Fall of Rome

Information and Facts about the Fall of Rome

Fall of Rome
Rome burning due to attacks.

476 AD marks the Fall of Rome when the Germanic barbarian Odoacer defeated the last emperor of Rome, Romulus Augustus. Historians say that there are many reasons why the Roman Empire fall.

Primarily, these reasons were considered to be political, military, and economic. Below are lists several reasons that led to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Fall of Rome – Political Problems

  • Fall of Rome - East and West Division
    East and West Division of the Roman Empire

    Corruptions in senate and instability in the politics came into existence. Officials accepted bribes in exchange for favors. Furthermore, consuls and officials would offer positions in office to those who could pay of a huge amount of money.

  • Emperor Constantine divided the Roman Empire into two halves and declared Constantinople as the new capital of Roman society. The western half of the Roman Empire lost its power over towns in the East. The loss of power over the eastern half caused a huge decline in profits from the treasury thus weakening the military in terms of warfare.

Fall of Rome – Military Problems

  • Rome no longer had a control over military situations because the Roman army was comprised of trained barbarian soldiers. The barbarian soldiers of the Roman army were much less effective compared to the superior infantry that the Roman Empire had in previous centuries.
  • Many of the Roman citizens who were expected to serve the Roman military refused to sign. The new forces of the Roman military were low on morale and were very lethargic. They remained careless about the development of Rome.
  • Many of the men from the Roman army who served the country had retired and did not want to be bothered with government affairs.
  • Many locations were remote and the governing of Romans was lenient. Instead of keeping their original heritage, many of the soldiers from these locations were married to locals and adopted to local customs, values, attitudes, and beliefs.
  • Hadrian soon realized that Rome was no longer in a position to continue expansion. Hadrian took a defensive stance and ordered the construction of a defensive which marked the northern limit of Roman Empire. It was impossible for his troops to defend such a wide area due to continuous waves of barbarians directed to break the walls.

Fall of Rome – Economic Problems

  • Fall of Rome - Black Death
    Black Death

    Continuous occurrences of diseases such as Malaria and other plagues caused a decline in the Roman Empire population.

  • During certain regimes, their currency was debased. Their coins basically didn’t have the actual value; instead, the worth of the currency depended on the amount of silver it contained. Their coins were made up of no more than 1% silver and, as a result, severe inflation followed.
  • Rome depended on its empire for resources originating from mining and farming practices. Rome turned out to be very poor and had trouble managing the economy.
  • High taxation caused distress among many classes in Ancient Rome.

Fall of Rome – End of Roman Empire

  • 476 AD marks the Fall of Rome when the Germanic barbarian, Odoacer, deposed and exiled the last Emperor of Rome, Romulus Augustus. Many say that Rome never ‘fell’, instead it was more of an ongoing process which lasted more than a century. Since Rome still existed, some prefer to say that Rome adapted rather than fell.