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Ancient Rome

The Fall of Rome

History >> Ancient Rome

Rome ruled much of Europe around the Mediterranean for over 1000 years. However, the inner workings of the Roman Empire began to decline starting around 200 AD. By 400 AD Rome was struggling under the weight of its giant empire. The city of Rome finally fell in 476 AD.

The Peak of Roman Power

Rome reached its peak of power in the 2nd century around the year 117 AD under the rule of the great Roman emperor Trajan. Virtually all of the coastline along the Mediterranean Sea was part of the Roman Empire. This included Spain, Italy, France, southern Britain, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and northern Africa.

Gradual Decline

The Fall of Rome didn't happen in a day, it happened over a long period of time. There are a number of reasons why the empire began to fail. Here are some of the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire: Rome Divides into Two

In 285 AD, Emperor Diocletian decided that the Roman Empire was too big to manage. He divided the Empire into two parts, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire. Over the next hundred years or so, Rome would be reunited, split into three parts, and split in two again. Finally, in 395 AD, the empire was split into two for good. The Western Empire was ruled by Rome, the Eastern Empire was ruled by Constantinople.

Map of the divided Roman Empire
Map of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire right before the fall
by Cthuljew at Wikimedia Commons

The "fall" of Rome discussed here is referring to the Western Roman Empire which was ruled by Rome. The Eastern Roman Empire became known as the Byzantium Empire and remained in power for another 1000 years.

The City of Rome is Sacked

The city of Rome was thought by many to be unconquerable. However, in 410 AD, a Germanic barbarian tribe called the Visigoths invaded the city. They looted the treasures, killed and enslaved many Romans, and destroyed many buildings. This was the first time in 800 years that the city of Rome had been sacked.

Rome Falls

In 476 AD, a Germanic barbarian by the name of Odoacer took control of Rome. He became king of Italy and forced the last emperor of Rome, Romulus Augustulus, to give up his crown. Many historians consider this to be the end of the Roman Empire.

The Dark Ages Begins

With the fall of Rome, many changes occurred throughout Europe. Rome had provided a strong government, education, and culture. Now much of Europe fell into barbarianism. The next 500 years would be known as the Dark Ages of Europe.

Interesting Facts about the Fall of Rome
Activities For more about Ancient Rome:

Overview and History
Timeline of Ancient Rome
Early History of Rome
The Roman Republic
Republic to Empire
Wars and Battles
Roman Empire in England
Barbarians
Fall of Rome

Cities and Engineering
The City of Rome
City of Pompeii
The Colosseum
Roman Baths
Housing and Homes
Roman Engineering
Roman Numerals
Daily Life
Daily Life in Ancient Rome
Life in the City
Life in the Country
Food and Cooking
Clothing
Family Life
Slaves and Peasants
Plebeians and Patricians

Arts and Religion
Ancient Roman Art
Literature
Roman Mythology
Romulus and Remus
The Arena and Entertainment
People
Augustus
Julius Caesar
Cicero
Constantine the Great
Gaius Marius
Nero
Spartacus the Gladiator
Trajan
Emperors of the Roman Empire
Women of Rome

Other
Legacy of Rome
The Roman Senate
Roman Law
Roman Army
Glossary and Terms


Works Cited

History >> Ancient Rome






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