Visit Website Did you know? The magistrates, though elected by the people, were drawn largely from the Senate, which was dominated by the patricians, or the descendants of the original senators from the time of Romulus. Politics in the early republic was marked by the long struggle between patricians and plebeians the common peoplewho eventually attained some political power through years of concessions from patricians, including their own political bodies, the tribunes, which could initiate or veto legislation.
Rome Before the "Fall" [ click here for a brief overview of Roman history ] After nearly half a millennium of rule, the Romans finally lost their grip on Europe in the fifth century the 's CE.
Their decline left in its wake untold devastation, political chaos and one of the most fascinating and problematical issues in history, what caused the "Fall of Rome," the problem we'll tackle in this Chapter. Though Roman government in the form of the Byzantine Empire survived in the East for almost another thousand years, so-called barbarian forces overran western Europe, spelling the end of an era.
While Rome's absence in the West brought with it tremendous change—and none of it seemed very positive, at least at first—before we can even address the question of why Rome logged off and Europe switched users, we must understand how this transition happened and what exactly came to a close during this period.
The best way to answer that question is to look ahead to the changes which Rome's demise produced. A look into the past of the roman empire two centuries after its purported "fall" in CE—by the seventh century, that is—Europe looked very different from the days when the Romans were in charge.
By virtually every measurable standard, Western Civilization had relapsed severely. Trade had virtually disappeared, taking with it the European economy and the basis of civilized life, and because most of the populace was by then mired in dismal squalor, unable to travel or attend school, education and literacy were all but relics of the past.
Thus, without any way for people to see their situation from a larger geographical or historical perspective, a basic siege mentality gripped their world. On the surface, the reason for all this seems fairly clear.
The invasions of non-Roman outsiders had so badly disrupted the region that, in the words of one modern historian, it was as if "Western Civilization went camping for five hundred years.
In outlining the peoples of the world for his contemporaries, an Arab geographer of the day describes Europeans as having "large bodies, gross natures, harsh manners, and dull intellects. The sequence of events leading up to such drastic changes, so precipitous a drop in quality of life, is where we must begin as we seek the reasons for "why Rome fell.
The Fourth and Fifth Centuries CE Increasing pressure from peoples outside the Empire, the much maligned barbarians, had compelled the Romans in later antiquity to let more and more foreigners inside their state. Since most of these spoke a language based on Common Germanicthe Romans referred to them collectively as Germans, even though they actually represented a wide array of nations and cultures.
These newly adopted resident aliens were assigned to work farms or were conscripted into the Roman army in numbers so large that the late Latin word for "soldier" came to be barbarus "barbarian".
|Origins of Rome||The Augustus of Prima Porta early 1st century AD The Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural, political and military forces in the world of its time.|
|Roman Empire in the first century A.|
And where these barbarians met resistance, they sneaked or pushed their way inside the Empire, and in such a profusion that Rome was fast turning into a nation of immigrants. Not that that was much of a change. Things had actually been that way for centuries, only by late antiquity it was undeniable that, in spite of being called "Roman," the Empire was, in fact, a multicultural enterprise.
The pretense of a "Roman" Rome had worn so thin it was impossible to maintain the illusion, for instance, that everyone in the Empire could speak—or even wanted to speak—Latin, the Romans' native tongue. Furthermore, it had been ages since any emperor had even bothered to pretend his lineage could be traced back to some ancestor who had arrived with Aeneas in Italy, an invented history which was beginning to look rather silly when Spaniards and North Africans had been steering the Empire for centuries.
The stark truth was that by the fifth century CE—and indeed for many years before that—a succession of dynamic and capable foreigners coming from all ends of the Empire had kept Rome on its feet and these men were as "Roman" as anyone born or bred in the capital.
Barbarians were, and had been for a long time, guarding and feeding the Empire, which made it all the more difficult to claim they shouldn't also be running it.
It was Dacian and Egyptian and Syrian and, most of all, ever more German by the day. Thus, the sort of change which Rome had undergone—and was at the time still undergoing which implies a certain trajectory into the future—was all too clear: Even if the Romans of Rome still held the title to the Empire and affected superiority over the barbarians managing their domain, Roman possession of the lands around the Mediterranean Sea was, for the most part, only on paper.
The reality was that the state was jointly owned, a participatory experiment which was by then maintained with the sweat and blood of many races—and there were even more who would have liked to sign up as "Roman" but they couldn't get in.
This begs the question, then, why so many foreigners lived—and even more wanted to live—in Rome. Why did barbarians in such numbers press to invade an empire in which they were treated as second-class citizens no matter how hard they worked and collaborated?
The answer is easy. The Roman Empire in that day was a far safer place to live and offered much better accommodations than the wild world outside its borders. Roads and aqueducts and baths and amphitheaters and even taxes look good when one is gazing in from outside where poverty, blood-feuds, disease and frost reign supreme—the mild Mediterranean climate of southern Europe cannot be discounted as a factor in the barbarians' desire to infiltrate sunny Rome—but there was an even more impressive reason lurking beyond the borders of the Empire, something anyone would want to avoid if at all possible: Toughened by decades of crossing the Russian steppes on small ponies, these marauding Asiatic nomads spread terror far and wide, developing a reputation for insurmountable ferocity.
That led easily to exaggerated reports of their speed and numbers.
Indeed, there's little that isn't exaggerated about the Huns, which amounts to a serious problem for historians, how to sift the facts from the frenzy. And besides that, there's an even greater problem. In all the history of the Huns, no Hun ever speaks to us in his own voice, because no Hun ever wrote history.
All in all, the Huns represent that rare instance where the victors didn't write the history, because—the conclusion is inescapable— they didn't care enough about history to write it.
As a result, their reputation has suffered.1. an empire established by Augustus in 27 BC and divided in AD into the Western Roman Empire and the eastern or Byzantine Empire; at its peak lands in . How the History of the Roman Empire Is Hidden in Arctic Ice.
Lead levels in the Arctic ice tells us how well the Roman Empire was doing on a year-by-year basis. Feudalism in the Holy Roman Empire was a politico-economic system of relationships between liege lords and enfeoffed vassals (or feudatories) that formed the basis of the social structure within the Holy Roman Empire during the High Middle attheheels.com German the system is variously referred to Lehnswesen, Feudalwesen or Benefizialwesen.
. Sep 01, · Watch video · Beginning in the eighth century B.C., Ancient Rome grew from a small town on central Italy’s Tiber River into an empire that at its peak encompassed most of continental Europe, Britain, much of.
The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Rōmānum, Classical Latin: [attheheels.comũː roːˈmaː.nũː]; Koine and Medieval Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn) was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman attheheels.comon: Imperial cult-driven polytheism, (Before AD ), Nicene Christianity, (From AD ).
The Roman Empire contributed to the visual arts in at least five great areas: architecture, portraiture in bronze and marble, reliefs and paintings of mythical and historical subjects, carved marble sarcophagi, and copies of ancient Greek statuary, which preserved Greek developments in the art of sculpture.
A Look into Roman Art History.