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Constantine the Great, 306-337 C.E., split the Roman empire in two and made Christianity the leading religion in the region.

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The invading army reached the outskirts of Rome, which had been left completely undefended. In 410 C.E., the Visigoths, led by Alaric, breached the walls of Rome and sacked the capital of the roman Empire.

The Visigoths looted, burned, and also pillaged their way through the city, leaving a wake of damage wherever castle went. The plundering continued for three days. For the an initial time in virtually a millennium, the city that Rome remained in the hand of someone other than the Romans. This to be the very first time the the city the Rome to be sacked, but by no method the last.

Constantine and the increase of Christianity

One of the numerous factors that contributed to the fall of the Roman realm was the climb of a brand-new religion, Christianity. The Christian religion, which was monotheistic ran respond to to the traditional Roman religion, which to be polytheistic (many gods). At various times, the Romans persecuted the Christians due to the fact that of your beliefs, which to be popular among the poor.


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This 16th-century medallion depicts Attila the Hun, one of the many vicious invaders of every time.

In 313 C.E., roman inn emperor Constantine the great ended every persecution and also declared toleration for Christianity. Later that century, Christianity ended up being the main state religious beliefs of the Empire. This drastic adjust in policy spread this relatively brand-new religion to every corner of the Empire.

By giving Christianity, the roman inn state straight undermined its spiritual traditions. Finally, by this time, Romans considered their emperor a god. Yet the Christian belief in one god — that was no the emperor — dilute the authority and credibility the the emperor.

Constantine enacted another change that helped accelerate the loss of the roman Empire. In 330 C.E., he split the empire into 2 parts: the western fifty percent centered in Rome and also the eastern fifty percent centered in Constantinople, a city he called after himself.


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Why two Empires?


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This map that the Roman empire in 476 C.E. Reflects the various civilization who invaded and also how they carved up the Empire.

In 324, Constantine"s military defeated the forces of Licinius, the emperor that the east. Constantine became emperor the the entire empire and founded a new capital city in the eastern half at Byzantium. The city was his brand-new Rome and also was later on named Constantinople (the "city of Constantine").


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Empress Theodora was one of the most an effective women of so late antiquity. She helped keep she husband, Emperor Justinian, in power and also solidified the toughness of the byzantine Empire in the 6th century C.E. Together the western realm collapsed.

Constantinople to be advantageously positioned for 2 reasons. First, it was on a peninsula that could be fortified and also defended easily. Further, since Constantinople was located on the frontiers that the empire, imperial militaries could respond more easily to external assaults or threats.

Some scholars also believe that Constantine established a brand-new city in stimulate to provide a location for the young faith of Christianity to flourish in an atmosphere purer than that of corrupt Rome.

The western realm spoke Latin and was roman inn Catholic. The eastern realm spoke Greek and worshipped under the eastern Orthodox branch the the Christian church. Over time, the east thrived, when the west declined. In fact, after the western component of the Roman empire fell, the eastern fifty percent continued to exist together the byzantine Empire for hundreds of years. Therefore, the "fall that Rome" yes, really refers just to the autumn of the western fifty percent of the Empire.

Other an essential problems added to the fall. In the economically ailing west, a decrease in farming production led to greater food prices. The western half of the realm had a huge trade deficit through the east half. The west to buy luxury products from the east however had naught to offer in exchange. To consist of for the lack of money, the government began producing an ext coins with much less silver content. This led to inflation. Finally, piracy and attacks native Germanic tribes disrupted the flow of trade, particularly in the west.

There were political and military difficulties, as well. The didn"t aid matters the political amateurs were in control of Rome in the year leading approximately its fall. Military generals dominated the emperorship, and corruption to be rampant. Over time, the army was transformed into a mercenary military with no real commitment to Rome. As money flourished tight, the federal government hired the cheaper and less trusted Germanic soldiers to fight in roman armies. By the end, these armies were defending Rome versus their fellow Germanic tribesmen. Under this circumstances, the bag of Rome come as no surprise.

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Wave after wave of Germanic barbaric tribes swept through the roman Empire. Teams such together the Visigoths, Vandals, Angles, Saxons, Franks, Ostrogoths, and also Lombards took transforms ravaging the Empire, at some point carving out areas in i beg your pardon to settle down. The Angles and Saxons occupied the brother Isles, and also the Franks finished up in France.

In 476 C.E. Romulus, the last of the Roman kings in the west, was overthrown by the german leader Odoacer, who came to be the very first Barbarian to dominion in Rome. The order the the Roman empire had lugged to western Europe because that 1000 years to be no more.


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The ideal of Edward Gibbon"s decline and loss of the roman Empire
Historian Edward Gibbon"s most influential work is his decline and loss of the roman inn Empire. In it he argues that Barbarian assaults and religious disagreements resulted in the downfall that the mightiest Western power of the old world. Although later historians have pointed the end factual and also interpretive flaws in Gibbon"s scholarship, the remains one of the most widely read historic works in the world. At this site, browse with excerpts from Gibbon"s celebrated book.

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Attila the Hun"s army was so fearsome to the Roman realm they referred to as it the "Scourge that God."Learn More...

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