The Roman Empire was glorious, powerful, and majestic. Yet, it ceased to exist. Why did it happen? There’s no single reason behind this, because just like with any other major historical event, a lot of forces influenced this outcome.
Following the Punic Wars with Carthage, Rome has gained a lot of new territories. While it was easy to govern such a spectacular amount of territories during the times of peace, it proved to be difficult during the times of war. The government was forced to pay soldiers to guard the frontiers of the Roman Empire, and for the most part that made the Roman treasury empty.
The economy of Rome was also in bad condition, because Rome imported a lot but was exporting little. It resulted in the imbalances which lead to further deterioration of the economy. Colonies of the Roman Empire started to produce their own goods and didn’t need Rome to produce these goods anymore. The new type of coins from lead and gold were crafted in order to devalue the currency. That incident created inflation which had been Roman Economy’s disease till its last days.
Another problem was the absence of succession system. When the emperor died, generals started to fight for power, but once the strongest one took the throne, he couldn’t stay there for long becoming a victim of assassination. Corruption, the absence of law, and lack of authority weakened Rome drastically.
The next cause that added up to weakening and further fall of Rome were German tribes, which lived to the north of the Danube and Rhine rivers. They have come from Scandinavia, and shortly after the increase of their population they have started to look for the new land. Their decision was to move to the Roman Empire. During the 4th century, a group of nomadic people called the Huns started to attack German tribes and Germans and asked for Empire’s protection. They have received it, but protection shortly turned into aggression, which resulted in unsuccessful attacks of German tribes by the Romans. Meanwhile, Germans invaded Italy and sacked Rome. This story culminated in Rome making peace with Germans by giving them most of Gaul and Spain. Later, the Huns tried to defeat the Rome, but they were crushed by the allies in the face of Germans and Romans. Eventually, there was a mess, and no one was in control of the western part of the Roman Empire.
Meanwhile, the eastern part of the Empire, with Constantinople as a Capitol City, was quite bold, and its monarchs named themselves Roman Emperors until the fall of the Empire.
There’s no official date when the Roman Empire is considered to be fallen, but many historians agree that it happened in 476 A.D. Rome was captured by an insignificant German chief, Odoacer. He captured it proudly and proclaimed himself a king. Despite that, the East Rome was still strong. People followed Roman laws and considered themselves to be Roman citizens.