The mighty Western Roman Empire collapsed around 475 A.D and the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire ended in 153 A.D. There are several causes for this, which can be classified as political, intellectual, economic, and social reasons.
Political Reasons for the Fall of Rome
Rome had never been able to establish an orderly system to replace Emperor upon death. The empire was divided by civil wars between leading Roman families. The government became inefficient and corrupt. The citizens felt little loyalty to government. The empire ended up becoming too large to administer efficiently.
Social Reasons for Fall of Rome
Roman cities were breeding grounds for disease. Population declined because of epidemics. There was an increased opposition to the Roman government. There was also a decline of effectiveness of a once great Roman army. The soldiers lacked loyalty to Rome. They were no match for the well-disciplined and organized German invaders. In 410 A.D, the Visigoths, under Alaric, sacked Rome. In 455 A.D, Rome was sacked/ burned by Huns and their leader Attila.
Economic Reasons for the Fall of Rome
The economy declined steadily over last 200 years. After the 3rd century, there were few conquests and therefore riches stopped flowing to Rome. The empire had to pay huge sums of money in order to keep its massive territory. Invasions and civil wars disrupted trade and agriculture, which caused additional decline in government revenue. The Roman