THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

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1 THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

2 Essential Question: What factors led to the collapse of the Roman Empire and what effect did the fall of Rome have on the Mediterranean world? Warm-Up Question: In the cartoon on the next slide, identify as many Roman achievements as possible

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4 The Roman Republic & Empire: A Brief Overview Rome began as a city-state that was heavily influenced by Greek culture

5 The Roman Republic By 509 BCE, Rome was ruled by elected Senators who served in the Roman Republic

6 The Roman Republic During the Republic, Rome expanded by defeating Carthage in the Punic Wars and later under generals like Julius Caesar

7 The Roman Republic The Republic weakened due to corruption, civil wars, and the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.E.

8 The Roman Empire After Julius Caesar s death, Rome became an empire ruled by the Emperor Augustus

9 The Roman Empire Under Augustus, Rome entered an era of peace and prosperity known as the Pax Romana Pax Romana

10 The Roman Empire After 207 years of prosperity during the Pax Romana, the Empire began to decline and was conquered in 476 A.D. Pax Romana Era of decline

11 The Decline of the Roman Empire The decline and fall of the Roman Empire happened gradually, in three stages FIRST STAGE: internal problems with politics, the economy, and the military began an era of decline SECOND STAGE: there was a brief period of revival as Emperors Diocletian and Constantine enacted reforms; however, some of these reforms would help bring about the Empire s end THIRD STAGE: repeated invasions by Germanic barbarian tribes would lead to the conquest of Rome, bringing the Roman Empire to an end

12 Rome s Internal Problems POLITICAL and SOCIAL The empire was too large for one emperor to control

13 Rome s Internal Problems POLITICAL and SOCIAL Emperors after the Pax Romana were weak

14 Rome s Internal Problems POLITICAL and SOCIAL Citizens experienced a loss of confidence, patriotism, and loyalty to the Roman government

15 Poor harvests led to food shortages Rome s Internal Problems ECONOMIC Outside groups disrupted trade

16 Rome s Internal Problems ECONOMIC Rome had a trade imbalance (they bought more than they produced) raised The government axes and minted new coins which led to inflation The economic decline left many Romans very poor

17 Rome s Internal Problems MILITARY Germanic tribes from Northern Europe, outside of the Roman Empire, were gaining strength

18 Rome s Internal Problems MILITARY The Roman military was growing ineffective due to poor leadership: generals had their own interests and were challenging the authority of the emperors

19 Rome s Internal Problems MILITARY To save money, Romans found it cheaper to hire foreign soldiers instead of employing more Romans; these mercenaries were not truly loyal to Rome

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21 The Decline of the Roman Empire The decline and fall of the Roman Empire happened gradually, in three stages FIRST STAGE: internal problems with politics, the economy, and the military began an era of decline SECOND STAGE: there was a brief period of revival as Emperors Diocletian and Constantine enacted reforms; however, some of these reforms would help bring about the Empire s end THIRD STAGE: repeated invasions by Germanic barbarian tribes would lead to the conquest of Rome, bringing the Roman Empire to an end

22 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR DIOCLETIAN In 284 CE, Emperor Diocletian came to power; he began a series of reforms that temporarily halted Rome s decline To fix the problems of the military, he doubled the size of the Roman Army To help the economy and stop inflation, he fixed the prices of certain goods

23 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR DIOCLETIAN In an attempt to do something about the lack of loyalty and patriotism of many Roman citizens, Diocletian presented himself as a godlike leader He wanted to boost the prestige of the position of emperor, so he claimed descent from the gods and had numerous ceremonies to glorify himself

24 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR DIOCLETIAN Diocletian s most important reform was dividing the Roman Empire into two parts: the Eastern Empire and the Western Empire

25 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR DIOCLETIAN Western Eastern Diocletian s most important was reform was dividing the Roman Empire into two parts: the Eastern Empire and the Western Empire

26 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR DIOCLETIAN Western Eastern The Roman Empire was divided by language: the mostly Latin-speaking Western half and the mostly Greek-speaking Eastern half

27 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR DIOCLETIAN Western Eastern However, the Empire was also divided by wealth: the East was far richer than the West because it contained more major cities and trade centers

28 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR DIOCLETIAN Diocletian s reasons for the division: he believed that the Empire had grown too large and too complex for one ruler He took the Eastern half for himself and appointed a coemperor to run the West; however, Diocletian had overall control of the Empire

29 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR CONSTANTINE After Diocletian s death, there was a power struggle among several men who wanted to rule the Empire Emerging victorious and becoming the new emperor of the West was Constantine Constantine continued many of Diocletian s reforms, but he reversed the biggest reform: he reclaimed the East and the Roman Empire once again had a single ruler

30 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR CONSTANTINE Constantine made other changes: wanting to unify Rome and recognizing that Christianity was on the rise and could not be destroyed, he ended persecutions of Christians and made it a legal religion Constantine later converted to Christianity himself The emperor after him would go on to make Christianity the unexpected official religion of Rome; this would have consequences

31 Attempts To Reform The Roman Empire EMPEROR CONSTANTINE In 330 CE, Constantine made a change that would have far-reaching consequences for the world: he moved the capital of the Roman Empire and his seat of power from Rome to a Greek city called Byzantium

32 Given its location on the Bosporus Strait, the city was also in a more easily defensible position from Northern invaders than Rome was Byzantium, the new capital Rome, the old capital Byzantium was perfectly located to be the center of trade between East and West

33 When it was constructed, Byzantium had a strong Greek and Christian influence; the new capital was soon protected by massive walls and later was the home to many great new structures built in the Roman style Byzantium eventually took on a new name: Constantinople (or City of Constantine )

34 After Diocletian and Constantine died, the Eastern half of the Empire continued to grow wealthier and more powerful

35 The Western half, on the other hand, once again began to decline

36 The Decline of the Roman Empire Reasons why the Western side of the Roman Empire once again slid into decline: political corruption, weakening economy, and terrible plagues Also, Roman citizens were less concerned with the fate of the Roman Empire and more preoccupied with thoughts of the afterlife (because of the dominance of Christianity)

37 The Decline of the Roman Empire All of these issues made the Western Roman Empire weak and vulnerable (open to attack)

38 The Decline of the Roman Empire The decline and fall of the Roman Empire happened gradually, in three stages FIRST STAGE: internal problems with politics, the economy, and the military began an era of decline SECOND STAGE: there was a brief period of revival as Emperors Diocletian and Constantine enacted reforms; however, some of these reforms would help bring about the Empire s end THIRD STAGE: repeated invasions by Germanic barbarian tribes would lead to the conquest of Rome, bringing the Roman Empire to an end

39 The Fall of the Roman Empire By 370 CE, barbarian tribes from Asia and Northern Europe were attacking both halves of the Empire

40 The Fall of the Roman Empire The Eastern half was well-protected, organized, strong, and prosperous; it fought off the invaders The Western half was vulnerable, disorganized, and weak; it could not defend itself from the invaders

41 The Fall of the Roman Empire A marauding barbarian tribe from Central Asia called the Huns began the invasions The Huns swept into Northern Europe, conquering all in their path

42 The Fall of the Roman Empire When the Huns invaded Northern Europe, they were so fierce that they even made the Germanic tribes want to avoid them

43 The Fall of the Roman Empire To avoid the Huns, the Germanic tribes moved south into the Western Roman Empire s territory

44 The Fall of the Roman Empire These Germanic groups (such as the Vandals, Goths, Visigoths, Franks, and Ostrogoths) did not move into Roman territory peacefully They repeatedly attacked the Western Romans

45 The Fall of the Roman Empire When a vicious new leader named Attila united the Hun tribes, the Huns also attacked both sides of the Roman Empire The Eastern side, centered around Constantinople, successfully fought off the attacking Huns The Western side, attacked at several places by the Huns and Germanic tribes, crumbled and was conquered ATTILA THE HUN

46 The Fall of the Roman Empire The city of Rome itself was captured and looted by the Visigoths in 410 CE

47 The Fall of the Roman Empire The German warrior Odoacer removed the last Roman emperor from power

48 The Fall of the Roman Empire The weak Western Roman Army could do little to stop the invasions; by 476 CE, Germanic barbarians took over the city of Rome and conquered the West

49 The once-united Western Roman Empire broke up into numerous smaller kingdoms and territories, each ruled over by different Germanic groups

50 The fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of numerous small kingdoms led Europe to the Middle Ages

51 The fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of numerous small kingdoms led Europe to the Middle Ages

52 The Eastern Roman Empire, now known as the Byzantine Empire, not only remained together but survived for nearly a thousand more years

53 The Importance of the Byzantine Empire The combination of Greek, Roman, and Hellenistic (the blend of Greek and Asian cultures) achievements are known as Greco-Roman culture The Byzantine Empire kept alive the cultural achievements of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome at the same time as Han China and Gupta India were creating their own great civilizations If the Byzantine Empire also fell, it is possible that the great innovations and achievements of these great civilizations could have been lost forever Greco-Roman achievements are the foundation of Western civilization, the culture Americans live in today

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