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The Fall of Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

The Greatness of the Roman Empire


Rome was the most powerful empire Europe had ever seen.

Roman Empire at its height 117 C.E.

The Contribution of Rome

Roman legal accomplishments


Rome had a republican democracy- sometimes
Had a senate where patricians (upper class) could represent people

Nobody is above the law, not the emperor, not the senate, not the people, not the police. Laws are written down and must be respected

Great Rulers
Julius Caesar et tu Brute? Augustus Caesar increased Caesar's empire Diocletian Split the empire into two parts Hadrian Hadrian's wall in England Trajen The forum, rebuilt Rome Marcus Aurelius= last good emperor
Among others of course there were some terrible ones too!
Nero

Art/Architecture

Art/Architecture

Its architecture was Hellenistic (meaning Greek inspired)


The Coliseum

The Pantheon first dome

Roman Arch

Technology
Roman Roads, Concrete

All roads lead to Rome

City planning

Technology: Aqueducts

Science
Ptolemy hypothesized about the makeup of the universe.
Geocentric (earth centered universe) (Will later be proven wrong)

Language
Latin (the language of Rome) evolves into the Romance Languages
French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese Latin is still the official language of the Roman Catholic Church

Military Might

Spread of the Pax Romana (Peace of Rome)


The empire is peaceful because if you mess with it, they kill you.

Decline of Rome
Long period of decline
Example: at one point they had 22 emperors over a 50 year period, 20 died violently

Persians and Germans move into empire Civil war and plague hurt empire Money Troubles
Trade /industry declined. Labor shortage due to disease Farm production declined Money became short and soldiers were scarce
Had to hire Germanic soldiers = who had no loyalty to Rome and did not understand tradition

Overall decline in society, morals, education, business


Remember what we said about civilizations needs

Roman Coliseum

Decline in morals
Gladiators

Ever see the movie? Think about its central theme decline of morals

A New Religion Rise of Christianity


Christianity spreads through Roman Empire
Preaches monotheistic (one god) religion grew because it was more appealing to the poor because it viewed everyone as equal

Romans paid little attention to Christianity at first then began to see it as a threat to society
Persecuted Christians Persecution strengthened Christianity forcing it to become more organized

Eventually, Romans give in


If you cant beat em, join em. Constantine =first Christian Emperor of Rome

Christian Church moves headquarters to Rome Church very organized hierarchical system

Pope
In charge of whole Church

Archbishop / Cardinal
In charge of an Archdiocese in big city

Bishop/Diocese
In each big town / small city

Priest/Parish
In each town / village

Fall of Rome
Rome was besieged by various tribes from modern day Germany and France. Huns from Russia / central Asia invaded eastern Europe and forced the German Visigoths into Roman territory.

Fall of Rome
Eventually Visigoths destroyed Rome and took control Vandals invaded southern Spain and Africa/ eventually crossed over into Italy from Northern Africa and sacked Rome also

Fall of Rome
In 476 Western Roman Empire Falls
The Dark Ages falls upon Western Europe

Eastern Roman empire became known as the Byzantine Empire and thrived around Constantinople.

Constantinople: The New Rome Built by Roman Emperor Constantine

Today it is called Istanbul

Summary
Although the fall of the Roman Empire did not happen overnight, many consider its fall the beginning of the Middle Ages or Dark Ages.

Summary
The Roman Empire fell due to outside attacks and disease (brought on by trade) The Middle Ages began as the Christian Church replaced governments as the central authority.