The Western Roman Empire
The fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE denotes the end of ancient age and the beginning of the middle age. People called this era the Dark Age too. The fall of the kingdom normally means the decline of the city of Rome.
Most historians agree that the year of fall is 476 CE, but there are arguments on the reasons. According to Edward Gibbon, the rise of Christianity is the reason, whereas the influx of barbarians is the main reason for many.
Whatever be the reason, whether it is an external attack or the degradation of the city internally, or anything religious, the decline was in the western empire. Another name of eastern Rome is the Byzantine Empire. It held on to its existence for more than a few centuries and was able to obtain a distinctive Roman identity.
External Reasons Behind The Fall Of The Western Roman Empire
The influx of barbarians is the main cause of the fall. However, many people who think it was not possible for socially, economically, and politically poor culture to dominate the rich Roman culture. The barbarians just took advantage of the decaying empire, which had started long before the attack. Large population, poor administration, illogical tax and revenue system, inadequate defense are the reasons for the fall.
The Romans did not declare war against the barbarians. The military did not have the power to oppose it. The young emperor, Romulus Augustus, was easily dethroned by Odovacar.
Along with Edward Gibbon, many think the cause of the fall is nothing but the decaying of the morality of the inhabitants. Another historian Polybius addressed it as the dying empire. The western Rome became a victim of declining morality and the rise of vice. Gibbon did not find the barbarians much valuable. He emphasized the rise of Christianity as the prime reason. He thinks the religion created internal division among the citizens. But many oppose his opinion. They say the same happened in the eastern part too. In spite of that, the eastern empire continued for a more extended period.
The Western Roman Empire Was Divided
Many historians think the massive size of the empire is the cause of its decay. It started from the British Isles and spread till Tigris and Ufratis and then went into Africa. The internal decaying started decades ago. The empire was divided into two parts to managing its big size by the emperor Diocletian. Rome is the capital of one section and Constantinople as another capital. While Rome was falling, Constantinople became rich in culture and economy.
Alaric Is The Rival Inside The Home
The Goth stayed within the city of Rome and also formed a group along with the Roman army. A Goth named Alaric, who was a Roman commander earlier, with his followers rose voice against Rome. This intelligent man sought land for his people. Eventually, his demands started increasing. He formed a well-organized army that includes Goths, Huns, and slaves who were freed. The army of the emperor Honorius was weak in front of Alaric. He entered Rome in 410 CE.