Roman Empire

The Fall of the Roman Empire could be linked to many different aspects:army,citizens,barbarianism. Personally I think that all these reasons are linked and headed by the decline of the Roman emperor. The deficient Emperor role led to the lacking military response to invasions,civil war and peasant uprisings.

Ever since the adoptive system which was installed by Marcus Aurelius was never reinstalled after his death,effective leadership in governing Rome was lacking. It was clearly visible that the Roman Emperor was the backbone of Roman stability and therefore the strength of the Roman army was also crucial in ensuing the empire’s stability. But this stability was drastically altered when corruption and “necessary” errors were committed.

The Roman Empire was plunged into military anarchy and raided by barbarous Germanic tribes causing a major burden from an economic standpoint. Emperors, feeling pressure from all directions, resorted to manners which depleted army and citizen moral. The personal dreams of empirical leaders was never capable of re-stabilizing the Empire after the invasions. For instance, Constantine created a “substantial field force where he recruited many regiments from Germany. He greatly increased the German generals” (1). “Aurelius also introduced the German element into the Empire. He established a precedent for settling Germanic peoples, barbarians to the Romans, in Roman territory to try secure peace”(2). He felt the only way to preserve the Empire was to host all those who wished to live within its territory.
These German units under Roman commanders did not easily fall to the traditional Roman discipline and command. The reluctance to submit to Roman rule allowed Rome to lose the tactical superiority that it once had and enjoyed over the German barbarians. This loss of tactical supremacy destroyed the elite, disregarding their once owned power and thus causing change on top of the Roman Empire elite. According to Andre Piganiol,”The destruction of the elite handed over power to a new oligarchy of the newly wealthy and of high officials who came from barbarous elements of the population”(3). Piganiol continues to state that”conquered nationalities had in no way lost consciousness of their origin and many were the means of resistance to the unifying will of Rome”(4)
Economically wise, the war against the Germans led to terrible financial burdens on the Empire. “To obtain funds for the military, emperors confiscated goods, exacted forced labor, and debased the coinage by minting more currency without an increase in the supply of precious metal.”(5) Through this the citizens withdrew their loyalty to Rome which deeply affected the middle class. In the Piganiol essay, Piganiol clearly emphasis the fact that the “Roman state went bankrupt in the third century because it was incapable of continuing to pay its officials and it was incapable of paying its armies without recourse to confiscations,monetary falsifications requisition in kind, unpaid services.”(6)
Another major move the emperor and his empire introduced the citizens of Rome involved the citizenship issue. In approximately 212 AD, recruits had been picked from among provincials, who were attracted by the promise of free citizenship and its advantages. “With citizenship no longer necessary for enlistment, the poor, weak class of the empire were drawn to the army because of the weapons and artillery”(7). Personally I think that the major reasons why loser class societies were drawn to the artillery aspect of the army was so they could steal the empires wealth. This behavior would probably lead to the destruction of Roman cities, and destruction of farmlands and economic trade.
Civil war also played a negative role in the Fall of the Roman Empire. This was made possible when emperors became afraid of their own troops and the possible rebellion against them. Therefore the emperors to remain on their throne were sometimes obliged to buy the emperor powers from soldiers and other militia men. The lack of conventional loyalty and honor towards the emperor led to a character change in the Roman soldier.

Before the Civil War the Roman soldier was considered as probably the greatest fighting force in all of the Western World.
During the Pax Romana period, the Roman soldier used his superior organization and training to conquer nations. He was extremely disciplined and professional. He and his army were literally the