Project #30135 - Roman History- Week 8 Conference Question

1.        Answer the question below that is in Bold print

2.       Respond to the student’s (Ian’s) post like you were having a discussion with him.

 

This will be submitted through a plagiarism checker!

 

Week 8, May 5: OK, last week we concentrated our attention on two emperors who seem to have saved the empire. This week, we will shift our focus to a longer view to study the Roman Empire and its workings during the 4th and 5th centuries. At some point, the western part of the Roman Empire either "fell" or morphed into something that wasn't under a Roman government any more. Read the rest of Le Glay for his and his co-authors' analysis of the military, administration, economy, religion, etc. of the period leading up to that.

There are lots of candidates for the date for the end of the western Roman Empire. Some say 330 when the capital moved, some 337 when Constantine died, some 410 when Rome was sacked for the first time, some 476 when the last Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, abdicated his position and Odoacer sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople. Yet the eastern part of the Roman Empire didn't end; it survived until 1453 (covered in HIST422). Why such a stark contrast?

 

1.      From the time that Constantine split rule of the Empire between his three sons, it remained divided (except for a very brief time when Theodosius controlled the whole thing, but we can ignore this since he went ahead and split it again asap!). The western empire stumbled along for another century and a half after Constantine's death; the eastern empire, sometimes stumbling but more often strong, survived for more than a millennium until Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453. Why the difference? The two halves, east and west, started off on pretty equal footing at the beginning of the 4th century, didn't they? Same governmental system? Same laws? Same customs? Same religion? So why the difference?

 

Your Answer:

 

 

2.      Ian’s Post: Titled "I blame the  Germans" 

     One of the biggest difference between the Western and Eastern Empires that I can see is that Rome had made an enemy of the Germanic tribes from as early as Augustus. These loosely affiliated tribes were envious of what Rome had and wanted it for themselves, instead of building it they entered into an empire that was lacking in the resources it once had.

Since the time of Augustus the Romans wanted to conguer the Germanic lands, many campaigns were waged against the collection of tribes in the region but as opposed to the Celts and Gauls who eventually capitulated and assimilated to Roman rule, the fragmented tribes of the Rhinelands did not. 

We saw last week how the focal point of political and economic power had shifted East. Even the very capital of the Roman Empire was no longer Rome. This shift did not immediately neuter the West, it did so slowly. A lack of military and economic prosperity Rome once had allowed these tribes to seep through weakened borders and eventually sack the city of Rome itself.

While I would not put the end of the Western Empire as the founding of Constantinople, it was definitely one of the nails in the coffin. Even the sacking of Rome did not end the Roman Empire. Over the next several centuries many people will try to reclaim the lands once held by the Western Empire - Justinian and Charlemagne come to mind. 

 

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