The fall of the Roman Empire takes place in the year 476 AD . with the dismissal of Emperor Romulus Augustus by Odoacer, leader of the Herulian people. The end of the Roman Empire is the result of economic and political crises and the barbarian invasions of Roman territory. Fall of the Roman Empire summary
The term fall of the Roman Empire refers to the end of the Western Roman Empire . The eastern part of this empire, which became known as the Byzantine Empire, continued to exist, being overthrown only at the end of the medieval era.
The crisis of the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire existed between the years 27 BC and 476 AD . Over the centuries, this empire conquered an immense territory, which corresponded to a large part of European territory and parts of Asia and Africa. The main events leading to the breakup of the Roman Empire are:
- Crisis of the slave system.
- Political instability.
- Expansion of Christianity.
- Invasion of the Germanic peoples.
Crisis of the slave system
The extensive Roman territory – which surrounded the Mediterranean Sea – was protected by the army and was interconnected by roads. The Roman army, over the centuries, expanded its domain and as it conquered new peoples, it captured people to work as slaves. Fall of the Roman Empire summary
From the 2nd century onwards, the Roman Empire stopped expanding its territories and, as a consequence, there was a decrease in the number of slaves. The Roman production system was dependent on slave labor and with the decrease in the supply of this labor, an economic crisis began.
With fewer slaves working, fewer products were produced and the more expensive they became. This situation reduced trade – an important economic activity of this civilization – and as a consequence the Roman State reduced its revenue.
With less money to invest in the army, the territory’s borders are weakened and made more vulnerable to foreign invasion.
From the 3rd century onwards, the Roman Empire began to face serious political crises in order to maintain its power. During short periods of time there were numerous successions of emperors , assassinations and conspiracies .
The instability faced by the Romans in administering and exercising power in the vast territory conquered during the previous centuries made it easier for foreign peoples to invade the territory. Fall of the Roman Empire summary
expansion of Christianity
Although Christians suffered persecution for centuries in the Roman Empire, Christianity grew and began to threaten the power of emperors, who were considered divine authorities.
The Christians did not accept this sacred character of the emperors , which caused the power of these leaders to be weakened before society.
In addition, Christians were against slavery , which posed a threat to the Roman Empire, which had its entire structure of production based on slave labor. Fall of the Roman Empire summary
Invasion of the Germanic peoples (Barbarian Invasions)
The Germanic peoples lived in northern Europe and were called barbarians by the Romans as their language and culture were different. These peoples were already trying to invade Roman territories and in some cases were allowed to live within the empire in exchange for joining the army and defending Roman borders.
But from the 5th century onwards, the number of barbarians who tried to invade Roman territory increased considerably.
It is not known for sure, but it is believed that these peoples came towards the Roman Empire in search of better lands or fleeing the Huns. The Huns would have come from Central Asia and were extremely violent people, with a high capacity to move around in the territory.
With the political and military weakening of the Roman Empire , invasions became more and more frequent. In 410, the capital of the Roman Empire – Rome – is invaded by several peoples, among them the Visigoths, Angles, Saxons, Huns and Franks. As these peoples entered Roman territory, they established their kingdoms. Fall of the Roman Empire summary
The fall of Rome takes place with the dismissal of Emperor Romulus Augustus by Odoacer, leader of the Herulian people, in 476 AD. C. The fall of the Roman Empire represents the end of the historical period of antiquity and inaugurates the Middle Ages .
Fall of the Eastern Roman Empire
The fall of the Roman Empire is also called disintegration because it was the moment when the territory was divided in two. The Western Roman Empire fell and the Middle Ages began, but the Eastern Empire, known as the Byzantine Empire , would not come to an end until 1453.
As in Rome, over the centuries, different peoples tried to invade the capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople. Weakened by constant attacks, the city is taken by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, putting an end to the Eastern Roman Empire. Fall of the Roman Empire summary