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Readers Respond: Do you think Rome fell? If so, when and why?

Responses: 23

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There are a few dates that are standard for the fall of Rome. Do you prefer one of them? Would you even say Rome fell? If it fell, what was the cause of Rome's decline and fall?

Misunderstandings

Rome did not fall because of moral decay at all. (cf the east). There were a range of factors which lead to it. In addition to the strain of fighting the Sassanids (Heather) we also have the strain of the barbarians, and the problems associated with internal factionalism and the army's influence in politics. Near its end, we see a successive series of rulers or vying in the West for individual power, weakening its internal politics and its military co-ordination of resistance . We also have the settlement of a people within the empire (the goths) and the havoc they wreaked - giving the empire an internal problem on top of all their external pressures. Reliance on mercenaries led to less government control over the army, which became a harmful force. The split in the empire in 395 is also important, as in this situation the West got the raw end of the deal with less wealthy provinces. the goths within the empire and the problem mercenaries were there too: hence its fall
—Guest Constantius

Last Empire Before Christ's Return

Rome has not fallen. The bible predicts that after the Roman Empire, Christ will come to establish His kingdom here on earth. Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman Empires were predicted to come and go. The final world empire will be Rome. So if Christ has not established his kingdom, then the Roman Empire is still alive and kicking
—Guest kingsley

Why Rome fell

As a Biblical scholar God's word dictates that in end times the Roman empire would be reconstructed. With the E.U. I believe Greece is the last stand out. Once it joins the E.U., the Ancient Roman Empire will be reestablished.
—Guest Mike Ocvi

Rome's Fall - Contingency

The fall of Rome was not just one single events but more of a chain of events that lead to a somewhat declining Rome. Some people even say that Rome never in fact declined or fell but is still alive today. The two most important factors in the decline were the plague and the roman economy. First, the Roman economy before its decline was one of the best in the world and extremely prosperous. It was only growing and doing well though if Rome continued to conquer new territories and expand itself. When it stopped, mass inflation occurred and Diocletian took over to try and restore the once prosperous Rome. He did things such as forcing farmers to stay on their land, forcing people to work, and burdening people with large taxes....to be continued
—Guest Cassie l

Fall of Rome

I think I'd have to agree with Bo up there. Rome's fall was contributed to by many, many things. I think that the main reasons are probably the barbarians and the splitting of the Empire. With the barbarians invading and two Emperors who weren't absolutely agreed on what to do about them, there were some major issues that weren't being dealt with properly. It's like a bad marriage; the couple can't agree on what to do about major decisions, problems never get resolved properly, and in the end the marriage faces collapse. Weird analogy, I know, but it's what came to mind. In a way though, the "barbarians" were extremely helpful in resolving some of the issues left behind when Rome fell. For example, the Romans were well known for being rather 'loose', shall we say, with their morals. The barbarians held a much stricter view on honour and values. This is a fact that is rarely presented in literature today, and I thought it should be put out there. (:
—Guest Sky

Why Rome Fell - Many Factors

Rome collapsed because of the disappearance of the independent farmer. The backbone of the Roman society had vanished when the cities began consuming more than the rural areas could produce. Naturally people flocked to the cities for free hand outs. That and the Roman army eventually became the barbarians and were not disciplined to carry out basic roman tactical manuevers. Kind of like the US now consumes more then it produces. Emperor Diocletian attempted to freeze wages and prices.
—Guest Bo

Rome is still alive and well!

Everything about our country and western civilization in general in based on Roman civilization - most people don't realize just how much Rome is in our culture in every way from thought, politics, even the way modern cities are laid out and the architecture of our countries capitol. The ideas we think of as "American" actually came from Rome and are based on Rome. Yes, Rome declined greatly and fell on some level when you think about the centuries of the "dark ages" that followed in its once glorious footsteps, but it never really totally collapsed if you take into account that what we consider modern really isn't - its Roman, and most everything in America and the world in general is based on Rome on some level. This is the only ancient culture that is still totally relevant and a part of every day life to this day in more ways than most people realize! America is heavily based on Rome - our government is based on it, and so is much of our language. Everything ebbs and flows.
—littlehealer

Natural death

I think that the "fall" of the Roman empire wasn't a single event but rather the culmination of a myriad of events and circumstances. Rome was slowly overwhelmed, largely because of things happening outside the empire, forces out of its control. Rome had existed a long time. Nothing lasts for ever - and, as was pointed out, the "final" end was probably nowhere near as final or even obvious to the people who lived through it. This fall of the (western) Roman empire was basically a natural event that wasn't even a single, easily defined event as such. I tend to agree, to some extent, that Rome never really "fell". It is true that it is no longer an empire, but it has continued to influence almost every aspect of our lives, of western culture, to this day. I don't think you can say Rome "died" or fell in whatever year you want to assign to that. Rome is still here, still with us, and even IN us.
—Guest Neil

Taxation

Many factors contributed to the fall of Rome, but the main idea is that Rome was overtaxed while the denarii (their form of money) was devalued over 200%. The Roman lifestyle became purely militaristic and caused the army to be less effected. The poor increased and government help (because welfare was invented in Rome) caused an even greater burden on the economy. Over 50 years Rome had 20 emperors each averaging 2 1/2 years. All of them met violent deaths. The military elected and assassinated for their own good. -- port charlotte high
—Guest in honors class'

Why the Empire fell

It fell due to the many problems that they faced, such as road systems, emperor problems, etc. Poor people got poorer, and the rich also became poor. Another reason is that the government ran out of money, which affected the whole empire.
—Guest Purple

It Was Caesar

Rome fell when Julius Caesar was killed and removed from power. It began the fall of the empire because after Caesar was killed, other people tried to take control, but were not strong enough to handle the power.
—Guest mike

Combination of Causes

Rome fell because it simply got too large to rule over, and because of the constant barbaric invasions making Rome always on the defense, and because they needed a strong defensive army taxes had to be raised, making the economy horrible. Seemingly smaller things also triggered it, lead poisoning, plagues, too much reliance on slaves and not enough on inventions and progression (slaves die out and become scarce), over-use of soil in agriculture making it useless, and finally Christianity (as Christianity made people more about being an individually moral person and not think of greater society, especially during times of war.)
—Guest alda

Why Rome REALLY Fell

Rome fell due to: Political causes: the government was corrupt: Military causes: disloyalty; Economic causes: high taxes; Social causes: lost values.
—Guest Alex

Government

I believe that Rome fell because the government never let the people have a say in anything. With that, citizens lost their nationalism and embanked in Christianity. This led people not to fight in wars and made the government hire Germans who had no nationalism and made little effort to try and save the Roman Empire.
—Guest teeny

Why Rome fell.

One of the reasons Rome fell was the government lost the respect and loyalty of many of its citizens (Christians in particular).
—Guest J

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