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The Fall of the Roman Empire

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1 The Fall of the Roman Empire

2 Vocabulary Requirements: Terms numbered Definition (provided)
Sentence using the term; highlight the term Illustration that demonstrates that you understand what the term means (i.e., stick figures or portraits of a person are generally unable to demonstrate your understanding)

3 Dictator Definition: an absolute ruler who made rules and military decisions on his own; did not share power with others Sentence: Although my youngest sister thought that I was a dictator growing up, I have to remind her that in fact, I shared power with our other sister, which makes her dictator claim false. Julius Caesar, however, was truly a dictator after he usurped power from his triumvirate allies. Picture:

4 Diocletian Strong-willed Roman army leader; ruled with an “Iron Fist”
Claimed to be a descendant of Roman Gods; put on ceremonies to demonstrate his godliness

5 Recognized the challenge of ruling a huge empire; divided the Roman Empire in half – East and West

6 Constantinople “The City of Constantine”
After Diocletian retired a civil war broke out. Eventually, Constantine gained control, rejoined the East and West Roman Empire, and moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium Byzantium was renamed Constantinople

7 Constantinople


9 Attila the Hun Brutal, ruthless Hun chieftain
Notorious for destroying and plundering cities Forced Germanic tribes into Rome Attila the Hun

10 Mercenary Soldiers who fight for pay Often not even from Rome
Power-hungry Romans would hire mercenaries to fight for them This was problematic because mercenaries’ loyalty could be bought “Scab” soldiers

11 Economic problem in which the value of money goes down AND prices for products rise at the same time

12 The Fall of the Roman Empire
Cornell Notes The Fall of the Roman Empire

13 Factors that led to Rome’s decline
A weak economy Military problems Problematic political decisions Social problems

14 Weak Economy Inflation - Coins less valuable; goods cost more
Unfertile farmland yielded weak harvests Food shortages, disease Fixed prices (Diocletian)

15 THINK – PAIR – SHARE Coins became less valuable because they contained less silver. The value of money decreased and cost of goods increased. Eventually the money system collapsed. People were allowed to pay taxes in food, goods. What problems might exist with this form of tax collection? Would this form of tax collection help the crumbling empire or make it worse? Why?

16 Military Problems Lack of loyalty for the Roman Empire
Mercenary culture allowed for widespread attempts at “power grabs” Several civil wars Weak military; susceptible to invasions (Germanic tribe due to Attila)

17 Quick Write Which problem do you think was more significant: a poor economy or weak military? Why?

18 Problematic Political Decisions
Diocletian divided the Roman Empire, fixed prices and limited individual freedoms Constantine rejoined the East & West Roman Empires, but after his death, another civil war began and the East & West were again divided

19 Social Problems People were less interested in public affairs
Lack of patriotism Social classes deeply divided Less people due to food shortages and disease

20 Quick Write Do you think different leaders could have saved the Roman Empire? Why/why not?

21 The Collapse The Western Empire succumbed to German forces
The Eastern Empire held on and flourished for 1,000 more years; known as the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire continued to spread Greek and Roman ideas

22 Cornell Notes Summary 1. Describe the fall of the Roman Empire.
2. Which of the factors do you think was/were the most significant in the fall of the Roman Empire? Why?

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