For more than a millennium, Rome dominated much of Europe’s Mediterranean region. The Roman Empire’s internal operations, however, started to deteriorate from 200 AD. Rome was struggling to maintain its vast empire by the year 400 AD. In 476 AD, Rome was finally destroyed.
The Peak of Roman Power
Under the leadership of the great Roman emperor Trajan, Rome achieved its political and economic zenith in the second century, in the year 117 AD. The Roman Empire controlled almost the whole Mediterranean Sea coastline. Spain, Italy, France, southern Great Britain, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and northern Africa were all included in this.
A Slow Decline
It took a long time for Rome to fall; it didn’t happen overnight. The empire started to fall apart for a variety of reasons. Here are a few reasons why the Roman Empire collapsed:
Rome’s leaders and politicians become increasingly corrupt.
Civil wars and intergroup conflict inside the Empire
barbarian groups from outside the empire, like the Visigoths, Huns, Franks, and Vandals, would attack.
No longer a powerful force, the Roman army
As the empire grew, it became challenging to rule.
Rome is split in two
Emperor Diocletian determined that the Roman Empire was too large to effectively govern in 285 AD. The Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire were his two divisions of the Roman Empire. Rome would be united, divided into three pieces, and then divided in half again during the course of the following hundred years. The empire was permanently broken in half in 395 AD. Rome dominated the Western Empire, and Constantinople ruled the Eastern Empire.
This discussion of Rome’s “fall” is specifically related to Rome’s reign over the Western Roman Empire. After changing its name to the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire continued to rule for a further 1000 years.
The City of Rome is Sacked
Many people believed that Rome was invulnerable. The Visigoths, a Germanic barbarian tribe, attacked the city in 410 A.D. They burned a lot of structures, murdered and captured many Romans, and looted the wealth. It had been 800 years since Rome had last experienced a siege.
Odoacer, a Germanic barbarian, seized power in Rome in 476 AD. He was crowned king of Italy and compelled Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of Rome, to abdicate. This is regarded by many historians as the end of the Roman Empire.
Start of the Dark Ages
Numerous changes occurred throughout Europe after the fall of Rome. Rome had offered an effective system of governance, education, and culture. Much of Europe today has descended into barbarism. The Dark Ages of Europe would last for the following 500 years.
Facts about the Fall of Rome that are Interesting
Byzantium, the Eastern Roman Empire, was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453.
Many underprivileged individuals cheered the collapse of Rome. They were being heavily taxed by Rome while starved to death.
Rome was no longer the imperial capital as the Roman Empire was coming to an end. For a while, the capital was in Mediolanum, which is now Milan. The seat of government afterwards changed to Ravenna.
In the year 455 AD, Geiseric, the King of the Vandals, once more captured Rome. An Eastern Germanic tribe called the Vandals existed. The Vandals are responsible for the word “vandalism”.