The Western Roman Empire Collapsed D.18.03.23

22 Mar

One of the things that happened in the 5th Century as the Western Roman Empire collapsed was the trade routes and various economic connections between various parts of Europe broke down as local conditions, warfare, raids make it difficult for people to travel, but also infrastructure began to fall apart.
There was nobody to maintain the roads anymore. There was nobody to maintain the ports, the ships couldn’t sail.
For any number of reasons, the whole Roman economy that had lasted for hundreds of years and had connected places like England to the whole Mediterranean world, completely collapsed in the 5th Century.
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Early Medieval Europe D.18.03.22

21 Mar

The early barbarian invasions that came upon the Roman Empire, especially in the 4th and 5th centuries CE, led to the collapse of the western empire.
The Ostrogoths came in from Central Asia. The Huns were the ones who were pushing most of the others. Various non-Roman peoples, nomadic peoples, entered the empire and travelled through it pillaging, attacking, staying in one place, moving on, and these various tribes did not necessarily want to destroy the Roman Empire in the West, they mostly wanted to profit from it in one way or another.
What happened was, under the onslaught of so many separate groups coming over the frontiers, the imperial defences were overwhelmed. And basically, the Roman Order simply collapsed. And this meant the economic order as well as the political order.
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The Barbarian Tribes D.18.03.21

20 Mar

When the Barbarian Tribes infiltrated the collapsing empire, they took advantage of the wealthy farms. Warrior bands were good at stealing wealth, and plundering and pillaging, but they were not good at creating new wealth, or generating or sustaining wealth.
The only institution that remained intact through this process of disintegration was the Church. The army, the civil administration, the Senate were all gone.
The Barbarian tribes quickly converted to Christianity in part because it had prestige. It was the religion of the powerful empire. Many barbarians were Christians at the time of the invasions, and so politics collapsed, government collapsed, the economy collapsed. But the church, as Augustine saw it, got bigger and stronger.
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The Complexity of the Empire Collapsing D.18.03.20

19 Mar

The Romans probably didn’t want the Emperor empire to collapse. They might have, in local areas, had good reason for wanting to see less central government.
The people probably were not aware what it meant for the collapse of the Empire. Yes, it was probably great that the taxes stopped but then it would have been realized that the taxes allowed for their supply of water. And without water this would have affected their living conditions.
It was a systematic breakdown that quickly got out of hand. Collapse of trade meant that local areas were thrown back on their own devices. Prosperous regions did better than poorer ones, but often the very prosperity of a region served as an advertisement for wandering nomads to come and settle. And this is what happened in North Africa in what is now Tunisia. This was a very wealthy area, and the Vandals went all the way there because they heard there were thing to pillage.
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Rome Collapsed D.18.03.19

18 Mar

The wealthy fled to their country estates to escape the chaos from the city, and never went back. In short, Rome fell apart and Oddewacker was not enough of an essential authority to put it back together again.
This was a period where for obvious reasons, few records survive. It was a collapse of an entire of system. It is hard to know what the inhabitants of the Empire thought of the invasions. It cannot be taken for granted that they were all terrified and angry and upset. Some probably welcomed the end of the heavy taxation the Empire had levied, for example, to pay for all those mercenaries on the frontiers.
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Empire Collapse D.18.03.18

17 Mar

The collapse of the empire meant the collapse not only of political authority but also trade and infrastructure.
The city of Rome, two million people, could only survive because of regular, organized, subsidized shipments of grain from Egypt. Once the imperial bureaucracy no longer functioned there were no more grain shipments.
No grain shipments, no food. No food meant people left the city to find food in the country. No people in the city meant the buildings were abandoned.
There was nobody to maintain the aqueducts that brought the water. There was nobody to keep areas from falling into disrepair.
The city became depopulated.
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The Origin of Vandalism D.18.03.17

16 Mar

In 476 CE, Rome was sacked a second time, and the last Roman western emperor abdicated. Power in Italy at that point, went to a man named Odoacer, who was the chief of the Vandal tribe.
A fascinating fact – That tribe, Vandal – We now know that word, vandal, as a name for people who break things for no reason. The vandals probably weren’t quite that random in their destructive patterns, but it’s interesting that that’s where our word vandal comes from – is from this tribe that conquered Rome in 476.
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