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The Fall of the Roman Empire
End of the Pax Romana
• Marcus Aurelius was the last of the five
good emperors and died in A.D. 180. A
period of conflict followed.
Military Conflicts
• Starting in A.D. 235 whoever had military
strength ruled Rome (22 emperors in 50
• Rome was invaded by many German tribes
• The Empire didn’t have enough money to pay
for a defending military
• The state had to hire soldiers from outside the
Empire who had little loyalty to the empire
Economic Conflicts
• Decline in trade and small industry
• Labor shortage created by plague (fast
spreading, deadly disease)
• Decline in farm production
• Roman money began to lose its value
The Late Roman Empire
• Believing the empire had become too
large, emperor Diocletian divided it into
four units, each with its own ruler.
• Diocletian issued a price and wage
freeze to combat the poor economic
climate in which Roman money was
becoming worthless (inflation)
• Constantine began his reign in A.D. 306
• He constructed a new capital city in the East
called Constantinople (modern day Istanbul in
Turkey) for defense and trade.
• Rome now had two capitols, one in the East
(Constantinople) and one in the West
The Fall
• A series of military defeats against
Germanic Tribes (Huns, Visigoths,
• These tribes took control of regions that
were previously part of the Roman Empire
• The Eastern part of the Empire, Byzantine
continued to prosper
Works Cited