Fall of the roman empire essay

Some people at the time viewed the sacking of the city as a sign from their pagan gods. St. Augustine, who died in 430 CE, said in his City of God that the fall of Rome was not a result of the people’s abandonment of their pagan gods (gods they believed protected the city) but as a reminder to the city’s Christians why they needed to suffer. There was good, for the world was created by good, but it was flawed by human sin; however, he still believed the empire was a force for peace and unity. To St. Augustine there existed two cities : one of this world and one of God.

There were political and military difficulties, as well. It didn't help matters that political amateurs were in control of Rome in the years leading up to its fall. Army generals dominated the emperorship, and corruption was rampant. Over time, the military was transformed into a mercenary army with no real loyalty to Rome. As money grew tight, the government hired the cheaper and less reliable Germanic soldiers to fight in Roman armies. By the end, these armies were defending Rome against their fellow Germanic tribesmen. Under these circumstances, the sack of Rome came as no surprise.

Official cruelty, supporting extortion and corruption, may also have become more commonplace. [26] While the scale, complexity, and violence of government were unmatched, [27] the emperors lost control over their whole realm insofar as that control came increasingly to be wielded by anyone who paid for it . [28] Meanwhile, the richest senatorial families, immune from most taxation, engrossed more and more of the available wealth and income, [29] [30] while also becoming divorced from any tradition of military excellence. At least one late Roman writer complains of [31] One scholar identifies a great increase in the purchasing power of gold, two and a half fold from 274 to the later fourth century, which may be an index of growing economic inequality between a gold-rich elite and a cash-poor peasantry. [32]

Fall of the roman empire essay

fall of the roman empire essay

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