Fall Rome Research Paper
Odovacar immediately contacted the eastern emperor Zeno and informed him that he would not accept that title of emperor. In fact, to ensure there would be no confusion, Odovacar returned to Constantinople the imperial vestments, diadem, and purple cloak of the emperor.
There are some who believe, like Gibbon, that the fall was due to the fabric of the Roman citizen.
Whatever the cause, whether it was religion, external attack, or the internal decay of the city itself, the debate continues to the present day; however, one significant point must be established before a discussion of the roots of the fall can continue: the decline and fall were only in the west.
The eastern half - that which would eventually be called the Byzantine Empire - would continue for several centuries, and, in many ways, it retained a unique Roman identity.
This massive size presented a problem and called for a quick solution, and it came with the reign of Emperor Diocletian.
English historian Edward Gibbon, who wrote in the late 18th century CE, points to the rise of Christianity and its effect on the Roman psyche while others believe the decline and fall were due, in part, to the influx of 'barbarians' from the north and west.If one accepts the idea that the cause of the fall was due, in part, to the possible moral decay of the city, its fall is reminiscent of the “decline” of the Republic centuries earlier.Historian Polybius, a 2nd century BCE writer, pointed to a dying republic (years before it actually fell) - a victim of its declining moral virtue and the rise of vice within.One of the most widely accepted causes - the influx of a barbaric horde - is discounted by some who feel that mighty Rome, the eternal city, could not have so easily fallen victim to a culture that possessed little or nothing in the way of a political, social or economic foundation.They believe the fall of Rome simply came because the barbarians took advantage of difficulties already existing in Rome - problems that included a decaying city (both physically and morally), little to no tax revenue, overpopulation, poor leadership, and, most importantly, inadequate defense. Unlike the fall of earlier empires such as the Assyrian and Persian, Rome did not succumb to either war or revolution.Edward Gibbon reiterated this sentiment (he diminished the importance of the barbaric threat) when he claimed the rise of Christianity as a factor in the “tale of woe” for the empire.He held the religion sowed internal division and encouraged a “turn-the-other-cheek mentality” which ultimately condemned the war machine, leaving it in the hands of the invading barbarians.To many historians, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE has always been viewed as the end of the ancient world and the onset of the Middle Ages, often improperly called the Dark Ages, despite Petrarch’s assertion.Since much of the west had already fallen by the middle of the 5th century CE, when a writer speaks of the fall of the empire, he or she generally refers to the fall of the city of Rome.On the last day of the empire, a barbarian member of the Germanic tribe Siri and former commander in the Roman army entered the city unopposed.The one-time military and financial power of the Mediterranean was unable to resist.