The Failure of Rome’s Economy and the Fall of the Roman Empire

995 Words 4 Pages
The failure of Rome’s economy contributed majorly to the fall of Rome. The Roman Economy during the late Republic and Early Empire was based heavily on Agriculture and Commerce. Agriculture in ancient Rome was not only a necessity, but was idealized among the social elite as a way of life. Cicero had considered agriculture to be the best of all Roman Occupations (Sarudy). There had been a lot of trading between the provinces of the empire, and all regions of the empire were largely economically interdependent. Egypt was also important in providing wheat to Rome. Shipments of Egyptian wheat may have amounted to 20 million modii (an Ancient Roman measurement) or more annually. Twenty million modii of wheat was nearly enough for up to half …show more content…
Emperor Domitian, who ruled from 81 A.D. to 96 A.D., had left the Roman Empire in a nearly balanced economy during the greater part of his reign. It is estimated that Domitian’s annual income was more than 1,200 million sestertii (Roman Currency) which over one-third would presumably have been spent maintaining the Roman army. The other major of major expense was the extensive reconstruction of Rome (Domitian). An Emperor that greatly impacted the Roman economy was Nero, who ruled from 54 A.D. to 68 A.D. When complaints arose that the poor were overly taxed, Nero attempted to repeal all indirect taxes. The Senate convinced him that this action would bankrupt the public treasury. In result, Nero cut taxes from 4.5% to 2.5% (Bluejayblog) Government taxes were also ordered to become public. In order to lower the cost of food imports, Nero declared that merchant ships were tax-exempt. After Rome burned in 64, Nero enacted a public relief effort to restore Rome. For a few construction projects, he created the large Domus Aurea and attempted to have a canal dug at the Isthmus of Corinth. However, these projects had cost vast amounts of money which quickly drained the economy. Eventually during Nero’s reign, he had devalued Roman Currency for the first time in Roman History. Weight reduced of the denarius from 1/84 per Roman pound to 1/96 per Roman pound (3.90 grams to 3.4 grams) (Comparette). Weight of the aureus dropped from