The Roman Empire was one of the greatest in the history of mankind, and yet it fell in the end. Why so?
Rome’s founders lived in great poverty, giving away the little they had in order to ensure the prosperity of the empire. On the contrary, their successors did not suffer the struggles of poverty when raising it from its foundation. This also meant, however, that they could not relate to the exercise of austerity.
The new Rome became famous for its extravagant celebrations and the sense of lavishness in all its social classes.
It is well-known that the Roman Empire was long-lasting. For this reason, it is hard to pinpoint one or two exact factors that were exclusively accountable for its fall. Indeed, there were most likely a variety of causes which played their own roles in weakening the Empire and hence in leading it to its eventual ruin.
The decline, and eventual collapse, of the Western Roman Empire was due to problems in two elements of the Empire, the army and society.
One large issue was how the Roman army had been weakened over time as a consequence of the troubles due to civil wars and a decrease of the quality and quantity of soldiers protecting the Empire. This made it easier for barbarian tribes to attack and invade them. Another problem was the Empire’s governmental organization, which encompassed much strife and internal divisions. The chaos catalyzed by the quarrel for power would have eroded its command line to the brink, ultimately preventing the Empire from effectively defending itself any further.
Rome’s corruption and fast growth also led to a lack of care for its economic rigor. In addition to this, the lack of innovation in its economic sectors simply did not envision how to survive in the case of a loss of revenue and gold reserves. Rome’s collapse was, amongst other points, mainly caused by the battle between the commitment to manage wealth and the thirst to spend it. Its competing invaders, of course, would have been more than happy to take advantage of this.
Other reasons for the Roman Empire’s decay were related to its fast expansion. It appointed power to citizens that were not originally Roman, thereby causing the main goals, character and central control of Rome to disappear. Interestingly, some historians therefore speculate that the Empire did not fall due to outside forces, but that it was wiped out after losing importance and being restored with other civilizations.
The decline and collapse of the Roman Empire should have taught modern civilization the perils of complacency and corruption. Unfortunately, however, sometimes this does not seem to be the case.