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UNIT 1 – GREECE AND ROME
Chapter 5 – Greece
Chapter 6 – Rome
CHAPTER 6
SECTION 1
The Roman Republic
SECTION 2
The Roman Empire
The Fall of the Roman Empire
SECTION 5
Rome and the Roots of Western Civilization
• CORE OBJECTIVE: Analyze the impact of Ancient Rome and how
it continues to impact our lives today.
• Objective 1.7: Summarize and trace the fall of the Roman
Empire.
• Objective 1.8: Describe the legacy and achievements of Roman civilization.
The Roman culture will have a significant impact and
influence on many other world cultures.
CHAPTER 6 SECTION 4
Internal problems and innovations spur the division
and decline of the Roman Empire.
• The Empire Declines
 Pax Romana ends in A.D. 180 with death of emperor
Marcus Aurelius
 Subsequent emperors unable to govern giant empire
• #1 Weak Economy
 Hostile tribes disrupt trade
 Raise taxes - Reached the limit of expansion, needed revenue
 Inflation — drop in value of money and rise in prices
 Minted coins with less silver
 Overworked soil leads to food shortages
 Famine and disease led to population decline
REASONS FOR DECLINE (CONT…)
• #2 Weak Military
 Soldiers loyal to commanders, not Rome
 Commanders fought amongst themselves for throne
 Government hires mercenaries — foreign soldiers they
pay to fight; cannot recruit Roman citizens
 Outsiders felt no loyalty to Rome
• #3 Political Problems
• Citizens lose patriotism/interest in the affairs of Rome
• Past Romans sacrificed lives to protect the Republic
• Low confidence, corruption, office seen as burden
• Military interference in politics
AFTER 200 AD THE ROMAN EMPIRE
FELL INTO CONFUSION.
• The empire was running
short of money and facing
increasing pressure from
raiders pushing in from the
borders.
• In one 50-year period, 26
emperors reigned, and only
one of them died of natural
causes.
• Diocletian Reforms the Empire
• Ruled harshly to restore order
• Limited personal freedoms
• Doubled size of Roman army
• Set prices for goods
• Claimed descent from Roman gods
• In A.D. 284 Emperor Diocletian restores order, divides
empire in two
• Two emperors in Greek-speaking East, Latin-speaking West
• In A.D. 305 Diocletian retires
• Civil war breaks out; 4 rivals compete for power
CONSTANTINE THE GREAT
Constantine Moves the Capital
 Constantine becomes
emperor of Western Empire
in A.D. 312
• Seizes Eastern Empire in A.D.
324
 Moves Roman capital to
Byzantium
• This united the empire once
again
 Byzantium eventually
renamed Constantinople —
city of Constantine
• Although Christianity had
long been outlawed in the
empire, Constantine
legalized Christianity.
• He ended the blood sports
and gladiatorial games in
the Colosseum.
• He established Constantinople as the capital of the stronger eastern part of the
Roman Empire, ruling both parts from there.
• Constantinople is located on the Bosporus Strait that connects the Black Sea to the
Mediterranean. Rome remained capital of the weakened western part of the
empire.
THE FALL OF ROME
• Germanic Invasions
• Mongol nomads from Asia, the Huns invade
northern borders of empire
• This forces Germanic tribes to flee the Huns and
enter Roman lands. The Visigoths sack Rome in
410 AD.
• Attila the Hun
• Attila — unites the Huns in A.D. 444
• plunders 70 cities in East
• Attacks Rome in 452;
• famine and disease prevents victory
• The Vandals
• East Germanic tribe Poland but moved to Carthage
• plundered Rome in 455, and “vandalism” comes
from their name
• Last Roman emperor falls to Germanic tribes in 476; end of
Western Empire
• East thrives for another thousand years (Byzantine Empire)
HISTORIANS HAVE LONG DEBATED
THE CAUSES OF THE FALL OF ROME.
• Factors included a terrible
plague, the decline of
agriculture, heavy taxes,
and a decadent upper
class devoted to luxury
and greed.
• Perhaps the more
important question is not
why Rome fell, but why it
lasted so long.
ROME FALLS
• History Channel – Mankind Story of Us
• Disk 1 – Section 1 “Breaking Point”
• 1st segment - 9 minutes in length

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