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Roman Civilization II

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Title: Roman Civilization II


1
Roman Civilization II
2
Latin Language Writing
  • More than fifty percent of the words in English
    are of Latin origin
  • Foundation of Romance languages
  • French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese
  • Spread learning throughout empire lingua franca
  • Became language of Catholic Church
  • Developed form of literature we call Satire
  • The purpose to poke fun at a person or event
  • Poets
  • Vergil - the Aeneid, epic poem about the
    founding of Rome by refugees Troy,
  • effectively blends myth and fact
  • Ovid love poetry
  • Historians
  • Tacitus, Sallust, Julius Caesar, Suetonius
  • Cicero great orator
  • defined the best use of the Latin language

3
Circus Games
  • Chariot Racing Circus Maximus
  • Passionate pastime of many Romans
  • Most supported one of the teams and its
    colors, - white, green, red or blue
  • Violent clashes between opposing supporters
  • Huge amount of betting surrounding the races
  • Public adored the top drivers
  • Like modern sports stars
  • Most drivers were slaves some professionals
  • A good driver could win vast sums
  • Chariots built purely for speed, as light as
    possible
  • drawn by teams of two, four or sometimes even
    more horses
  • Crashes were frequent and spectacular

4
Circus Games
  • Gladiatorial Contests
  • Origin - native tribes of Italy, in particular
    the Etruscans
  • Originally staged as funeral games honoring the
    dead fight between prisoners
  • Way of drawing attention to the virtue of the
    deceased
  • First recorded gladiatorial combat in Rome was
    held to honor deceased Junius Brutus - 264 BC
  • In Rome entry to the games was free
  • Citizens right to see the games, not a luxury
  • Rich politicians hosted gladiatorial games to
    increase popularity
  • games were his 'gift' to the people
  • Lanista - entrepreneur who supplied troops of
    fighters
  • Gladiators were always dressed up to resemble
    barbarians

5
Circus Games
  • Wild Beast Hunts
  • Introduced to make games more exciting
  • Spectators get bored easily
  • Spectacular hunting shows
  • Starving tigers, panthers and lions were let out
    of cages to be confronted in long and dangerous
    chases by armed gladiators
  • All types of exotic animals
  • Variety of animals were goaded to fight each
    other
  • Bulls and rhinoceroses were first brought to a
    rage
  • Elephants versus bulls

6
Circus Games
  • The 'Sea Battles' Naumachia
  • Most spectacular form of combat
  • Flooding the arena, or simply moving the show to
    a lake
  • First man to hold a naumachia appears to have
    been Julius Caesar
  • Artificial lake created in order to have two
    fleets fight each other
  • Over 10'000 oarsmen and 1000 marines were part of
    the show which was to reenact a battle between
    Phoenician and Egyptian forces
  • Battle of Salamis (480 BC) between the Athenian
    and the Persian fleets proved very popular show

7
Republic in Crisis
  • Second Punic War (218 201 BC) and Macedonian
    Wars (205 to 149 BC) created vast disparities in
    wealth
  • Before war, plebeians were farmers, craftsmen, or
    laborers who owned land
  • Hannibal had razed the countryside, while the
    wealthy sat secure within the walls of Rome,
    thousands of people had their farmlands and
    houses destroyed
  • Wealthy accumulated spoils of war
  • Roman agriculture now dominated by large
    plantations owned by fabulously wealthy
    landowners
  • Wars flooded Rome and Roman territories with
    slaves
  • Major shift in economy from a laborer economy to
    a slave economy
  • Severely depressed job opportunities and wages
    for average worker
  • Caused massive migrations of the unemployed into
    cities
  • Concentration of a large population of poor,
    disaffected, angry free Romans.
  • Poverty now pushed vast numbers of the poor into
    the military
  • Owed their loyalty and gratitude not to the
    state, but to their general who served as a kind
    of patron
  • Personal loyalty gave generals access to civilian
    power that they had never had before

8
Reforms of the Gracchi
  • Gracchi brothers- noble family who sought to help
    the poor
  • Represented Roman ideal of public service
  • Seen as major threat by wealthy
  • Appealed to the passions of the masses
  • new style of politics
  • Tiberius became tribune in 133 BC
  • Proposed laws to redistribute land to the poor
  • Murdered along with followers
  • Sparks open class conflict in Rome
  • Gaius became tribune in 123 BC
  • Passed laws to improve grain distribution
  • Proposed the extension of citizenship to all
    Italians
  • In 121 BC, after he left office, Senate declared
    him an enemy of the state
  • Murdered along with thousands of followers
  • Political murder new tactic

9
Struggle for Power
  • Marius (157-86 BC)
  • Extraordinary general
  • 107 BC - elected consul
  • Novus homo - a "new man"
  • First in his family to occupy the consulship
  • Popular support
  • New men were bitterly resented by the aristocracy
  • Innovator and maverick
  • He changed the fundamental make-up of his army by
    enlisting mainly volunteers
  • Held out the promise of the spoils of war and
    land-parcels as payment for their service
  • Rivalry with Sulla would result in civil war
    in 88 BC
  • Sulla wins

10
Struggle for Power
  • Sulla (138 78 BC)
  • Firmly in the patrician camp
  • Defeats Marius in civil war
  • The Senate, fearful of the population, seized
    complete control of the Roman government by
    appointing Sulla dictator
  • Reforms government over the next three years
  • Gives power to the Senate
  • Eliminates power of assembly
  • Initiates reign of terror
  • Proscription lists
  • Creates names of his enemies together with the
    prices he was willing to pay for their deaths
  • Confiscate property

11
Struggle for Power
  • First Triumvirate 60 BC
  • Rule by three men
  • After the death of Sulla, the Senate was facing
    armed rebellion.
  • In 70 BC, two highly ambitious men, Crassus and
    Pompey, were elected consuls and promptly
    repealed Sulla's constitution.
  • Pompey most popular leader in Rome and top
    general of time
  • Rules eastern empire
  • Crassus richest man in Rome
  • A new political order was emerging ambitious
    generals allied themselves with the tribunes and
    the disaffected assembly against the Senate and
    patricians
  • Pompey and Crassus joined with Julius Caesar to
    rule various regions of empire
  • Beginning of the end of the Republic

12
Julius Caesar (100 - 44 BC)
  • From an old, noble family
  • Spent life making connections
  • Tremendous orator
  • Historian Conquest of Gaul
  • Libertine
  • Father died at 15
  • Nephew of Marius goes into exile from Rome
    during proscriptions
  • Captured and ransomed by pirates
  • Courted popularity and steadily rose in influence
  • Associated with the populares and drew support
    from the plebeians
  • Married into more distinguished family
  • Bought favor at huge expense Bribes, public
    shows, gladiatorial contests, games and banquets
  • Restored public buildings

13
Julius Caesar (100 - 44 BC)
  • Elected to office to succession of offices
    questar, adile, pontifex maximus, praetor,
  • Consul in 59 BC populist reforms
  • 58 51 BC Military Conquests in Spain, Germany,
    Gaul, Britain
  • 49 BC Crosses Rubicon River Civil War with
    Pompey
  • Declared dictator in 48 BC
  • Proclaimed himself dictator for life
  • Alliance and affair with Cleopatra
  • Practical administrator
  • Public works, colonization, land distribution,
    Julian calendar
  • Murdered by Senate conspirators
  • Octaivian named heir

14
New Struggle for Power
  • Senate conspirators defeated
  • Second Triumvirate (43 33 BC)
  • Marc Anthony strong general who managed
    Caesars fortune
  • Anthony given eastern part of Empire joined in
    alliance with Cleopatra
  • Lepidus loyal general
  • Stays on sidelines
  • Octavian ambitious 19 year old adopted heir of
    Caesar
  • Calls himself Caesar
  • Favorite of Senate
  • Remains in Rome
  • Open warfare between Octavian vs. Marc Anthony
    Cleopatra
  • 31 BC Actium final battle

15
Augustus
  • Father a general died at age 4 no male mentor
  • 49 BC age 14 adopted by Julius Caesar made
    heir in will
  • After Caesars death, immediately immersed
    himself in power struggle at age 19
  • 29 BC Augustus returns to Rome and vows to
    secure peace and security
  • Sought to disarm Senate and gain support of the
    masses Plebeians key constituency
  • Carefully molded image of modesty
  • Asserts desire to restore traditional Roman
    values and return to mythic past
  • Made show of relinquishing high office
  • Wanted not to appear as absolute rule
  • Gave Senate more power at expense of assembly
  • Given title Augustus implies majesty
    holiness
  • Called himself princeps first citizen

16
Augustus
  • Sought to reestablish traditional values in
    religion and marriage
  • Restored 82 temples
  • Daughter Julia banished for life for numerous
    scandalous affairs
  • Spent huge amount of personal funds to please
    people
  • Administration of the empire
  • Kept strict control of the army
  • Made governors directly responsible to him
  • Militarily expanded empire into Germany, Balkans,
    central turkey, Bulgaria
  • Disaster in Germany
  • Formally deified at death

17
Augustus Heirs
  • None are competent
  • Tiberius (14-37 A.D.)
  • General in many campaigns
  • In AD 26 Tiberius retired to the island of Capri
  • life of debauchery
  • leaves Rome in the hands of his praetorian
    prefect Sejanus, who ruled as a tyrant
  • Caligula (37-41 A.D.)
  • Nephew of Tiberius
  • Twenty-four years of age
  • After a few months Caligula fell ill, and he rose
    from his sickness in effect a madman
  • Slaughtered foes and friends alike
  • Assassinated by praetorian guard

18
Augustus Heirs
  • Claudius (41-54 AD)
  • Caligulas uncle with no ambition to be emperor
  • Thought to be feeble minded
  • Conquest of the south of Britain.
  • Influence of freedmen - sold public honors
    privileges
  • forming a sort of imperial secretariat, free of
    influence by class interests or social prejudices
  • Apparently murdered by wife Agripina, mother of
    Nero
  • Nero (54-68 AD) Emperor at age 17
  • Tutor was famous philosopher and writer, Seneca
  • Britain - crushing of the great revolt of the
    Iceni in the eastern area under their queen
    Boadicea.
  • Deranged and brutal
  • Great Fire of Rome in AD 64 blamed Christians
  • Committed suicide

19
Pax Romana (27 BC-AD 180)
  • "the Roman peace" - an era of relative
    tranquility
  • Rome endured neither major civil wars nor serious
    invasions
  • Roman commerce thrived, unhampered by pirates or
    marauding enemy troops
  • Still fought a consistant number of wars against
    neighboring states and tribes, most notably the
    Germanic tribes and Persians, and there was still
    political unrest among the noble families

20
"Five Good Emperors"
  • Known for their moderate policies, peaceful
    transitions, virtuous leadership.
  • Nerva old Roman Senator succeeded at 66
  • Trajan (98-117 A.D.)
  • Empire reaches its farthest limits
  • Series of campaigns against the Parthians and
    Germans
  • Danube and Euphrates become boundary
  • Building campaign made him popular with the
    people
  • Hadrian (117-138 AD)
  • Antoninus Pius (138-180 AD)
  • General peace during reign
  • Celebrated 900 birthday of Rome
  • Marcus Aureluis (161-180 A.D.)
  • Stoic philosopher wrote the Meditations
  • Made mistake of adopting own son - Commodus

21
Hadrian (117-138 AD)
  • Nicknamed the Greekling because of his love of
    all things Greek
  • First emperor to wear a beard
  • Traveled more than any other emperor
  • Prolific builder
  • Dedicated soldier resourceful strategist
  • Personal characteristics
  • Tremendous intellectual curiosity
  • Clever, melancholic, intellectually competitive,
    politically astute
  • Never content, never relaxed
  • A witty man, a storyteller
  • Dabbled in poetry, music mathematics
  • Wrote and delivered his own Greek speeches
  • A drinker
  • Abundant sexual appetite men women

22
Hadrian
  • Married Sabina, Emperor Trajans great niece
  • She was 14 at the time of the marriage he was
    24
  • No children
  • Closer to his mother-in-law, Matidia
  • Hadrian had a keen interest in and knowledge of
    the Roman army.
  • Enlisted in the reign of Domitian
  • Commanded legions in campaigns as a tribune,
    legate, governor of Upper Pannonia and Syria.
  • Joined Trajans expedition against Parthia
  • Adoption by Trajan
  • Trajan put off adopting Hadrian for years
  • Some say because he didnt approve of him
  • Some say because they pursued the same young men.
  • When Trajan was dying, maybe even after his
    death, Hadrian was named his successor.
  • Plotina actually signed the adoption papers.
  •  

23
Hadrian
  • Accession
  • Affair of the Four Counsels
  • Caused problems for Hadrian throughout his reign
  • Politically astute and ruthless at the beginning
    of his reign.
  • Consolidation of the empire
  • Set the boundaries of the empire
  • Hadrians Wall in Britain
  • Hadrian abandoned some provinces that had been
    won by Trajan
  • He placated the provinces by meeting their
    reasonable demands rather than by aggression

24
Hadrian
  • Travels in the empire
  • Spent more than half his reign traveling
  • Projecting Roman rule seeking consensus
  • 121 125 Spain, Gaul, Britain
  • 128 132 North Africa Egypt
  • 134 136 eastern empire
  • Iter principis Itinerary of the prince
  • Greek king tradition
  • Imperial propaganda machine
  • Travelling court of 5,000 people
  • Adventus the arrival spectacle at each city
  • Bestow benefits upon the city
  • Traveling accomplishments
  • Panhellion assembly of delegates from the Greek
    city-states
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Restored Athens

25
Hadrian
  • Hadrian Antinous
  • Antinous was a youth from Bithynia,
  • Greek tradition of pederasty
  • One great attachment of Hadrians life
  • He drowned in October of 130 in the Nile
  • Hadrian became depressed, irrational
    and disloyal after his death
  • Hadrian made the boy the last pagan god of Rome
    consequences scandalized his Roman
    contemporaries and crippled his reputation
  • Built a city on the site of the drowning
    Antinoopolis
  • Placed sacred images all over the empire
  • The cult flourished in the eastern part of the
    empire
  • Succession Died 138
  • Antoninus Pius made heir
  • On condition that he would then choose Hadrians
    nephew, Marcus Aurelius

26
Hadrian
  • Architectural Legacy
  • Pantheon
  • Dome remained the largest in the world until the
    20th century
  • Villa at Tivoli
  • Represents his cultured and extravagant personal
    life
  • collected manuscripts, Greek statues and
    extensive library at his villa
  • Hadrians Wall
  • Represents Romes military domination
  • Was meant to separate the Barbarians from the
    Romans
  • 80 miles long, originally made of wood, later of
    stone

27
Roman Judea
  • LATE SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD (200 BC - 70 AD)
  • Pompey installed a protectorate in 63 BC, which
    paid a tribute to Rome.
  • Herod took power as Roman client in 37 BC
  • In 6 AD, Rome formed Judea, Samaria, and Idumea
    into one Roman province governed by procurators
  • Bulk of historical information about Judea comes
    from Josephus wrote the Jewish War
  • Fought in the Revolt of AD 70 surrendered to
    Rome
  • Very subjective account of time period
  • Pontius Pilate as prefect (ca AD 26-36)
  • Disrespected the Jewish customs eventually
    removed
  • Violent resistance within the province
    continually growing
  • Josephus documents many misuses of power,
    eventually leading to the eruption of revolt in
    AD 66.

28
Roman Judea
  • Jewish Religious Groups of the Second Temple
    period
  • Sadducees - Priestly and aristocratic families
    who interpreted the law literally
  • Dominated the Temple worship and its rites,
    including the sacrificial cult
  • Denied the concept of the immortality of the
    soul, the resurrection of the body, and the
    existence of angels
  • Pharisees - Priests who maintained the validity
    of the oral and the written law
  • Flexible in their interpretations willing to
    adapt the law to changing circumstances
  • Believed in an afterlife and in the resurrection
    of the dead
  • Essenes - Separatist group, some of whom formed
    an ascetic monastic community and retreated to
    the wilderness of Judea
  • Shared material possessions and occupied
    themselves with disciplined study, worship, and
    work
  • Practiced ritual immersion and ate their meals
    communally
  • Waited for messiah they called Teacher of
    Righteousness
  • Zealots radical religious faction
  • Uncompromising in their call for defeat of the
    Romans

29
War Between Rome Judea
  • Jewish War - 66 AD
  • Jews revolt when the procurator Florus desecrates
    Temple
  • Sicarii leading revolutionary group
  • Vespasian Roman general
  • Takes all but Jerusalem
  • Titus Vespasian son
  • Destroys Jerusalem burns Temple in 70 AD
  • Final stand at Masada by Zealots in 73 AD
  • Bar-Kochba Rebellion - 132-135 AD
  • Hadrian tried establish a cultural uniformity
  • Crushed rebellion brutally
  • Renamed the city Aelia Capitolina.
  • Closed Jerusalem to the Jews except for once a
    year
  • Built a temple to Jupiter on the foundations of
    the Jewish temple

30
Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Oldest documents connected to Biblical history
  • 1947 found by young Bedouin shepherds
  • Qumran ruin near caves many questions
  • nature of the Qumran settlement has aroused much
    debate
  • Monastery, fortress, villa?
  • Many scholars believe the Essene community wrote,
    copied, or collected the scrolls at Qumran and
    deposited them in the caves of the adjacent hills
  • Scrolls and the Qumran ruin dated from the third
    century BC to 68 AD
  • Older than any other surviving manuscripts of the
    Hebrew Scriptures by almost one thousand years
  • Added to our understanding of the Jewish
    background of Christianity

31
Dead Sea Scrolls
  • QUMRAN LIBRARY
  • Group producing the sectarian scrolls is believed
    by many to be the Essenes
  • Veritable "library", from the 3rd century BC to
    68 AD
  • Tens of thousands of scroll fragments.
  • Almost one thousand different compositions
  • Written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
  • Types of writings
  • Biblical works contained in the Hebrew Bible.
  • All of the books of the Bible are represented in
    the Dead Sea Scroll collection except Esther.
  • Apocryphal or pseudepigraphical
  • Those works which are omitted from various canons
    of the Bible and included in others.
  • Sectarian those scrolls related to a pietistic
    commune and include ordinances, biblical
    commentaries, apocalyptic visions, and liturgical
    works.

32
Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Controversy
  • Why were the scrolls hidden in the caves?
  • Who placed them there?
  • Who lived in Qumran?
  • Were its inhabitants responsible for the scrolls
    and their presence in the caves?
  • Of what significance are the scrolls to Judaism
    and Christianity?
  • Similarities between beliefs and practices
    outlined in the Scroll literature and those of
    early Christians
  • Parallels include comparable rituals of baptism,
    communal meals, and property.
  • Parallel organizational structures the
    sectarians divided themselves into twelve tribes
    led by twelve chiefs, similar to the structure of
    the early Church, with twelve apostles who,
    according to Jesus, would to sit on twelve
    thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • Common stream within Judaism

33
The Beginnings of Christianity
  • 4 BC - most likely date for Christ's birth
  • Christ death most likely between AD 30 and AD 36
  • Christianity began as a Jewish sect during the
    late Second Temple period
  • Their belief quickly spread to non-Jews, whom the
    Jews called Gentiles
  • Christians appeared to sever all their ties with
    the Judaism by end of 1st cen.
  • Three distinct divisions within the Christian
    movement of the 1st century AD
  • Jewish Christians led by the Apostle James the
    Just, with Jesus's disciples, and their followers
    in Jerusalem
  • Pauline Christians - followers of St. Paul
  • Gnostic Christians - generally believed in
    salvation through secret knowledge and
    introspection - dualistic role that flesh is evil
    and spirit is good
  • Paul of Tarsus (c. 5 65 AD) St. Paul
  • Pharisee who held Roman citizenship and initially
    persecuted Christians
  • Converted to Christian faith and preached to the
    Gentiles against the will of the Jerusalem church
  • His missionary voyages took him from Palestine
    into the empire (Syria, Turkey, Greece and Italy)
    to spread his new religion to the non-Jews
  • Letters or Epistles defined religious doctrine of
    young Church

34
Writing of the New Testament
  • Canonical Works - Composition dates
  • Letters of Paul approximately 50-60 AD
  • Gospels and Act of the Apostles between 70 and
    100 AD
  • Latest canonical work is 2 Peter as late as 150
    AD
  • Non-Canonical writings date between 150 and 350
  • Usually imitate Biblical writings
  • 4 categories gospels, acts, letters,
    apocalypses
  • Pseudonymity - Claim earlier authorities had
    written work
  • Apocrypha a standard part of the Bibles of
    Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, but not
    Judaism or Protestantism
  • Means hidden either knowledge or heresy
  • The Septuagint - Greek translation of Old
    Testament
  • Most early Christians used the Greek rather than
    the Hebrew text

35
Writing of the New Testament
  • Canonization deciding which books are sacred
    and should be included
  • New Testament books were gradually recognized as
    sacred during the second and third centuries
  • By mid-to-late fourth century the 27 books were
    settled
  • Pseudepigrapha - Bible-like books lie outside
    one or another canon
  • Over a hundred writings we know about today that
    were no included
  • Many more that have vanished forever
  • Missing books are often referred to elsewhere
  • Gnostic influence
  • Many intentionally banned
  • Titles
  • Judas Gospel
  • Gospel of Peter
  • Gospel of Thomas tells of young Jesus may
    predate Synoptic Gospels
  • Protoevangelism of James describes life of Mary
  • Gospel of Mary Magdalene

36
Writing of the New Testament
  • Gospels comes from Anglo-Saxon godspell-
    means good news,
  • Greek evangelion
  • Evangelism to spread the good news
  • Four Gospel writers the Evangelists
  • Each gospel was clearly written by a single
    author
  • Not much known about the authors
  • Motives for writing the Gospels
  • Contemporaries of Jesus were dying off and there
    was a need to preserve their witnesses to his
    career
  • The infant Christian Church needed documents for
    circulation among would-be converts
  • No gospels during Pauls time
  • Particular authors attempt to give permanent
    shape to his conception of the career of Jesus
    and its meaning explains why all four gospels
    are different
  • Before the earliest gospels the message was
    carried by word-of-mouth preaching

37
Writing of the New Testament
  • Marks gospel earliest about 70AD
  • Invented gospel as a literary form
  • Writing during very tumultuous period 70 AD
    thought apocalypse was at hand
  • Sources basically church tradition Consensus
    of what believers heard, remembered and passed on
    to others
  • By this time, much of the material had been
    shaped, defined and given function in the life of
    the Church
  • Luke and Matthew between 80 and 90 AD
  • Both used Marks Gospel as a source
  • Each also had their own source - termed by
    scholars 'Q' (from German Quelle, meaning
    "source").
  • John around 100 AD
  • Radically different in style, tone, events and
    figure of Jesus
  • More philosophical

38
Rome's Relationship with the early Christians
  • Roman authorities hesitated for a long time over
    how to deal with this new cult
  • Saw new religion as subversive and potentially
    dangerous
  • Insistence on only one god, seemed to threaten
    the principle of religious toleration
  • Christianity clashed with the official state
    religion of the empire, for Christians refused to
    perform Caesar worship
  • Persecution of the Christians began with Nero's
    bloody repression of AD 64
  • The first real recognition Christianity was an
    inquiry by emperor Domitian
  • Sent investigators to Galilee to inquire about 50
    years after crucifixion
  • Roman ignorance of this new cult bred suspicion.
  • Rumors about secretive Christian rituals rumors
    of child sacrifice, incest cannibalism
  • Major revolts of the Jews in Judea brought
    resentment of Christians
  • Great persecutions under Marcus Aurelius
    (165-180) Diocletian (303)

39
Constantine 290 337 AD
  • Battle of the Milvian Bridge in AD 312
  • Vision of the sign of Christ in a dream
  • The first Christian emperor
  • Not baptized until just before his death in AD
    337
  • 313 AD - initiated the Edict of Milan
  • Gave Christians freedom of worship
  • 325 AD - assembled Council at Nicea in Bithynia
  • 318 bishops debate affirm principles of the
    faith
  • First general council in the history of the
    Church since the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem
  • Became openly hostile toward the pagans
  • Destroyed temples and confiscated temple lands
    and treasures
  • Pagan sacrifice itself was forbidden
  • 330 AD - established the seat of government of
    the Roman empire in a town known as Byzantium,
    which he renamed Constantinopolis
  • Roman Empire moves to the east

40
Decline Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Edward Gibbon (1770s) famously placed the blame
    on a loss of civic virtue among the Roman
    citizens
  • Gradually outsourced their duties to defend the
    Empire to barbarian mercenaries who eventually
    turned on them
  • Considered that Christianity had contributed to
    this, making the populace less interested in the
    worldly here-and-now and more willing to wait for
    the rewards of heaven
  • "The decline of Rome was the natural and
    inevitable effect of immoderate greatness.
    Prosperity ripened the principle of decay the
    cause of the destruction multiplied with the
    extent of conquest and, as soon as time or
    accident and removed the artificial supports, the
    stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its
    own weight. The story of the ruin is simple and
    obvious and instead of inquiring why the Roman
    Empire was destroyed we should rather be
    surprised that it has subsisted for so long."

41
Reasons for the Decline of the Roman Empire
  • Decline in Morals and Values
  • Traditional values could not be maintained
    towards the end of the empire
  • Public Health
  • Sanitation and environmental problems
  • Spread of disease and water being brought into
    their homes through lead pipes
  • Political Corruption
  • Romans never created an effective system to
    determine how new emperors would be selected
  • Choice was always open to debate between the old
    emperor, the Senate, the Praetorian Guard and the
    army
  • From 187 AD - During the next 100 years, Rome had
    37 different emperors - 25 of whom were removed
    from office by assassination.
  • Unemployment
  • During the latter years of the empire farming was
    done on large estates called latifundia that were
    owned by wealthy men who used slave labor

42
Reasons for the Decline of the Roman Empire
  • Inflation
  • The roman economy suffered from inflation (an
    increase in prices) beginning after the reign of
    Marcus Aurelius
  • Once the Romans stopped conquering new lands, the
    flow of gold into the Roman economy decreased
  • Urban decay
  • Over crowed rundown tenements
  • Inferior Technology
  • Scientific achievements of the Romans were
    limited almost entirely to engineering and the
    organization of public services
  • Romans relied so much on human and animal labor,
    they failed to invent many new machines or find
    new technology to produce goods more efficiently
  • Military Spending
  • Maintaining an army to defend the border of the
    Empire from barbarian attacks was a constant
    drain on the government
  • Military spending left few resources for other
    vital activities, such as providing public
    housing and maintaining quality roads and
    aqueducts.

43
The Final Blows to Empire
  • For years, the well-disciplined Roman army held
    the Germany barbarians back.
  • 3rd cen. A. D.- Roman soldiers were pulled back
    from the Rhine-Danube frontier to fight civil war
    in Italy.
  • Left the Roman border open to attack. Gradually
    Germanic hunters and herders from the north began
    to overtake Roman lands in Greece and Gaul.
  • Then in 476 A. D. the Germanic general Odacer or
    Odovacar overthrew the last of the Roman
    Emperors, Augustulus Romulus.
  • From then on the western part of the Empire was
    ruled by Germanic chieftain.
  • Roads and bridges were left in disrepair and
    fields left untilled. Pirates and bandits made
    travel unsafe.
  • Cities could not be maintained without goods from
    the farms, trade and business began to disappear.
  • Rome was no more in the West.
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