Aug 27, Georgina Ortiz rated it it was amazing I am a nerd. And my love bordering on obsession?
It was due to population decline beginning in the 2nd Century AD, mostly thanks to disease and climate change, but lower birth rates and continual civil wars also contributed. The argument is that the fall of the Western Roman Empire was due to population decline that started around the 2nd century AD due to temperature change that impacted crops and new diseases that just decimated not literally their population.
The evidence for this is archaeological as well as in documents. There is a clear pattern of degradation of cities starting from that point and Roman laws and proclamations becoming increasingly obsessive over not having enough people on the farms and in the cities. The constant fighting and civil wars also likely helped the spread of disease and increased the death toll.
And this loss of population is not an insignificant amount.
We are talking about numbers in the 10s of millions of people. Why was this important? Well, this started a cascading effect that destroyed the Western Roman Empire.
Roman taxes were based on land, and with millions of less people taxes were greatly reduced. This caused economic hardship and was probably one of the reasons why Emperors started debasing their currency, which really fucked over their economy.
I mean, just think. Population growth is an absolute essential factor in economic growth. A declining population is just going to destroy an economy, especially a pre-industrial one. Another consequence was that it resulted in the depopulation of cities, which was the heart of Roman culture and political control.
Europe was becoming a less Urban society starting from the 2nd century, not the 5th. Therefore, Rome was simply not able to defend itself against the barbarian invasions because of they had significantly less people and a shit economy.
Rome obviously made that worse by having such a unstable political system and conastat civil wars. Barbarians did not destroy Roman culture. They were Christians steeped in Roman culture that aped Rome after Rome fell.
They did not destroy Roman Civilization. Another key factor is that the barbarians did not invade Rome to rape and pillage and destroy. And even though Rome tried to stop the Germanic tribes from coming into Roman territory, they no longer had the population and economy to repel them.
Moreover, the Germanic peoples actually wanted to settle there and greatly admired Roman culture. They retained Roman institutions and culture. The main issue, was that there simply wasnt the population and economy now to support an urban population, which was the basis for Roman society.
A population decline that started well before the fall of the Roman Empire. Therefore, demographic changes slowly destroyed Roman Civilization.
Even the Germanic nations that aped Roman culture after the fall of Rome could not stop this trend. Therefore, we shouldnt see this as oh those great and illustrious Romans and the evil barbarians, and bemone the fall of Civilization due to avoidable forces, but a decline in urban culture due to disease and population decline.
Culture still exists, it just became more and more localized and rural. This increased localization and rural nature of culture is what eventually ended Roman Civilization in the West.
Why did the West fall but the East survive? Why the, did the West fall and not the East? Well, the speaker makes a very good point that it is simply geography, population and wealth. The West simply had a lot more border to defend than the East.
They also were much poorer and had less population. This situation was exacerbated by the reforms of Diocletian who split the empire. Well, the west could no longer rely on the population and the wealth of the East. Simply put, the East survived because it could better defend against invasions and was better able to cope with the depopulation forces that were weakening the West.
The speaker suggests, then, that we should see the periods from 2nd-7th century AD as a decline in urban culture and economy for Europe. It was only until the 8th century that Europe started to recover, thanks to Viking and Islamic trade networks that stimulated European economy, feudalism and manorial agriculture that improved productivity and simply a general uptick in population.
So, what are the problems with this theory, if there are any, and do you have any favorites?The Fate of Rome is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome's power--a story o Here is the monumental retelling of one of the most consequential chapters of human history: the fall of the Roman Empire/5.
The Fall of Rome: Facts and Fictions. the thesis he expounded in his monumental and highly engaging magnum opus The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire—he argued that the rise of Christianity emasculated the native vigor of Rome, leaving it open to more virile conquerors, i.e.
barbarians—is a proposition full of holes and. FIGURE 1: Stages of empire development. Let’s take the Roman Empire for example, which has long been the empire par excellence for the Western world. Jul 16, · I understand where you are coming from with the survival of the Roman empire through medieval European state, as Rome had great influence over there future history post empirical period, but the definition of an empire is an extensive group of states ruled over by a .
The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease and the End of An Empire, by the University of Oklahoma’s Kyle Harper, makes a strong argument for the role of plague and a shifting climate in the confluence of political, economic, and social processes that we label the fall of the Roman Empire.".
The British Empire first and Roman Empire second. The British Empire was essentially a Plutocratic Thalassocracy - an empire based on trade and commerce and backed by navy and maritime logistics.
The empire was wealthy - so wealthy that it a) could buy off any enemies or buy them to fight each other and b) always supply mercenaries before committing its own forces.