Fall of Rome. . . causes
• United States
15 Mar 07
Some of the causes of the fall of Rome are very interesting in their modern correspondance to America. One of the causes I've heard cited was the need for immigrant laborers. Rome was extremely short on laborers and imported large numbers of immigrants which it did not require to learn the language or customs of Rome, or to require assimilation. Another problem was a military stretched too thin. Rome could take on any military on earth and win, but couldn't handle all of them (exageration, I know). Rome was involved in too many conflicts to be able to put enough soldiers into a given conflict, hence they were picked apart by the smaller surrounding peoples. And again, the moral decline of the Empire, it's leaders and aristocrats, cannot be overlooked. Loose morals gave rise to shady intrigues that weakened the empire for personal gain. There are many other reasons as well, but, as an American, it seems we should pay attention to at least these, because they seem to be happening increasingly to us.
15 Mar 07
Its interesting to me to see the parallels of the Roman empire and the United States. I also think that maybe Great Britain went through something similar when they were stretching their empire in the 1700 and 1800s. You would think that we would learn from our past. Have you ever heard of the theory that the pipes used in the plumbing in Rome were lead pipes and that the Romans were slowly poisoned with lead poisoning which affect their brains and they were mentally impaired. If you look at some of the later Roman emperors you have to question their leadership abilities. Have you heard of this theory?
• United States
16 Mar 07
I heard something similar about lead poisoning because of the pewter cups used by the Emperors. That makes you wonder too about what great technologies are doing to us. The water pipes were one of romes greatest achievements, and to think that it may have been a factor in their demise is deliciously ironic. Maybe cell phone brain damage really is something to beware of ;-)
23 Apr 07
As for any other: "problems of ... communication". It grew bigger than their "stratas" could afford, so it fragmented itself. (In my personal and Gibbon-ignoring opinion) I heard something similar about Alexander's and Gengis&Kubilai's empires. With regard to Rome, some said that it's decadence was due to lead-poisoning from the pipes of "aquaeducti"... No comment!
22 Apr 07
Before I start Rome bashing, I just wanted to say for an empire that fell in 476 (date for the fall of Rome is acceptable because that's when the Germanic Odoacer deposed the last emperor ruling from Rome) the current Romans are doing very well for themselves. They may no longer rule a vast empire, but their history, particularly architecturally, remains. So, to me, ina way Rome has never really fallen, it has just diminished. Onto the theories. I think it was a combination of decadence, moral decay amongst the ruling class, and as others have also mentioned, the lead theory has some real value. I think for the common people, watching their empire fall was a long, slow military and economic exercise. They had to watch the corruption and their once great empire slip into irreperable harm.
• United States
13 Apr 07
There are many reasons for the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Part of it was the lack of interest and good management with the head of the empire being in Constantanople. Probably another point would be the lead from the pipes in the cities. A portion was the fact that the armies were off in other places in the empire leaving Rome fairly unprotected, thinking geography would keep it safe. But mostly was the lack of interest in the western portion of the empire by the emperors in the east.
9 Apr 07
The Roman Empire fall because the last emperors were so idiots! Of course the size of the Empire prevent a good overall management of the empire, this thing helping the fall of Rome, but the incompetence of the last rulers is the main factor! And of course religion, this broke the empire in half! The nomads gave lots of help in braking the empire too! No Empire can rule 4 ever!