Decline and Division of the Roman Empire – Summary –

It was one of the great empires of our history. However, this did not save him from suffering a decline that led him to lose his domain. Despite this, his legacy is still present among us today and it is important to know about the Romans. We are going to explain to you how it was Decline and Division of the Roman Empire with a Summary of what happened.

There are not a few lines that have been dedicated both to the fall and to the last years of the Roman Empire: we could place the beginning of that decline in the so-called crisis of the third century.

However, extending this explanation to the crisis of the third century AD would end up making this article double or triple its length. Even so, we want to leave you with some brushstrokes about what happened in that crisis or what we mean by it.

Let’s see the crisis of the third century through two fundamental axes:

  1. Economic axis: Rome was going through a period of hyperinflation. (Beware: we can never compare these inflationary processes with contemporary ones, that is, do not think that something similar to what has been happening in Venezuela or Zimbabwe in recent years occurred). This price increase process responded to an important situation: the cut off communication routes between city and countryside; if the products do not arrive in the cities, the few that do arrive will be worth more (much more).
  2. Social axis: we see a process of ruralization of society Roman, that is, the flight to the countryside of the highest classes (with these, the lowest to attend to the Roman villas). Likewise, he reminds that if we have hyperinflation and feed delivery problems, then we are hungry. This flight is important to later understand the feudal system based on land ownership.

Nor do we apply this at a general level, since historiography has been dedicated to clarifying that areas such as Hispania did not suffer such an acute crisis (or any crisis at all) as occurred in Rome and surroundings.

So are the social classes in the Roman Empire:

Having said that, if in the third century AD the Roman Empire did not have a very good time (at least in its core, that is, the Italian peninsula, that is, Italy), let us see what continues to happen until its fall in 476 AD.

Causes of the division of the Roman Empire

The causes must be distinguished between internal and external (remember that the internal ones are preceded as a historical context by the crisis of the third century AD). Traditionally, historiography has identified two fundamental internal causes for the division of the empire:

  1. Weakness of the Roman government: the Roman borders were no longer what they were, the scope of the central power was not the same as before and, furthermore, it seems that being “Roman”, especially in border areas, had no value or feeling. Corruption within the political heart of Rome contributed to this.
  2. The foederati (comes from foedus) are proof that the barbarians could sometimes have more strength than the Romans: they are defense agreements, that is, that the barbarians defended and helped the Roman territory from the threat of other barbarians not covenanters.

In the end, they sought to try to reinforce by dividing power, however, it seemed late.

Division of the empire: let us remember that only the western empire fellsince the East, more prosperous, strong and increasingly independent of the West, survived the barbarian onslaught, a sign that the crisis was not general, but partial-nuclear.

Learn more about the empire:

As you well know, the eastern empire will not fall until 1453, with the fall of constantinoplean empire that had little to do with the Roman.

The division of the empire is more related to crisis of the third century that of being an isolated event, that is, it is not that the division caused the empire to fall, it is rather the reflection of that crisis (a term also questioned by historiography).

As for the external causesyou must take into account, first of all, that history has questioned the term of barbarian invasions, precisely because of what we told you above, the empire needed help from the barbarians and had them more than assimilated into its social structure.

The mergers that Rome suffered:

That is why it is often spoken of barbarian migrations: these towns were the final thrust of the empire and keep something in mind, thanks to that barbarian-roman assimilation, these barbarian kingdoms will form crowns that are considered heirs to the legacy of the roman empire.

Among the barbarian peoples who finished breaking those borders of the empire we have:

  • Goths: Visigoths, Ostrogoths…
  • angles
  • saxons
  • Vandals: asdingos, silingos…
  • swabian
  • Alans
  • Huns

The phases of the division of the Roman Empire

You should know that the divide between west and east the day is given January 17, 395date that we could consider as the predecessor of all the later division, now, as for the crumbling of the Roman West, you should know that:

  • In 409 the Visigoths were already in the Iberian Peninsula.
  • In 419 they had already reached the south of the Iberian Peninsula.
  • In 429 the Vandals were moving quietly throughout North Africa.
  • The final fall of the empire can be placed in 476 AD when the head of the Heruli Odoacer would finish settling the defeat of an empire at the hands of a boy named Romulus, that is, curiously, the empire was born with a Romulus and died with a Romulus, at least the western one, without a doubt, a tragic coincidence more worthy of the history of Rome.

Consequences of the division of the Roman Empire

The consequences of this division of the empire is that it will be the fall of the western empire, leaving only the eastern empire standing. the western empire will atomize into many kingdoms of barbarian origin which, in turn, will give rise to medieval kingdoms precursors of modern European statesvia little-proven descents:

  • Kingdom of the Franks (= present-day France)
  • Kingdom of the Ostrogoths (= modern Italy)
  • Kingdom of the Visigoths (center + east of the Iberian Peninsula)
  • Kingdom of the Suevi (west of the Iberian Peninsula)
  • Kingdoms of Vascones, Cantabria (these are not necessarily kingdoms, but more or less complex organizations, northwest of the Iberian Peninsula)
  • Angles and Saxons (South of the island of Great Britain)

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