15 Kasım 2010 Pazartesi

ROMAN HISTORY: Fall of Rome and Its Legacy

The Fall of Rome and the Roman Legacy
Questioning the paradigm of “Decline and Fall” (cf. E. Gibbons, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1788 ( ! ) )
→Transformation and Legacy of the Roman Empire

1)     The 3rd Century Crisis
·        Enemies and separatist states: Germanic tribes, Sassanid Empire (224), Palmyra, Gaul kingdom…
·        Problem of succession: no more dynastyusurpers and lack of legitimacy
·        Feebleness of the Senate
·        Fiscal crisis: devaluation

2)     Diocletian’s reforms (284-305)
·       The Tetrarchy: 2 Augusts and 2 Caesars to rule the Empire
·       Image of the Emperor: sacralization
·       Administrative reform: rise of the bureaucracy
·       Military reform: expansion of the army, mobile troops, alliance with barbarian groups
·       Economic reforms: Price edict (301)

BUT these reforms failed…
3)     East and West in the 4th c.: the division
At the beginning of the 4th century Constantine managed to establish his authority on the whole Empire and chose Byzantion as a capital. The Empire became Christian.
In the West, official date of fall: 476 (Germanic general, Odoacer, deposed the Roman Emperor).
Western Europe divided into Germanic kingdoms (Visigoths, Vandals, Franks, Ostrogoths)

4)     The Roman legacy
·       Political system
·       Law
·       The Latin language
·       Culture
·       Architecture

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