The Demise of the Roman Empire Essay

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A little over 2000 years ago Rome was one of the most important cities in the world. With its many emperors and armies it had gained control of a vast area of modern Europe known as the Roman Empire. Historians have linked several factors which led to the demise of the Roman Empire mostly associated with each other. Some of the reasons were the arrival of Christianity, lead poisoning and poor public health, political corruption with high military expenses, high unemployment with a rise of inflation and taxation in the economy. It was a combination of these factors which eventually led the final fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD when the last emperor Augustulus Romulus was overthrew by a Germanic Guard named Odoacer.
Rome was a Republic
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As there was no proper method of electing successive emperors the selection was generally debated between the old emperor, the Praetorian Guard, the senate and the army. Eventually the Praetorian Guard gained total authority of the vote for the new emperor. This practice lasted for several hundred years and at times the emperor was elected from the highest bidder. In 186 AD the new emperor was strangled by the army and during the following century Rome had thirty seven emperors in which twenty-five were assassinated. Although many of these emperors with their large armies gained vast control of many countries which extended entirely around the basin of the Mediterranean Sea, including what we know today as Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and North Africa, France (called Gaul), Spain called Hispania and Portugal (Iberia) and modern England, it took up to 600,000 soldiers to maintain this large empire which put a huge strain on finances. Many improvements were made within their conquered territories with improved infrastructure by the building of bridges and roads between these different countries. It was mainly the political corruption and the associated costs of maintaining their armies of these emperors which contributed mostly to the weakness and fall of the Roman Empire.
While Christianity was increasing in popularity a large number of citizens became pacifists and refused to defend the empire against barbarian attacks. Many women and slaves became Christians because…

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