Today’s Goal: Explain the reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire and its legacies.
Crises in Rome – the End of the Pax Romana Disruption of trade –Invaders, pirates threatened travel Lacked gold/silver –Rome no longer expanding Meager harvests –Overworked soil, destroyed farmland Decline of military –Mercenaries –Christianity did not encourage war Loss of patriotism –Lack of Roman unity, poor conditions
Effects of Crises Coined more $ to fight economic downturn –Caused inflation instead (loss in value of $ along with higher prices) Food shortages led to decline in population (less soldiers) Diseases spread Gov’t raised taxes
Emperor Diocletian How to fix army? –Doubled size of Roman army How to fix inflation? –Set fixed prices for goods How to give more prestige to Emperor? –Claimed to descend from the gods, ceremonies for himself How to control the size and complexity of the empire? –Divided empire into east (Greek-speaking) and west (Latin-Speaking)
Constantine Disorder after death of Diocletian Constantine (same guy who converted to Christianity & made it approved in the Edict of Milan) unified Empire again –Moved capital from Rome to Byzantium in east –Location was key for trade & defense –City changed name to Constantinople Imperial buildings similar to Rome Massive walls
After Constantine Empire divided into east and west again Invasions by Barbarians –Germanic peoples were pushed into Roman lands –Huns (Attila the Hun) Powerful chieftain, attacked and plundered Roman cities Could have conquered Rome, but failed due to famine & disease Last emperor = Romulus Augustulus –Ousted by German forces Eastern empire becomes Byzantine Empire Western empire crumbles & divides
Legacies of Rome Greco-Roman Culture –Classical –Mixture of Greek, Hellenistic, & Roman –Used Greek language, architecture, philosophy –Adapted, combined, and created new styles from Greek & Hellenistic Used Roman art & literature to convey Roman values of strength, permanence, solidarity (gravitas!)
Legacies of Rome Roman art for practical purposes –Public education! –Sculpture –Bas-relief (images project from flat background) –Mosaics (pictures made from tiles)
Legacies of Rome Latin was key for later culture –Official language of Roman Catholic Church –Adopted by different peoples, became French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian (Romance languages) –More than ½ of English words have Latin basis Eureka! Accio: Latin "I summon."
Legacies of Rome LAWS!!! –Equal treatment –Innocent until proven guilty Accuser has burden of proving guilt –Punished only for actions, not thoughts –No unfair, unreasonable laws
Legacies of Rome Technologies/advancements –Aqueducts (clean water to cities) –Baths –Coliseum (use of arches) –Dome (i.e. Pantheon)