The Fall Of Rome During The Twentieth Century

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Scholars have debated over the question of the Fall of Rome for centuries. Until the late twentieth century, no one argued against the commonly held belief that Rome had been taken over by “barbarians” through violent and bloody invasions. Everyone assumed that the Roman people and the Barbarians where hostile toward one another. Others thought that Rome never fell and that the Germanic people gave it a new sense of life. But recently scholars have come to argue that the “fall” of Rome had come about more peacefully and through assimilation and migration rather than invasion. According to Bryan Ward- Perkins, a historian of the later Roman Empire, “Words like ‘decline’ and ‘crisis’, which suggest problems at the end of the empire and which were quite usual into the 1970’s have largely disappeared from historians’ vocabularies, to be replaced by neutral terms, like ‘transition’, ‘change’, and ‘transformation’.” This radical change in reasoning has scholars arguing over how the “fall” of Rome actually came about. The Western Empire did not fall due to invasion the period regarded as the “fall” was really just a time of transition due to the assimilation of the Germanic peoples facilitated by weaknesses in the Roman system of government. Before beginning to address the so-called fall of Rome, we must define what it is that we are calling “Rome”. Rome is characterized not just by the city itself, but by the surrounding areas over which it had power, the customs of its people,
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