2 I. Marcus Aurelius, the last of the five good emperors, died in 180, and a series of civil wars followed. II. The Decline of Rome From 196 to 284, the throne was occupied by whoever had the military strength to seize it. III. During this 88 year period, there were 28 emperors, many of whom met with a violent death (list of Roman Emperors). IV. Also during this time the Empire was troubled by invasions by the Persians in the east, and Germanic tribes moved into Gaul, Hispania, and the Balkans.
3 VI. As if civil wars and invasions were not enough, plague, inflation, and economic depression came close to causing the Empire to collapse. VII. A labor shortage was created by plague, which effected military recruitment and the economy, farms were ravaged by invaders and Roman armies, and as a result there was a dramatic decline in industry and trade. VIII.The Empire began to have to rely on hiring German mercenaries to fight under Roman commanders. IX. These mercenaries did not understand Roman traditions, and had little loyalty to the Empire.
5 A New Lease On Life I. In 284, Emperor Diocletian, realizing that the Empire was to large for one person to govern, he divided the Empire into sections, each with its own ruler. II. Caesars, junior emperors, would rule over subdivisions, and each would be subordinate to their respective Augustus, senior emperor.
7 A New Lease On Life I. In 284, Emperor Diocletian, realizing that the Empire was to large for one person to govern, he divided the Empire into sections, each with its own ruler. II. Caesars, junior emperors, would rule over subdivisions, and each would be subordinate to their respective Augustus, senior emperor. III. Diocletian, and later Constantine, would strengthened the governmental bureaucracy, enlarged the army, which included German troops, and make economic reforms.
8 IV. To address the labor shortages and ensure tax revenue, edicts were passed that forced people to remain in their designated vocation. V. Basic jobs, such as bakers, became hereditary, and free tenant farmers found themselves bound to the land of large landowners. VI. In 306 AD, Constantine I began his reign as an Augustus, but his jealous rival Maxentius, son of a former Emperor, seized the throne. VII. For a period of time Constantine supported Maxentius, and Constantine was supported by Maxentius.
9 VIII.However, Maxentius rule was insecure, and he went to war with his rivals to secure power, and 312 AD, he and Constantine met in battle. IX. The night before the battle, it is said that Constantine had a dream in which he was told "to mark the heavenly sign of God on the shields of his soldiers. X. The next day his army broke the ranks of Maxentius army, which fled to the Tiber. XI. Maxentius fled with his troops, and attempted to cross the Tiber River with them, but he was pushed by the mass of his fleeing soldiers into the river, and drowned.
10 XI. Maxentius' body was fished out of the Tiber River, his body was decapitated, and his head was paraded through the streets for all to see. XII. Constantine issued decrees that there would be no revenge against Maxentius' supporters, property lost under Maxentius would be returned, he recalled political exiles, and released Maxentius' imprisoned opponents. XIII.Constantine then consolidated power and established a new capital in the Greek city Byzantium, and named it Nova Roma, meaning New Rome.
11 Constantine the Great
12 The Rule of Constantine I. Constantine s new capital had an excellent strategic location, and he enriched the city by building a forum, palace, and amphitheater. II. The city was renamed Constantinople, which in Latin was Constantinopolis, meaning the city of Constantine.
16 The Rule of Constantine I. Constantine s new capital had an excellent strategic location, and he enriched the city by building a forum, palace, and amphitheater. II. The city was renamed Constantinople, which in Latin means the city of Constantine. III. In 313, Constantine had jointly developed the Edict of Milan which allowed Christians to practice their faith without oppression, removed penalties for professing Christianity, and returned confiscated Church property.
17 IV. The edict not only protected Christians from religious persecution, it allowed anyone to worship whichever deity he or she chose. V. In 325, Constantine summoned the Council of Nicaea, which instituted the Nicene Creed and dealt with Arianism. VI. The Arian concept of Christ was that the Son of God did not always exist, but was created by God, and is therefore separate from God. VII. This belief is grounded in the Gospel of John passage, You heard me say, I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
18 VIII.The Arian Belief was in conflict with those who believed Jesus was divine, which was in conflict with the first commandment, You shall have no other gods before me. IX. The Nicaea Council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom. X. The council developed the Nicene Creed which defines God as three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. XI. Constantine had new laws passed regarding Jews, who were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves.
19 XII. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to the clergy, promoted Christians to high office, however, he was over 40 before he converted to Christianity, and he was not baptized until the end of his life. XIII.During the reign of Theodosius I, 379 to 395, policies against paganism were intensified, and eventually paganism was outlawed and Christianity was made the state religion of the Roman Empire.
21 The Barbarian Invasions I. Theodosius I was last emperor to rule over both the western and eastern halves of the Roman Empire. II. In 378, Germanic tribe of the Visigoths, fleeing the migration of the Huns, entered the Balkans, defeated a large Roman army, and were allowed to settle within the Empire. III. In 406, a mixed group of Germanic tribes, crossed the frozen Rhine River, ravaged Gaul, and moved on to the regions of Hispania and Africa, resulting in the Empire loosing control over these lands.
23 IV. The Visigoths, after being mistreated by local Roman administrators, rebelled, raided Greece, invaded Italy, and in 410 sacked Rome.
24 The Sacking of Rome, 410 AD
25 IV. The Visigoths, after being mistreated by local Roman administrators, rebelled, raided Greece, invaded Italy, and in 410 sacked Rome. V. They then left Italy and founded the Visigoth Kingdom in southern Gaul and Hispania. VI. From 434 to 453, the Huns, led by Attila, raided the Balkans, Gaul, Italy, and were a threat to both Constantinople and Rome. VII. Attila was known as the Scourge of God.
26 Attila the Hun
27 IV. The Visigoths, after being mistreated by local Roman administrators, rebelled, raided Greece, invaded Italy, and in 410 sacked Rome. V. They then left Italy and founded the Visigoth Kingdom in southern Gaul and Hispania. VI. From 434 to 453, the Huns, led by Attila, raided the Balkans, Gaul, and Italy, and threatened both Constantinople and Rome. VII. Attila was known as the Scourge of God. VIII.The Huns were the main push factor for the Germanic tribes during the Migration Period. IX. Another group, the Vandals, moved through Gaul, into Hispania, then conquered North Africa, and then in 455, sacked Rome.
28 The Sacking of Rome, 455 AD
30 X. It is from this the word vandalism originates. XI. In 476 AD, the Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed by a rival who then proclaimed himself ruler of Italy and asked the Eastern Emperor to be the Emperor of both empires. XII. The Emperor agreed, but then shortly after incited the Ostrogoths, another Germanic tribe, to take back Italy for him. XIII.The Ostrogoths did this, but then founded an independent kingdom of their own, and Italy was lost to the Empire.
32 The Fall I. There are several factors that contributed to the decline and eventual fall of Rome. II. Plague wiped out on-tenth of the population. III. Rome failed to advance technologically because of its use and reliance on slave labor, there was constant political turmoil, and a dependence on mercenary soldiers. IV. Traditional Roman values declined as non- Italians gained prominence in the Empire. V. Lead poisoning through lead water pipes and cups caused a mental decline in the population.
33 VI. It is even theorized that Christianity contributed by weakened Rome s militarily values, which might be considered a contradiction. VII. There is no singular cause for the fall of Rome. VIII.The Roman armies in the west were simply unable to fend of the hordes of Germanic people invading into Gaul and Italy. IX. Even though the western half of the Roman Empire would fall, the Eastern Roman Empire would survive for another thousand years.
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