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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

World History
Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

Ancient Rome

Decline of the Roman Empire

After the Pax Romana, the Roman Empire started to decline. The reasons were political and economic, and they had problems with foreigners. After the guard killed Commudus, they sold power to the highest bidder. This led to chaos every time a leader died. All leaders became dictators, and almost all were killed by their guards. The Roman Empire had 26 leaders in the next 50 years.

A leader had to pay his army well to keep them happy so that they would fend off invasions. This led to high taxes and inflation. Borders were left open as Romans fought among themselves. Germanic tribes invaded, Persians took Roman lands, and Gaul tried to become independent.

Roman Colloseum at Night
The Roman Colloseum

Diocletian (elected by the army) and Constantine each set up strong one-man rule during their times as leader. They initiated many reforms:

Farmers had to stay on their farms; ones who left were hunted down.

Town officials had to collect taxes, and pay the difference between what the state wanted and what they collected.

Government workers had to keep their jobs for life, and their children had to do the same job.

The Roman Empire was split by Diocletian, into west and east.

The new capital was Constantinople because the east was richer than the west.


The Visogoths
Germanic barbarians, the Visogoths, moved in because they were threatened by the Huns, from Central Asia. The Visogoths attacked Rome. When troops from all over the Empire came to fight them, the borders were left unguarded, and more Germanic tribes came in.

The Huns
In 451 AD the Huns, under Attila, invaded but were beaten.

The End of the Western Roman Empire
Vandals, a really barbaric German tribe, took Rome (came from the south). The Romans had hired Germanic soldiers to fight for Rome. These soldiers eventually overthrew the Western Roman leader Romulus Augustulus, and made the German Odoacer ruler in 476 AD. This was the end of the Roman empire in the West. The Eastern part of the empire would keep going for another 1000 years.

Mosque in Constantinople
When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453,
Mosques replaced the Christian churches.

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Malaria May Have Hastened the Fall of Rome

I - The Etruscans / Romulus and Remus

II - The Roman Republic

III - Augustus Caesar

IV - Rise of the Roman Empire

V - Roman Life and the Spread of Christianity

VI - The Pax Romana and Roman Culture

VII - Decline of the Roman Empire

Class Activity
Roman Aqueduct Project

Further Topical Reading
Historical Jesus

More Information
The Emperors of Rome

Virtual Tour of Ancient Rome - Past & Present

The Ancient City of Pompeii

Historical Periods of
World History Class Study

| Prehistory | Mesopotamia & Phoenicians |
| Ancient Egypt | Greece | Rome |
| Medieval History | Renaissance and Reformation |
| Exploration | National Monarchies |
| The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment |
| Colonial America and American Revolution |
| The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era



Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
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