Causes of the fall of rome Essay

The Fall of the Roman Empire
Analyze each of the following primary and secondary sources by answering the question(s) listed below each. Then complete the organizer on the causes of the fall of Rome by sorting the contributing factors into the categories of internal and external causes. Source A: Roman Emperors, 235-285 CE

Emperor
Reign
Cause of Death
Maximus
235-238 CE
Assassination
Gordian I & II (co-rulers)
238 CE
Suicide; killed in battle
Balbinus & Pupineus
238 CE
Assassination
Gordian III
238-244 CE
Possible assassination
Philip the Arab
244-249 CE
Killed in battle
Decius
249-251 CE
Killed in battle
Hostilian
251 CE
Possible plague
Gallus
251-253 CE
Assassination
Aemilianus
253 CE
Assassination
Valerian & Gallinus
253-260 CE
Died as slave of Persians; assassination
Claudius Gothicus
268-270 CE
Plague
Quintillus
270 CE
Assassination or suicide
Aurelian
270-275 CE
Assassination
Tacitus
275-276 CE
Possible assassination
Florianus
276 CE
Assassination
Probus
276-282 CE
Assassination
Carus
282-283 CE
Assassination
Numerian
283-284 CE
Possible assassination
Carinus
283-285 CE
Killed in battle
1. How many Roman emperors ruled during the 50 year period covered by this chart? ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 2.

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How many were the victims of assassination or possible
assassination? ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. What message might these frequent and violent changes in leadership have sent to the people inside and outside the empire? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Source B: An excerpt from the ancient book Concerning Military Matters by the Roman Historian Vegetius, c. 450 CE

1. According to Vegetius, what led to changes in the Roman military armor and training techniques? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. How did these changes contribute to the decline of the Roman Empire? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Source C: Foreign Invasions of the Roman Empire

1. How does this document help explain the reasons for the decline of the Roman Empire? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Is there a possible connection between this source and source B? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Source D: Excerpts about an Asian tribe called the Huns from Roman History by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus, c. 380 CE.

1. Why might a Roman historian like Ammianus want to compare the Huns to “unthinking animals”? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

2. How can you use this document to help explain the decline of the Roman Empire? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Source E: An excerpt of a historical text written by Priscus, Roman ambassador to the Huns, 449 CE. Note: Priscus is reporting a conversation he had with a former Roman citizen whose land had been conquered by the Huns.

1. Why were some Romans happy about being taken over by the Huns? ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. How can you use this document to explain what caused the decline of the Roman Empire? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Source F: Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1776-1788.

1. What natural disaster struck the Roman Empire in 366 CE? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

2. How could this have contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Source G: Peter Stearns, Michael Adas, Stuart Schwartz, Marc Jason Gilbert, World Civilizations: The Global Experience, Pearson Education, 2000.

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