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Decline of the Roman Empire & Rise of Christianity, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 279

Essay

Political, military, and economic reasons contributed to the fall of Rome in 476 A.D. While the Roman Empire had achieved power through war in expansion, in the years leading up to the governmental collapse, local peoples had begun to reclaim the territory that had been taken from them. Since these were widespread and isolated efforts, it was challenging for Rome to use its military prowess to defend its reign in these territories. Furthermore, by the end of the 3rd century, Rome was no longer used by the capital for government operations. Therefore, the city was no longer the center of Roman life. These events coincided with a governmental change to autocracy as well, and cultural shifts caused the official religion of the state to change from polytheism to Christianity.

Thus, starting in the 3rd century, the title of Roman emperor was applied, but the individuals who served in the position were more of a figurehead, as there were others who were given political power as well. At the beginning of the 4th century, Christianity was legalized in the empire by Constantine I. He influenced his people to convert to the religion and a majority of the emperors followed in this stead. Starting at the end of the 4th century and continuing into the 5th century, the empire engaged in many battles, including ones with the Visigoths, the Hunnic Empire, and the Vandals. Since these armies were strong, these battles weakened Rome’s military prowess. There were several sacks of Rome during these periods which damaged the infrastructure of the city as well. There was little money to rebuild, which caused the Roman empire to cease to exist as it was known.

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