Katie's 8th Grade History
15.4 Fall of the Empire

*the pax Romania ended after about 200 years

*things grew worse

*by 476 A.D. there was no empire left

*much of western Europe was a patchwork of Germanic kingdoms

*the eastern part of the empire lasted about 1,000 years longer as part of the Byzantine Empire

~Reasons of the Fall

*political- emperors had no written rule about who was to inherit the throne upon and emperor’s death

*sometimes the title went to the emperor’s son

*other times the emperor was adopted

*between 96 and 180 A.D. all emperors were adopted

*Marcus Aurelius became emperor in 161 A.D.

*kind, intelligent, and devoted to his duties

*his son Commodus was the opposite

*Commodus became emperor in 180 A.D. after Marcus died

*He was cruel and hated by citizens

*192 A.D. he was strangled by the Praetorian Guard

*Praetorian Guard sold throne to the highest bidder

*100 of years legion fought legion to put its own emperor on the throne

*by 284 A.D. Rome had 37 different emperors

*most were murdered by the army or the Praetorian Guard

*the second reason was economic

*emperor had to keep soldiers happy

*high wages

*more and more money was needed for the army payroll

*pay higher taxes

*began to suffer from inflation

*inflation: a period of ever- increasing prices

*no new conquests gold was no longer coming into Rome

*much gold was going out though for luxury items

*less gold for coins

*money began to lose value

*people began to barter- or exchange goods without using money

*The third reason was they fell centered on foreign enemies

*worried about politics and money

*Rome’s frontiers were open and enemies could attack

*cities began to build walls to protect

*Diocletian and Constantine I

*Diocletian and Constantine I tried very hard to save the Roman Empire from collapsing

*Diocletian son of a freedman ruled from 284-305 A.D.

*fortified frontiers to stop invasions

*set maximum process for wages and goods

*official policy of rule by divine rights

*this meant the emperors powers and right to rule came not from the people but from the gods

*ruled the richer eastern provinces

 

 

*Constantine I

*312-337 A.D.

*the sons of workers had to follow their fathers

*to escaped government pressure and control, wealthy landowners moved to their villas or country estates

*continued to decline in the west

*in 330 A.D. Constantine moved the capital from dying Rome east to the newly built city of Constantinople in present day Turkey

 

~End of the Empire

*German attacks increased mainly in western Europe

*in 378 A.D. a Germanic group defeated Roman legions at the Battle of Adrianople

*one reason Germans defeated was because of an invention they borrowed from the Huns

*the invention was the iron stirrup

*made cavalry stronger than infantry

*force of the charging horse was added to the force of the weapon

*400 A.D. Rome grew weak

*406 A.D. Rhine River froze

*Germans crossed frozen river and entered Gaul

*410 A.D. Germanic chief Alaric and soldiers invaded Rome

*burned records and looted the treasury

*Rome Senate said “You can no longer rely on Rome for finance of direction.  You are on your own.”