Ancient Rome was the most powerful empire of the world for several centuries, like the fall of every other civilizations, the fall of Rome also took place. At its prime, the Roman Empire stretched from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Middle East, with this size it was difficult to control. The Roman Empire greatest strengths was the cause of their downfall.
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They were known for having a strong military called Roman Legions. As Rome kept expanding, so did the military with more soldiers to pay for, Rome’s currency devalued. Maintaining an army to defend the border of the Empire was a constant drain on the government. Invasions by the barbarians caused Rome to be in constant wars. This proved to be devastating to Rome. Numerous factors such as overexpansion, economic inefficiency, and barbarian invasions can be put forward as being contributions to the fall of Rome.
In the early period of Rome’s development, they lived in a state of fear from their neighbor, Carthage. The Carthaginians was known for being great traders in the Mediterranean area. During this time, Rome wanted to expand its trading routes, so a war between the empire and carthage was inevitable. In 264 BC, the Carthaginians and Rome had their first war, in a series of three wars known as the Punic Wars. The Romans eventually defeated the Carthaginians in 146 BC. Rome burned the city of Carthage to the ground and all signs of them were destroyed. Rome’s Victory over the Carthaginians gave the Romans all the opportunity they needed to expand. Once Carthaginians were defeated, Rome became the powerhouse in the Mediterranean area. Rome’s persistent expansion was often responsible for provoking its neighbours to fight in self-defense. The most important goods that Romans took from their enemies was land.
The Roman Empire was not content with conquering land near to them, instead they conquered lands that were far away with riches in them that would make the Roman Empire more wealthy. Eventually, Rome grew from a small town on central Italy’s Tiber River into an empire that at its peak stretched from Britain in the West to Syria in the East, including the Mediterranean region, Western Europe and North Africa. With such a vast land to look over, it was really difficult to govern. The more powerful the Romans became, the more they expanded their empire. Having large amounts of land prove to be a bad idea. The Romans were unable to communicate fast even with their excellent road systems. The Romans had trouble in maintaining power in all of their empire and supplying their army. By 285 CE the Roman Empire had grown so large that it was no longer able to govern all the provinces. The Roman Emperor Diocletian split Rome into Western and Eastern Roman Empire.
The Eastern Empire, known as Byzantium, had its capital at Constantinople which constantly grew in power and wealth, while the west descended into economic crisis. The division made the empire more easily governable in the short term, but over time the two empires drifted apart and failed to work together. The Eastern Empire thrived while constant invasions and wars weakened the Western Empire. By 476 CE, the Western Roman Empire officially collapsed, which was the end of the Roman Empire. Overexpansion proved to be an awful decision in the long run by the Romans, and was credited as one of the reasons why Rome fell.
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