation, Diocletain issued strict wage and price controls for the entire empire. They did not work. Both emperors issued edicts forcing people to stay in their jobs, which made basic jobs like being a baker hereditary. Small, free farmers increasingly were in debt to large landowners.

7 Diocletian In 324 Constantine became the sole ruler of Rome. His biggest project was constructing a new capital city in the east on the site of Constantinople (present day Instanbul). Calling it his “New Rome,” Constantine filled the city with a forum, palaces, an amphitheater, and other signs of Roman and civic glory. It became a center of the Eastern Roman Empire and one of the world’s greatest cities. The policies of Diocletian and Constantine were based on coercion and control. In the long run, therefore, they stifled the vitality Rome needed to revive.

8 The Fall The empire restored by Diocletian and Constantinople continued for another hundred-plus years. It had two capitols, Rome in the west and Constantinople in the east.

9 The Fall Many theories have been proposed to explain the fall of the Roman Empire: Christianity weakened Rome’s military virtues; Roman values declined as non-Italians gained prominent positions; lead poisoning from water pipes and vessels caused a mental decline; slavery held Rome back from advancing technologicaly; Rome’s political system proved unworkable. Probably there is some truth in all or most of these explanations.

10 Review Who invaded Rome in the 3rd century?
List me 3 issues that caused a decline in the roman economy? How many ways was Rome split up? Did Christianity weaken or strengthen Rome’s military? Explain why.


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