The True Reasons Why Rome Fell by John Mowry
Updated: Apr 26
About the Author
My name is John Mowry and I am in 7th grade. I enjoy many things. One of these is writing. To me, writing is interesting and fun. A goal of mine is to become a better writer, specifically through word choice. I hope that I will grow in this aspect through the years.
The True Reasons Why Rome Fell
by John Mowry
Many know about the Visigoth invasion which led to the sacking of Rome. What many don’t know is that multiple other reasons led to the fall of Rome. Rome was powerful enough that a military invasion alone couldn’t destroy it. The economic parts of Rome had to be weakened as well. Overall, Ancient Rome fell because of the Visigoth invasion, corruption leading to economic failures, and the introduction of Christianity.
One reason Rome fell was that it was invaded by the Visigoth tribe. Rome had been fighting with barbarian tribes for centuries, "but by the 300s barbarian groups like the Goths had encroached beyond the Empire’s borders” (Andrews). The barbarians ravaged the City of Rome. The attacks from the tribes weakened Rome until the city was able to be invaded. Eventually, “in 410 the Visigoth King Alaric successfully sacked the city of Rome” (Andrews). The Visigoths stormed the city and occupied it. Eventually, the Roman senate paid them to leave. The true defeat of Rome was about half a century later: “in 476 C.E. Romulus, the last of the Roman emperors in the west was overthrown by the Germanic leader Odoacer, who became the first Barbarian to rule in Rome” (USHistory.org). Overall, the barbarian tribes weakened the Roman military, however, it wasn’t the only reason Rome fell.
These invasions were possible because of government corruption which in turn led to economic failures. When the bodyguards of the emperor became, “one of the leading causes of death for Roman supreme authority” (WorldAtlas) this likely led to the mistrust of the government. The wealthy “Government officials and middlemen became much more interested in their own well-being” (WorldAtlas), which caused them to leave Rome as they were upset about the taxes and corruption inside the empire's cities. The taxation created more of a “gap between rich and poor” (Andrews). This led to a less balanced city, which made the economy fall. The corruption and fall of the economy was a reason why Rome fell; however, there is an arguably more important factor why Rome fell.
Rome fell due to the change of religion. The original belief in the city was the polytheistic Roman religion, however, “Christianity displaced” the former “which viewed the emperor as having a divine status, and also shifted focus away from the glory of the state and onto a sole deity” (Andrews). The switch between religions was unexpected and the Roman people didn’t view the emperor as highly as they did before due to their beliefs in Christianity. In the later parts of that century, “Christianity became the official state religion of the Empire'' (UsHistory.org). This was a massive change as previously, Christianity was looked down upon. For example, there would even be punishments solely because someone was Christian. Such punishments were persecution, however, “Roman emperor Constantine the Great ended all persecution and declared toleration for Christianity”(UsHistory.org). The sudden switch between religions made the empire trust the government less.
The changing religion, increasing corruption, declining economy and spontaneous assaults by barbarian tribes, led to the eventual defeat of Rome. 1000 years before this, Rome was founded. About 500 years before its fall, Rome was at its peak in the economy. About 150 years before its fall, Rome's economic decline began.
King Alaric turned the Roman empire to rubble, however; Rome was once a prosperous city. Augustus once said, “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” King Alaric and Visigoth turned the empire of diamonds into the empire of pebbles.