What is the true reason for the collapse of the Roman Empire?
I found a nice resource by William Durant
where on around page 803 of the pdf it's got some great details on the economic, political, military, and social causes, but lots of people have debated that Christianity was the downfall, what do you all think?
They were an empire. So the same thing that happens to every empire happened to them.
Eventually you run out of places to loot, and it's all downhill from there. And once you can no longer loot your own youth to force them to loot other places, you hire mercenaries from those places, and then you've crossed the singularity.
What do you guys think about this book?
Its next on my reading list. My classics professor edited it for modern reprint, his daughters were all really hot desu
The conversion process certainly hurt Rome, but attributing it to anything more than one of many causes is silly. Gibbon is spot on in my opinion in this regard. Had Rome not been assailed by any number of other things conversion would have been harmless.
Whether or not CHRISTIANITY itself caused any deleterious effects is up for debate. Forced CONVERSION, to ANY religion, hurt Rome. The only theory I've seen that holds any weight in my opinion is that Christianity accelerated the distancing of the Emperor from the populace, but it still would have happened had Rome remained Pagan, just not as quickly.
Great prose. It's also a hilarious book. People from one historical period are criticized to hell and back by some angry fucker from another historical period.
I especially like how he studied Byzantine history and then compressed 600 years of it into a single chapter where he just shit talks them nonstop.
Name the empire that didn't conquer anywhere, and didn't tax the places it conquered?
I must have missed the part of history where they told us how all of the Mediterranean littoral decided to join Rome and send them gifts because they were convinced Rome was best...
Toynbee thesis, probably not this.
This is the answer- endless civil war. Adrian Goldsworthy answers this in How Rome Fell- basically by the third century any military figure with any kind of backing could declare himself Emperor, leading to an endless series of civil war that constantly depleted the empire of her resources, right down until 476- and it continued in the Byzantine Empire.
Even the Byzantines were fighting civil wars right until 1453- it certainly did not help them with the Turks. The Roman Emperors never had a good means of succession, and when they finally found a decent one- heir adoption (2nd century) they botched it.
It also explains the declining quality of the legions, because why would you want to fight in endless civil wars instead of against barbarians?
Your contains the idea that what made Rome fall is that it conquered things. This is absurd, what made it successful is that it conquered shit. You also implied that they conquered everything that was possible, despite the fact that they know about Eastern lands and didn't take them.
Than you are implying that they taxed themself to death. This is also has no historical prescidence. If you want to say high taxes fucked up the empire find a source.
And to your other post...taxes are how militaries are funded as well as things like court systems. And all nations grow by conquest, it's how life works. Even the act of getting nutrition involves taking resources from a weaker life and giving it yourself.