Western Roman Empire Essay

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The Decline of the Principate
Commodus (180-192) (not a good emperor)
More civil wars(192-197)
Severan Dynasty (192‑235) Military emperors: want to keep army happy Army pay raises Economy, inflation : reduce coin value→price of product increase
"Military Anarchy" = "Imperial Crisis" (235‑284) Armies out of control CIVIL WARS Barbarian Invasions (Franks, Goths, New Persians) Queen Zenobia of Palmyra: revolt to against Roman Empire, build her own small city. "Soldier Emperors" Aurelian (270‑275) = "The Restorer of the World" Wall of Aurelian- protection (fear they could not against invasion)

LATE ROMAN EMPIRE (284‑480)= Late Antiquity
Diocletian (284‑305): (another soldier emperor) Policies to help the empire survive "Lord and Master": make emperor more distinct Removes all power from the Senate:no longer have any role on choosing emperor Four Emperors: cannot solve all problems by himself. Laws: make everyone do their duties. Taxes "in kind": money is worthless, therefore collect different products Compulsory Services Soldiers, share croppers “Great Persecution” (303-311): Christianity become a threat to the pagan religion.
Constantine (306‑337)
More policies to help the empire survive Solidus = "gold standard" (replace silvery), did not benefit poor but only riches. Constantinople=Byzantium: second capital (in the east, Rome in the west). Consequences: empire split into two parts Christianity (support it!) Battle of the Milvian Bridge: had a vision of cross; soldiers put on Chi-rho sign (Christogram); won the battle “with God’s help” Christianity as favored religion Sunday as “market day” Church building

"Great Persecution" (303‑311)
Constantine (306‑337) Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312) chi‑rho sign (Christogram)
Julian "The Apostate" (361-363): denies Christianity Last pagan emperor: killed by a Christian soldier

Valentinian I (364-375) Last Golden Age of the roman Empire Split of Empire into western half and eastern half with his brother
Triumph of Christianity
Theodosius “The Great” (379-395) Christianity the only legal religion (392)
Christian persecutions of pagans “Baptism” of pagan artwork: Hypatia of Alexandria (415)- teach pagan philosophy

Problems leading to fall of western Roman Empire

1. Withdrawal of Senators: rich and powerful senators withdraw their support from the empire
2. "Barbarization" of the Army: recruit more barbarians into the army.
3. Economic Ruin: the money system has collapsed, the gold coinage only benefit riches.
4. Split of Empire: eastern half and western half, western half has more barbarian invasion. Eastern half refuses to share resources.
5. "Barbarian Invasions"

Visigoths, Huns, Battle of Adrianople (378)- eastern Roman army are almost destroyed.
Crossing of the Rhine (406), Sack of Rome by Visigoths(410): implies Roman is not the Rome that is unconquerable. St. Augustine, "City of God": heavenly city
Invasion of Attila and the Huns (451) Romans make alliance with Barbarians Visigoths Last pasp of the Western Roman Empire Romulus Augustulus: Last Western Roman Empire?X(476) Julius Nepos: Last Western emperor (in exile) (480)
Dismemberment of Western Roman Empire Visigoths (SW Gaul, Spain) Angles and Saxons (Britain) ‑> "England" ("Angle-land") Franks (Northern Gaul) ‑> "France" Vandals (North Africa) Ostrogoths (Italy)
So, it looks like the barbarians have “won”! THE BYZANTINE EMPIREError: Reference source not found
Justinian (527‑556) Reconquest of the West Belisarius North Africa (Vandals):533-548 King Totila:reconquered the lands Italy (Ostrogoths):535-554 Narses Battle of Busta Gallorum:552 Spain(Visgoths):552 Lombards conquer Italy:568 King Alboin Pavia becomes Lombard capital:572 Slavs (580s).