The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire Essay
The Roman Empire exemplifies the lives of the people that lived during the era of western civilization. Like other cultural affiliations, the Romans wanted to dominate Europe and other parts of the world thereby, new strategies were devised including investment in military and use of diplomatic relations to rise to power. However, differences in interests and power among few elites caused divisions that led to the fall of the empire. The purpose of this essay is to examine the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, including the influence of the Catholic Church and Kings in the secular and religious activities of the Europeans.
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Strong military power and economic expansion were the major contributing reasons for the rise of the Roman Empire. After the difficult transition from monarchy to republican government embarked on a course of military expansion that led to the conquest of the Italian peninsula. 1 The soldiers were committed to the coursed as they persisted even after the loss of an army or fleet. The romans invested heavily in new armies and machinery that gave them leverage against their threats. Secondly, the Romans had a practical sense of economic and policy strategies that increased its power. By 264 B.C.E, they had established fortified towns at all strategic locations which provided adequate human and financial resources to help the colonies spur economically, giving Romans adequate power to make demands and expand territories. In addition, the Romans were excellent in diplomatic relations. They extended citizenship and autonomy to foreigners, increasing movements into the territory for a stronger empire.
The jostling for power by a number of powerful individuals and civil war contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. Senate was the governing body of the Roman state. Notably, it comprised a select three hundred men drawn from the landed aristocracy and remained senators for life. 2 As the empire grew, some elite families started to dominate senate and magistrate affairs, leading to a long-standing scramble for power. In the lecture on the problems that faced the Roman Empire, Santelli noted the nobles governed through intimidation and coercion, to maintain their hold over the magistrates and senate. 3 The selfish interests of the few elite families fueled conflicts that resulted in civil wars. These wars disrupted the peace and military strength held by the state. Some powerful individuals, such as Pompey who took advantage of the internal troubles facing Rome to establish punitive reforms, such as putting equites back on the jury courts, and gain more power to control empire. 4 Internal wrangles led to an increase in the number of invasions and civil wars. This caused a decline in population and economic, weakening the military power and the state’s ability to establish its authority against invaders.
The Influence of the Catholic Church and European Kings on the lives of Europeans
The Catholic Church and European kings exerted power and influence in both secular and religious lives of Europeans by using the bible and their power over the masses to make and impose new reforms. During the Carolingian times, the Catholic Church changed the attitude of the population on sexuality, family life, and childbearing. 5 Marriage was a civil arrangement, and while wives were expected to remain faithful to their husbands, men could keep concubines, either slaves or free women. The church influenced this aspect of the European community by emphasizing monogamy and permanence. In 789, A Frankish church council stipulated that marriage was indissoluble and condemned divorce. 6 Moreover, the church introduced and started to enforce clerical celibacy, and condemned all forms of procreation and homosexuality.
In addition, the Bishops used converted powerful men into Christianity, and used the opportunity to change the secular and religious beliefs of the people. For example, Augustine, a monk from a monastery in Rome, visited Kent and persuaded King Ethelbert to become a Christian. 7 Most of the kings subjects became Christians and started following traditions of the Catholic Church, including pursuing celibacy and committing to a monogamous family. Pope Gregory emphasized persuasion rather than force or intimidation to convert the pagans. This approach made it for the Catholic Church to dominate the Europe and most of the temples were converted to churches 8 . Similarly, pagan feasts were given new names and incorporated into the Christian calendar. For example, the community started the Christmas celebrations, which were held on December 25, the day the pagan celebration of the winter solstice was previously held. 9
The Catholic Church served as instruments of political power, influencing policies and the way of life other Europeans. Monasteries’ were major beneficiaries of grants from kings and gifts from people who wanted religious favors. These gifts increased the wealth of individual monasteries, giving them power to rule in the political space. Through these positions, the church influenced a change education and other social activities, including observance of justice, purity, devotion, charity and other virtues that impacted their everyday security and religious activities.
The rise and fall of the Roman Empire and the early influence of the Catholic Church through the middle Ages are critical in understanding western civilization. The changes that happened in the society led to the development of art, culture, and enduring ideas that are prevalent in the current society. What is evident in these two discussions is the fact that powerful people and institutions have a great influence on the culture and the rise and fall of societies.
Santelli, Lecture notes.
Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western civilization . Cengage Learning, 2020.
- Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization , 114.
- Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization , 132.
- Santelli, Roman Empire.
- Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization , 134.
- Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization , pg. 216.
- Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization , pg. 215.
- Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization , pg. 193.
- Santelli, influence of church on western civilization.
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The Rise and Fall of Rome: History of the Roman Empire
Rome is a historic city and capital of Roma Province and is situated in the central region of the Italian Peninsula. For a long time, Rome controlled the destiny of all evolution known to Europe before it fell into despair and dissolution. Even with many challenges, Rome was able to conquer all and hold its position as a world power. This paper will discuss the factors that lead to the rise and fall of the Rome empire.
With well-trained military troops, Rome was able to conquer many neighboring states. Adapting to the culture of the conquered provinces made it easier for the troops to blend with the locals and gave an advantage to them to expand their territories from within. A strong and able leader was an added benefit because he would come up with strong attacking strategies that would help in conquering the rebels (Coy et al., 2017). The army had a massive supply of weapons that were used in their conquest of new territories. The conquered territories worked in harmony with the Roman empire, forming a sense of economic cooperation and unity in all communities under the Roman regime.
The location of Rome was advantageous since the empire would spot enemies before they enter their territory. Geographical location is beneficial since one can man entry and exit points and control those that are entering the base. Also, the position of Rome made it easier for the troops to access trade routes hindering the passage of goods without their consent.
Roman general, Gaius Marius, was able to implement reforms that helped him in creating a professional army that performed well in gaining new territories which was a major boost in the rise of Rome. Vast territories came with many acquired goods and slaves to provide cheap labor in the farms. Also, the territories acted as military training camps for new recruits to the army.
One of the main reasons for the fall of Rome was the constant use of outside mercenaries as their troops. Many times, Germans were being used by the Roman military and when the Barbarians invaded, there was an uprising that sprung in the fourth century (Hurlet, 2019). After the attack, the Germans withdrew their allegiance and this led to the fall of the empire when soldiers withdrew.
The financial crisis hit the empire and it had to struggle with outside forces and inside forces. Without enough capital to provide for the needs of the troops such as firearms. Regular wars, overspending, and inflation of taxes had widened the gap between the rich and the poor (Ward, 2018). Moreover, due to the much reliance on salve labor, there was insufficient food production and soldiers would go to war on empty bellies. With their agricultural and commercial production going down, the kingdom started to lose its grasp on Europe.
Overspending and overexpansion required more income to cater for the expenditures and enough administrative manpower to man the conquered states. Rome was unable to man the vast territories and many of them begun to crumble and this led to the downfall. They had established well-connected road networks but communications were not effective. Rome struggled to keep enough troops to defend the small territory they were left with and constant outside attacks forced them to surrender in the second century.
With proper management and well-organized troops, Rome would have remained a superpower to date but with poor management, things fell out of hand. To maintain a large territory and man a large troop a capital is required to satisfy their needs and to provide transport services. Food reserves should be checked regularly to maintain a steady supply of food to the troops and the leaders should not only depend on other nations for mercenaries.
Coy, J., Scales, L., Stollberg-Rilinger, B., Scott, T., & Wilson, P. (2017). An empire for our times? A discussion of Peter Wilson’s the Holy Roman Empire: A thousand years of Europe’s history. Central European History, 50 (4), 547-572.
Hurlet, F. (2019). Justice, Res Publica and Empire: Subsidiarity and Hierarchy in the Roman Empire. In Hekster O. & Verboven K. (Eds.), The Impact of Justice on the Roman Empire: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Workshop of the International Network Impact of Empire (pp. 122-137). Brill.
Ward, A. M. (2018). History, ancient and modern. In the fall of the Roman Empire. The Fall of the Roman Empire , 1 (4), 51–88. Web.
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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 17). The Rise and Fall of Rome: History of the Roman Empire. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-rome-history-of-the-roman-empire/
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The Causes And Effects On The Rise And Fall Of The Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was a significant period of the human history that was prospered for about seven hundred years. The Roman Empire was collapsed in 476 A.D due to many external and internal causes. The causes and the effects of how the Roman Empire was risen and fallen will be discussed in the short essay.
Reasons for rise of the Roman Empire
The geographical location of the Rome and the natural resources it had been given by the nature were significant causes for the Roman Empire to rise in the rising age. The empire was located between powerful civilisations and being located right on the Mediterranean Sea was a great opportunity for development.
There were powerful emperors who ruled the Roman Empire such as Julius Ceases who were very good at developing the empire on its military power and building the Rome as a great city. The other emperors such as Augustus Octavian and Paz Romana contributed their expertise knowledge and thinking to get the Rome in to Golden age.
Reasons for fall of the Roman Empire
The economic problems were one of the major reasons that caused the Roman Empire to be fallen. There were higher inflation rates and the currency used in the Roman Empire started being weak. The Roman Empire allocated a larger percentage of its money to military and defence activities which caused them to raise the tax rates. Due to the slave labour availability, lots of Romans lost their jobs as the slave labour was cheaper. This caused to collapse the Roman Empire’s economic system. The Roman Empire kept expanding its geographical extent using military acquisitions. When there were more locations acquired, the empire had to allocate more money and human labour to defend the borders. Since the civilians in the conquered areas, hated the Romans, the rebellions were becoming a constant problem. This over expansion caused to break the structure of the wealth management in the empire.
The invasions done by the barbarian tribes were another major reason for the Roman Empire to be collapsed. Rome had been involved in military activities with the Germanic tribes for a long time and in 300 A.D, the barbarian groups had intruded beyond the borders of the Roman Empire. By the year 410, the Visigoth king Alaric had successfully taken over the city of Rome. And finally in year 476 A.D, the leader in Germany Odoacer took a violently driven approach against the Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus and took over the Roman Empire. After that there were no Roman emperors who had the chance to gain any positions in Italy which marks 476 as the deathblow year of the Roman Empire.
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