>>542191 Vast government corruption, hyper-inflation, a weakened and overstretched military, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and their families flooding their borders to carve out their own kingdoms.
This is 4chan though so it'll probably all be "muh multiculturalism, muh degeneracy, muh feminism"
>>542235 As I understand it they had an exceptional national identity to the time. One wasn't loyal to any person or group of people, they were loyal to Rome. It's abstractions like that which hold nations together today and which was fairly rare back then as far as I know.
It's why when Rome's legions were annihilated by Hannibal they didn't just sue for peace. They conscripted a whole new army out of whatever fighting age males they had left and carried on because in their eyes the light of Rome couldn't fail. If they were just serving some king or aristocracy then those conscripts would have said "fuck off".
That is what held Rome together as a nation for all that time, even when Rome wasn't even part of any Roman empire. But their control went far beyond the reaches of where people called themselves "Roman" so they couldn't hold it all together.
There are probably a lot of other factors contributing to it though. I'm just trying to give the most general single answer possible.
>>542215 What caused all the "corruption, hyper-inflation, a weakened and overstretched military, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and their families flooding their borders to carve out their own kingdoms" though?
>>542300 >corruption Standard for the day, higher class people were generally out for their own glory, not necessarily for their nations'. >hyper-inflation, Because of the corruption and because the empire spanned the entire Mediterranean. Having a massive army to conquer and defend it all was expensive, and Rome ran out of places like Greece or Carthage that they could just plunder money from. >weakened and overstretched military, Overstretched from the massive size of the empire, and relied more and more on foreign mercenaries instead of their own troops. >hundreds of thousands of soldiers and their families flooding their borders to carve out their own kingdoms The Huns were invading from the east and pushing the Germanics west for their lives, and because the Empire was weak there was a draw to come and plunder its own wealth. Rome also discriminated against and persecuted some of the tribes that came before and tried to peacefully settle down, making them rebel.
>>542341 Running an empire is expensive, and past expansions were fueled by the money the conquered had. Plundering Egypt, Greece, Pontus, Carthage, etc all more than paid for the invasions plus some. By the Pax Romana, however, they ran out of rich, neighboring and easily conquerable areas to plunder.
Constantine debased the Roman military by creating mobile field armies (a promising name but the realities of space/time condemned it to failure ) and poorly trained/paid/militia guards who were able to man border crossings but not stop any actual attack.
The mobile field armies were too far away and the border guards were too weak to do much more than stay alive if a barbarian sneezed at them.
Constantine's purpose was not military, but political. His "reforms" were designed to make sure that no one like him could seize power by taking his own army and overthrowing the emperor.
By the time Rome fell in name after it had already been falling in fact, there were no actual romans left living in Rome. They were all slowly replaced wholesale by the differing populations of migrant theds that were always moving into the empire.
When the roman were gone Rome went with it, naturally. Demographics are destiny.
>>542298 Great post, thanks. >>542191 >implying Rome ever 'fell' like other Empires did Rome was taking a lot of shapes over a long period of time. New generations were born to whom 'Rome' didn't mean what it meant to their predecessors due to much different circumstances and even the new faith. Decentralization caused by weakened grasp on the vast Empire attacked by the hordes of people drained the Empire and costed a lot of money. Decentralization eventually boosted a development of local communities and feudal relations. Foundations to create the fruitful kingdoms were laid. Byzantium was not just direct successor to Rome, it was good old Rome in every way, following its civilizational progress.
>>542215 >a weakened and overstretched military, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and their families flooding their borders to carve out their own kingdoms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutio_Antoniniana
>>542612 the antonine decree destroyed the first-class status Italian citizens had over conquered peoples and was a major step in the weakening of the roman army and the eventual acceptance of foreign cultures to settle roman land
>>542654 Rome was not multicultural. it was highly centralized, with the empire existing solely to serve the city of Rome. At first only Romans were allowed to fight in the army, until gradually that right was extended to the rest of Italy. It was only after the 1st century that non-Italians were starting to join the legions, not as auxiliaries.
>the death of valentinian >the crumbling of Theodosius's politics when he died >the political games and ambition taking place during the life of stilicho >the lack of anti corruption in dealing with the germanics >the fall of Britain
At the end of the day, all of Rome went into the city of Rome. When times got tough, it was only the vassalized cities that suffered, and so by the time Rome fell, it wasn't actually an empire. It had been abandoned by it's subjects to die.
1. Much of the success of rome came from conquest, enslavement and the annexation of their rivals. Once all the easily reachable rich nations were taken it stagnated.
2. The roman coinage system was based on silver and gold and there just wasnt enough mines to keep up. Especially bad since alot of it went east for silk and spices.
3. The Military was huge and defended too many borders
4. The roman taxation system was actually super inefficient. Basically you bribed for the right to collect taxes.
5. Rome never did a good enough job integrating the barbarians. Despite the constant memes, it is ironic to think that until the very very end, it was germanic soldiers who were fighting and dying for rome. Romans themselves were recorded to cut their own fingers off specifically to avoid military service in the north. Many of the german tribes running from the huns begged for land in exchange for their loyalty.
6. Also when you remove the profitable eastern parts, western rome was just unsustainable.
>>542191 Ultimately, civil wars. Pretty much every other problem stemmed from that. They invited in barbarians to replenish their losses. They taxed the shit out of people to replenish their losses. They occupied themselves fighting one another throughout the 410s and 420s even as 80% of the Western Empire was being given to barbarians in exchange for troops to continue the fighting. Aristocrats and their tenants schemed to avoid military service to an entity that they increasingly saw as a burdensome liability, and nobody wanted to fulfill their traditional obligations as town councillors, causing the thousands of market towns across the west to shrink and fucking the economy (and therefore tax base) further.
>>542318 Not really, it was a case of "who has the largest army is the Emperor".
As we saw in the kingdoms of medieval Europe, that rule didn't really change. I mean yeah, technically there was a formal succession law, and yes, you needed to have a claim on the crown in order to keep it (technically), but claims could be forged pretty easy, and if you had the money and the army to challenge the king, you could take the throne like in the time of the Roman Empire.
That would be the least of Rome's concerns... Britain had little to offer and tied up a lot of the empire's resources to be kept in the fold.
If we are talking about abandoned territory we should look at Dacia. The romans had a lot of gold mines there and the province supplied most of the balkanic provinces with food. When they left it to die it basically weakened the a considerable part of the Empire.
>>542968 >it was a case of "who has the largest army is the Emperor". Sounds kind of like an inherent flaw. It makes military conquest too central to Roman authority. Though as you pointed out, it was par for the course in Europe for a long time.
A limit on the number of years one could be the chief executive would have been nice. Waiting until the chief executor is dead usually leads to nasty business.
I think the main reason was the constant harassment from barbarians, you had the Goths, Huns and Vandals all expanding into Africa, Gaul, the Balkans and north of Italy, these were the major threats i believe, plus the threat of parthians saracens and some other groups. rome got twice in the 5th century and didn't have the money or man power to handle them all
>1. Much of the success of rome came from conquest, enslavement and the annexation of their rivals. Once all the easily reachable rich nations were taken it stagnated.
No, this is largely bullshit. Sure the conquest of rich neighbors helped fuel Rome's rise to power, but the height of Roman power coincides with the Pax Romana, and apart from a few conquering wars here and there (Trajan conquering Dacia for its gold mines, for example) there really wasn't a lot of conquest going on.
>2. The roman coinage system was based on silver and gold and there just wasnt enough mines to keep up. Especially bad since alot of it went east for silk and spices.
A bigger problem was the constant demand for larger salaries and bonus payments to the army, leading to inflation and devaluation of coinage. The Roman empire briefly became partially a barter economy under Diocletian before stabilizing under Constantine.
Also, if this is true, it wouldn't explain how the Eastern empire (which also used gold and silver coins) lasted for another 1000 years after the fall of the Western empire. If anything, more of their coinage should have been going east.
>3. The Military was huge and defended too many borders
The Goths broke into Rome in the battle of Adrianople in the year 376 AD, but Rome was largely able to defend its border successfully for hundreds of years prior. Even during the crisis of the third century, civil wars played a big a part in destabilization as anything else.
It is true that the empire did become too large for a single emperor to defend effectively, which is why Diocletian devised the tetrarchy.
>4. The roman taxation system was actually super inefficient. Basically you bribed for the right to collect taxes.
You're partially right - the collection system, while not good, wasn't the problem. Towards the end of the empire, the elites just didn't pay enough taxes. The tax burden was in large part placed on (unsustainably) placed on the lower classes.
> 5. Rome never did a good enough job integrating the barbarians. Despite the constant memes, it is ironic to think that until the very very end, it was germanic soldiers who were fighting and dying for rome. Romans themselves were recorded to cut their own fingers off specifically to avoid military service in the north. Many of the german tribes running from the huns begged for land in exchange for their loyalty.
This is true, although economic changes are a bigger a factor in the reduced army size than any weakening of the martial spirit. Roman elites simply did not want to allow those of barbarian descent into the most powerful positions, which would have possibly helped to work with and better integrate the Germanic tribes into Roman society.
PS Stilicho did nothing wrong.
> 6. Also when you remove the profitable eastern parts, western rome was just unsustainable.
A big blow to western Rome was the capture of Carthage by the Goths, then the subsequent invasion of the empire by Attila which prevented a response. The Western empire got hit by a succession of events that individually they might have recovered from, but successively (combined with internal weakening of the ruling apparratus) toppled it.
Dacia was yet another of Trajan's vanity problems, it was a salient out beyond the Danube that cost more to defend than the gold it pumped out. Aurelian's decision to abandon it in the 260s-270s (200 years before the end of the Western Roman Empire I might add) was just one of the guy's master strokes.
>>543076 >A big blow to western Rome was the capture of Carthage by the Goths
It was the Vandals. I personally think the loss of the province of Africa, the richest and most urbanised part of the West (and one of the wealthiest parts of the Roman world generally) was what killed the Western Empire. If it had retained the taxes and Numidian recruiting base of the area it might have been able to maintain a sufficiently large non-foederati based army.
The dumb fuck Bonifacius invited the Vandals into Africa to help him fight his rival Aetius in the 420s, yet another example of a Roman fucking over his own people for a chance at personal glory.
>>543039 This and integration of barbarians. Christianity in the Empire was about like islam in EU. They displaced the people and the authority, leaving themselves and Europe with fucked theocracy. At least pagan theocracy was open for more debate and allowed positive ends through fucked means. P much you could castrate and enslave for the good of Rome because gods did that shit. Gods would deceive and betray when necessary.
So long as you sacrificed some animals (feeding the poor in the process) you were permitted to do nearly anything. Christianity replaced all the former notions of piety, not to mention puts emphasis on the afterlife more than the world.
The professionalisation of the army led to undue military influence in imperial succession, which led to chaos every time an emperor died, which weakened the military and economic strength of Rome, the moral and social fabric tying the Empire together, as well as the Empire's ability to project power and police its borders.
>>543146 >My own conclusion: Most Romans were much, much more stupid than most people today. Lead in the water-pipes? I can get behind that conclusion. It's like all the selfishness and shortsightedness of today but multiplied.
>>543173 >It doesn't help that the smallholding farmers had mostly been evicted from their homes to make room for massive plantation systems. In Rome's defence, large farms are usually more productive than many small farms.
A would have recommended Rome create a public education system to help maintain a middle class and foster a strong national identity, but I don't suppose there was much information to teach back then.
>"At that time they say that the Emperor Honorius in Ravenna received the message from one of the eunuchs, evidently a keeper of the poultry, that Rome had perished. And he cried out and said, 'And yet it has just eaten from my hands!' For he had a very large cock, Rome by name; and the eunuch comprehending his words said that it was the city of Rome which had perished at the hands of Alaric, and the emperor with a sigh of relief answered quickly: 'But I thought that my fowl Rome had perished.' So great, they say, was the folly with which this emperor was possessed."
>>543349 Constantinople. There were many instances of invaders going right up to the capital city and finding it unassailable, and they just gave up and left. Not so with Italy, Rome would be assaulted and sacked many times post-Western Empire. Milan and Ravenna, also imperial capitals, would be taken as well.
>>543146 Roman culture was just geared around becoming the very best, like no-one ever was. If you were second best you were pathetic and were an embarrassment to the ancestors whose busts sat in the atrium to your domus.
Yeah, but that's in theory. In practice it quickly degenerated into the mere appearance of excellence, in so many cases. And there were so many cases of individual striving for glory and honour being massively injurious to the society as a whole, I still call it pretty dumb. Kids playing toy soldiers with actual soldiers.
A stop to expansion rendered dynamic policies that were previously at the center of the Roman Empire inept. From ~230 onwards the Empire was in decline, because it couldn't expand anymore, and was in fact just managing its own downfall.
>>542730 Rome being "highly centralized" was always a meme. It was governed from Rome, as in: the people that governed were, for a long time, chosen from the Italic nobles, but the effective senatorial control over what happened in the provinces was marginal, and it only decreased with people romanizing and large cities developing and using political capital.
>>542215 Recruitment was so bad at times that soldiers were branded like slaves in order to be found easier after they escaped. Their barracks were also locked from the outside at night like a dog cage. And the people still said the emperor babied his troops.
A car cry from the famed and prideful legionnaires of the good old days!
>>542191 The fall of the empire can go back to Tiberius, his army was slowly power and influence to outside tribes like Germanic clans. Claudius found your mother 8 kilo boobs too wonderful for your father to live, love to drink lead and other horrendous atrocities. Nero cause substantial inflation by putting copper into sliver coins and burning citizen's houses so he could rebuild them with concrete. Han Solo died.
Concentration of wealth in too fewer hands, imo. >In the 2nd century BC, two brothers named Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus realized that Rome's military model was unsustainable in the long term. They pushed for reforms in the Senate, but their ideas were unpopular (since they would adversely affect the rich landowners who controlled the Senate) and their attempts to push these reforms led to their murders (one was beaten to death by the senate). Not long after that, the Gracchi's fears soon came to pass. A man named Gaius Marius was assigned to raise an army, only to find that there just weren't enough qualified troops in all of Italy. For instance, Rome's laws required soldiers to own land, but all the land was owned by a handful of people, which was exactly the sort of thing the Gracchi foresaw. Marius reformed the army to eliminate some of these requirements, but even his reforms only slowed Rome's decline rather than stopping it.
The destruction of the Roman identity with the adoption of Christianity and the dissolution of the emperor as god. That caused enough political disunity and paired with the sacking of Rome and the splitting of the Empire for administrative reasons led to the fall of the western side when Odoacer beat them the fuck out.
The eastern empire prospered until they where chipped away by Venetian and Arabs until Constantinople fell, leading to the end of Rome as a political entity entirely, except religiously.
The Pope was seated in Rome when Rome became catholic. It is to this day the last Roman political entity and has survived to this day.
Rome's overwhelming presence encouraged the amalgamation of groups and subgroups of Germanic peoples. When those groups experienced the exogenous shock that was the Huns, the supergroups that would tear the Empire apart came into being. There weren't any internal problems that necessitated its fall, and it would have kept on trucking if not for the competency of the Germanic supergroups that wanted a chunk of empire. I'm extremely skeptical of any theory that paints its fall as inevitable because even in the real history there were plenty of times when the west's fortunes could have been reversed.
The whole point of that post was to use the already established fact that the height of Roman power was during a long period of peace as a counter-argument to "it started going down when they stopped going to war."
I know reading comprehension is difficult, but do try to keep up.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.
This is a 4chan archive - all of the shown content originated from that site. This means that 4Archive shows their content, archived. If you need information for a Poster - contact them.
If a post contains personal/copyrighted/illegal content, then use the post's [Report] link! If a post is not removed within 24h contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the post's information.