The Fall of the Roman Empire

Length: 7 Pages 1836 Words

The Roman Empire at its peak governed over most of the Eastern world. After the death of Julius Caesar, who had destroyed the Roman Republic, an empire was the easiest was to keep the state going (Kagan-1998-pg. 92). An empire is rule by an emperor, whose range of power is virtually unlimited (Grant-1990-pg.164). Because of the Emperor’s supreme power, careful selection of these persons is necessary. Changes in the Emperor selection process lead to a selection of leaders who were distracted with tasks other than the development and continuance of the Empire. These changes in the selection process and the irresponsibility in many emperors was a major factor in the decay and collapse of the Roman Empire. After the death of Julius Caesar, the Roman Empire was born. His successor was Octavian, his adopted son, who was titled Augustus. The tradition was to keep the position in the family. However, this was not always a wise move. Chosen as Emperor at age seventeen, Nero was the last Emperor of the Julio-Claudian family (Gibbon-1776-pg. 63). “He brought the Julio-Claudian dynasty to an ignominious end.” (Brooks-1972-pg.147) His reign was officially stricken from the record by members of the Roman Senate, and his de Continue...

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There was obviously no respect for these emperors from the Roman Public. All but one of these emperors were murdered, the remaining one dying of natural causes (Brooks-1972-pg. These laws came down especially hard on town officials in the Empire, who were already under financial burdens (Nardo-1998-pg. Of course, most of these doubts were within good reason and logical. Selection of Emperors for hereditary reasons and other foolish methods proved to be unsuccessful for the most part. scendants were prohibited from ever taking the position (Brooks-1972-pg. Who was to defend the Empire Despite the danger of the situation, they continued their civil wars and feuds. 246) In addition, very few emperors were impressive enough to live up to the gigantic responsibilities of the purple robes. The foolish and inexperienced emperors spent money on spies, secret police, and bribes. That, in turn, was caused by the army's lack of respect for the autocratic power of the Emperor (Grant-1990-pg. The enraged public rejected his authority, and his liberality (Gibbon-1776-pg.


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