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Thread: Fall of the Western Roman Empire

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    Fall of the Western Roman Empire



    This is an informed opinion question.
    Why, in your view, did the Western Roman Empire collapse? (3 main reasons)

    For me, it was primarily:
    1)over-reliance on auxiliary troops to defend an enormous frontier
    2)loss of key grain-growing regions/ports to invaders
    3)lack of political will for martial, Roman glory, which continued in Byzantium

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Economic collapse, mostly due to global cooling affecting food production with chain reaction over manufacturing.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Economic collapse, mostly due to global cooling affecting food production with chain reaction over manufacturing.
    I also think that this is a major reason.

    The colder climate in the 4th and 5th centuries also prompted Germanic and Slavic tribes to seek more fertile land in warmer regions. So not only did the Romans produced less food, bringing the internal collapse of the economy, they had to fight harder against invaders with poorly fed and paid troops while at the same time try to control social upheaval brought by the declining economy. That's a pretty deadly cocktail.
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    None of the above;

    Split between West and East;
    Countless Civil Wars, Uprisings and Usurpators
    Hun Invasion;
    Massive Sabotage by the East against the West;

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    None of the above;

    Split between West and East;
    Countless Civil Wars, Uprisings and Usurpators
    Hun Invasion;
    Massive Sabotage by the East against the West;
    Keep in mind that many uprisings, revolts and unhappiness of people starts with bad economy.

    Europe was so peaceful, full of happy people, great place to live everywhere, till recession started. Now it is a mess.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    in my opinon Rome just became weaker they lost pride and tradtion. In the migration period starting around 300ad The Romans where contently invaded by Huns and Germans. The huns whopped on eastern and western Rome they also conquered the Germanic world. They destroyed Rome's military which had become alot weaker. Then after that the Germans who had become more civilized conquered western Rome and created kingdoms and even attempted to make new Rome's this is where the medieval age comes from. Rome in 300ad was very different than Rome in 50bc.

    The Romans where very patriotic i think Cato the elder is a good example.The traditional Roman life a simple life(not fancy like Greeks), had a family, was discipline, tough, loyal to Rome. I think Romans lost their pride their military was full of Germans by the end of the empire because probably the everyday Roman went soft and other reasons. They had tons of forieg emperors almost all of the roman emperors from 200-400ad where non Roman they where from places like Illyria, Gaul, Syria, Hispania. The earlier Romans where very against foreign influence or letting foreign people have any rights. They only wanted real Romans to be their leaders if they where feeling tolerant they would allow some leaders from other Italic groups.

    The Barbaric invasions where also a big part. Also every nation as to fall at some point. u should just look up fall of Rome it will probably give very good historical reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I also think that this is a major reason.

    The colder climate in the 4th and 5th centuries also prompted Germanic and Slavic tribes to seek more fertile land in warmer regions. So not only did the Romans produced less food, bringing the internal collapse of the economy, they had to fight harder against invaders with poorly fed and paid troops while at the same time try to control social upheaval brought by the declining economy. That's a pretty deadly cocktail.
    didnt the Vandals and Goths rule pretty much all of eastern Europe(exceot baltic countries and far easten Europe) so i doubt they made migrations unless they where conquering roman terriotory. I guess the visagoths settled in eastern ROman terriotory then invaded Italy and Dalmatia. The HUns where probably another reason because the Huns destroyed eastern Roman and western Roman armies. They caused Visagoths to settle in eastern Rome then the eastern Romans did not give them food they said they would and the Visagoths eventulley sacked Rome in 410ad. Rome had to worry about Huns and Germans, Eventulley Rome was collapsing they left Britain, Gaul, and other areas like Iberia where conquered by Germans.

    Saxons, Jutes, Angles conquered Britain. Visagoths conquered Iberia and southern Gaul and Italy and Dalmatia fro a little bit. Franks eventulley conquered all of Gaul. Vandals conquered i think Sicily and Roman territory in north Africa. I am asking do u agree that The German created medieval Europe by conquering the western Roman empire. I mean every single kingdom in the early middle ages was ruled by Germans. The Germans had become Christian which effected how their society worked they became more civilized based alot of stuff on Rome and created their own stuff. I think the knights, castles, dragons all comes from the Germans. also isn't the knight saving the princess from the Dragon or whatever go back to old Germanic mythology stories. because the Vikings where also in love with Dragons but i dont think Romans where.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired View Post
    in my opinon Rome just became weaker they lost pride and tradtion. In the migration period starting around 300ad The Romans where contently invaded by Huns and Germans. The huns whopped on eastern and western Rome they also conquered the Germanic world. They destroyed Rome's military which had become alot weaker. Then after that the Germans who had become more civilized conquered western Rome and created kingdoms and even attempted to make new Rome's this is where the medieval age comes from. Rome in 300ad was very different than Rome in 50bc.

    The Romans where very patriotic i think Cato the elder is a good example.The traditional Roman life a simple life(not fancy like Greeks), had a family, was discipline, tough, loyal to Rome. I think Romans lost their pride their military was full of Germans by the end of the empire because probably the everyday Roman went soft and other reasons. They had tons of forieg emperors almost all of the roman emperors from 200-400ad where non Roman they where from places like Illyria, Gaul, Syria, Hispania. The earlier Romans where very against foreign influence or letting foreign people have any rights. They only wanted real Romans to be their leaders if they where feeling tolerant they would allow some leaders from other Italic groups.

    The Barbaric invasions where also a big part. Also every nation as to fall at some point. u should just look up fall of Rome it will probably give very good historical reasons.
    Spot on;
    (but the Germanic/Roman Stilicho still defended the Empire like his own)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    Spot on;
    (but the Germanic/Roman Stilicho still defended the Empire like his own)
    true but the rest of the Germans i dont think did that is why they conquered it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired View Post
    true but the rest of the Germans i dont think did that is why they conquered it.
    Yup,
    as foederati they had the weapons and the authority (and other interests);
    GAME OVER

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    None of the above;

    Split between West and East;
    Countless Civil Wars, Uprisings and Usurpators
    That had been the case among the Romans already before the empire was founded. How did it survive for 500 years then ?

    Hun Invasion;
    Massive Sabotage by the East against the West;
    It is also climatic change that caused the Huns to move west, pushing the Slavs and Germanics on their way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired View Post
    in my opinon Rome just became weaker they lost pride and tradtion. In the migration period starting around 300ad The Romans where contently invaded by Huns and Germans. The huns whopped on eastern and western Rome they also conquered the Germanic world. They destroyed Rome's military which had become alot weaker. Then after that the Germans who had become more civilized conquered western Rome and created kingdoms and even attempted to make new Rome's this is where the medieval age comes from. Rome in 300ad was very different than Rome in 50bc.
    ...
    The Barbaric invasions where also a big part. Also every nation as to fall at some point. u should just look up fall of Rome it will probably give very good historical reasons.
    That is not the cause but the consequence. The Huns and Germanic tribes only sought to live in the Roman empire because they lacked food. They only succeeded because the Romans also lacked food, which led to internal revolts.

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    Another major reason is the change of perception of patriotism, and the gradual disappearance of patriotic self-sacrifice and military discipline. In the thread How did the ancient Romans turn into Italians ?, I pointed out that the character of the ancient Romans (of the Republic) was diametrically opposite to that of modern Italians in some regards.

    In his book The Moral Basis of a Backward Society, the American political scientist Edward Banfield employed the phrase 'amoral familism' to describe the inability of modern (mostly southern) Italian villagers to 'act together for the common good, or indeed for any good transcending the immediate material interest of the family'. Interestingly this complete lack of attachment to the state and lack of identification to the wider community is found nowadays in societies that I would qualify of 'short-ranged collectivist' (in which the collectivity is the family or village) of the Balkans and southern Italy, as opposed to the 'wide-range collectivism' (where the collectivity is the whole nation) of East Asia.

    The ancient Romans of the republic were wide-range collectivists, true patriots dedicated to the common good of their state. I believe that the citizens of the empire progressively lost their patriotism for the following reasons:

    - The empire became a huge cosmopolitan entity with which individuals couldn't identify anymore. The state became too distant and artificial.

    - The original Romans of the republic could feel like one big family with a common ancestry and homeland. Once the empire grew, immigration completely changed the ethnic landscape of Rome and of Italy. Rome stopped being ethnically Roman.

    - Solidarity works best for states with a homogeneous ethnicity. Immigration to Western Europe since the 1950's has shown that citizens become increasingly reluctant to show social solidarity when ethnically and culturally different immigrants become the main beneficiary. The Romans would have felt the same way. It is one thing to fight for the patria, your ancestors' homeland, but quite another to fight for the protection of completely unrelated people in distant corners of the empire. As Italy became more of an ethnic mosaic, parochialism and familism rose to the detriment of patriotism.

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    those are some very good points. i think the main reason the Roman ethnic identity disappeared is immigration by other Italians. I think u explained in many ways why Rome fell apart within which caused them to loose in wars. It will probably be impossible to figure out exactly the reasons Rome fell apart it is probably very complicated. The main part may be that they where not a a little city state in central Italy fighting off Other Italics, Estrucans and Celts. They where not as united and did not have the same ethnic back round anymore.

    The Romans who where so proud of their military from what i know they only let Romans or Italians in their military or high ranks of any type. Many Romans where angry when Hadrian who was born in Spain became emperor even though he was a proud Roman and both his parents where born in Rome and this was in the end of the 1 century ad. from 200ad-400ad the western roman empire had mainly non Roman or even Italian emperors i cant believe they allowed that it shows how much Rome changed. There where so many Germans in their military later on that is like insulting the biggest part of Roman pride. I think by the 400-500's most of Romes military leaders maybe even soldiers where Germans i wonder if Romans where seen at that point as weaklings early Romans would in no way accept that.

    Wherent the Romans at first very against Greek influence because it was all fancy and sinful. I read some stuff on Cato the elder he was so strict, tough, and hateful towards Greeks. He fought and had battle wounds from war with Hannibal when he was only 16-17 that is one of the most deadly and known wars in human history he was tough. It seems he says a real Roman is a simple farmer that makes me think Rome still knew who they where before Greek influence. Those idea of a real Roman may go back to Villnoaven culture and early Italic tribes. Traditional Romans where not suppose to be such a luxouris civilization.

    Cato the elder a real Roman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired View Post

    Wherent the Romans at first very against Greek influence because it was all fancy and sinful. I read some stuff on Cato the elder he was so strict, tough, and hateful towards Greeks. He fought and had battle wounds from war with Hannibal when he was only 16-17 that is one of the most deadly and known wars in human history he was tough. It seems he says a real Roman is a simple farmer that makes me think Rome still knew who they where before Greek influence. Those idea of a real Roman may go back to Villnoaven culture and early Italic tribes. Traditional Romans where not suppose to be such a luxouris civilization.

    Cato the elder a real Roman
    There was no collective attitude of *the* Romans towards Eastern influence. Some like Cato despised it. Others like Scipio, loved it. I am not sure whether Cato represented what the majority of the Roman elite thought at any time but his traditionalist faction ofc lost which means that he must have been in a minority or at the very least, in a weaker position. But why is Cato a "real" Roman?

    On another note, the author Maciamo cited also describes reasonably well the situation in Greece. Given the connection between Greece and Italy, I wonder whether there's a deeper cultural factor involved (I say deeper 'cos modern Greece and modern Italy have been developing in a different way for nearly a thousand years or so and therefore I do not think any modern/early modern reason should obviously exist to account for that cultural similarity). In any case, it is not very surprising as far as I am concerned.

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    Pre-Roman Italy was just as diverse as Roman Italy;
    and no Celtic slave or Hellenic Anatolian Immigrant could greatly alter the already existing diversity any further;

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boss View Post
    There was no collective attitude of *the* Romans towards Eastern influence. Some like Cato despised it. Others like Scipio, loved it. I am not sure whether Cato represented what the majority of the Roman elite thought at any time but his traditionalist faction ofc lost which means that he must have been in a minority or at the very least, in a weaker position. But why is Cato a "real" Roman?

    On another note, the author Maciamo cited also describes reasonably well the situation in Greece. Given the connection between Greece and Italy, I wonder whether there's a deeper cultural factor involved (I say deeper 'cos modern Greece and modern Italy have been developing in a different way for nearly a thousand years or so and therefore I do not think any modern/early modern reason should obviously exist to account for that cultural similarity). In any case, it is not very surprising as far as I am concerned.
    Cato believed in traditional Roman laws and life style. The Greeks had been influencing Italic tribes before Rome even existed in 900bc. Cato and other Roman writers mentioned real Roman traditions that had been passed down. Romans did try to life by their old traditions Romans military strength is based on their military tradition. Rome used to be a little city that had to defeat all the other people in Italy and war was very important to them.

    older Romans would have had that attitude towards Greek influence or just Mediterranean civilized influence. Some Roman writer idealized Germanic tribes because they where less civilized and more like a old fashioned Roman for example they cared about sexual sins unlike Greeks and modern Rome. Julies Caesar said that Gauls in the past where tougher fighters because they where less civilized and not indulged in luxuries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    Pre-Roman Italy was just as diverse as Roman Italy;
    and no Celtic slave or Hellenic Anatolian Immigrant could greatly alter the already existing diversity any further;
    Roman Italy genetically was just like modern Italy. But at somepoint passed 1,000bc in italy there was tons of mid eastern inter marraige. It is higher the more south u go into Italy. It is in Aust DNA which tells ur full ancestry i looked at the globe13 test Italy and Greece are way way way way higher than the rest of Europe total on average they have about 32-37% mid eastern aust DNA. Also J1 and J2 in Europe are centered in Italy and Greece both west Asian mid eastern haplogroups. I know it was not Neolithic because why is it centered in Greece and Italy obviously they where the only are's with civilization in Europe till the 300-400's and where connected to civilizations in the middle east. Plus it gets higher the more south u go it got to Italy through the Mediterranean the people they inter married with came from around Syria and Iraq.

    So a pretty big portion of Italians ancestry mainly south Italians came in greco Roman age from mid east this could explain why traditionally south Italians are seen as darker skinned than north Italians(it is what i have herd real Italian people say). Also it seems there was a north European influence in aust DNA right before the mid eastern Influnce. It almost defintley came with the Italic language because it migrated from the alps., Austria, south Germany, south france area about 3,200-3,000ybp from very very very very early Iron workers.

    Italians before Italic influence before civilization influence would have been genetically identical to Sardine people who in my opinon are the last true Neolithic Europeans and are Neolithic Italian. They have been genetically isolated in that island for over 5,000 years they are the closest living relatives to Otzie the iceman a guy who died in alps Italy 5,300ybp. The G2a farmers that migrated acroos Europe from 10,000-6,000ybp brought a aust DNA group most tests call Mediterranean. Before that all Europeans probably would have had north euro so before 10,000ybp that is what Italians would have had but in the Neolithic they would be like 100% med.

    i know tons of people went through Italy since Roman times but that does not mean they left a genetic mark.

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    I agree;
    the Near East influx most likely comes from the Roman Times;

    ---

    I agree;
    Sardines are the benchmark for Neolithic admixture;
    Bronze-age Sardines cluster closest to/with ancient pre-Indo-European Minoans and
    so does Modern-day Sardines with Neolithic Ötzi;

    Hughey et al 2013 - Minoans
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal...comms2871.html

    ---


    Modern day Italians are genetically (haplogroups and admixture) diverse from each other;
    with Sardines clustering in a world of their own


    DiGaetano et al 2012
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0043759


    Figure 2. SNP-Based PC of 1,014 individuals from the Italian dataset.
    A. A Scatter Plot of the Italian population of the first two principal components obtained via R software (prcomp).
    Individuals included belong to:
    Northern Italy
    : black dots / Central Italy: red dots / Southern Italy: green dots / Sardinian: blue dots.
    B. Italian population without the Sardinian-projected scatter plot of the first two principal components obtained via the R software (prcomp)



    Nelis et al 2009
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0005472





    It is proven that Italians didnt greatly inter-mix with each other - over the last 1,500 years
    (end of Roman Empire)

    Coop & Ralph et al 2013
    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/i...l.pbio.1001555

    Spain and Portugal showing very few common ancestors with other populations over the last 2,500 years. However, the rate of IBD sharing within the peninsula is much higher than within Italy—during the last 1,500 years the Iberian peninsula shares fewer than two genetic common ancestors with other populations, compared to roughly 30 per pair within the peninsula; Italians share on average only about eight with each other during this period.

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    Now if thats the case --- and that is the case;

    than Pre-Roman Italy - Roman Italy - Post-Roman Italy ---- was always diverse from eachother;
    as Historically and Archaeologically attested


    with Post-Roman Italy (especially the South) being more Near East than before;


    Botigué et al 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired View Post
    Cato believed in traditional Roman laws and life style. The Greeks had been influencing Italic tribes before Rome even existed in 900bc. Cato and other Roman writers mentioned real Roman traditions that had been passed down. Romans did try to life by their old traditions Romans military strength is based on their military tradition. Rome used to be a little city that had to defeat all the other people in Italy and war was very important to them.

    older Romans would have had that attitude towards Greek influence or just Mediterranean civilized influence. Some Roman writer idealized Germanic tribes because they where less civilized and more like a old fashioned Roman for example they cared about sexual sins unlike Greeks and modern Rome. Julies Caesar said that Gauls in the past where tougher fighters because they where less civilized and not indulged in luxuries.
    I know what Cato believed. My problem is that according to this view, Scipio Africanus (a so-called "philhellene" and Cato's political adversary) who was in many respects the exemplary Roman and did far more for Rome than Cato in terms of war, political activity and so on, wasn't a "real" Roman. I'm mentioning Scipio but you can add Titus Flamininus to say nothing of Marcus Aurelius or Hadrian. If these people are considered less "Roman" than Cato and his friends then I am not sure what the problem is supposed to be.

    If by "older Romans" you're referring to Tacitus, he was first of all not an older Roman at all - he was writing when Rome and Roman culture in general were already thoroughly "bastardised" (around 100 AD). If you meant by "older" as in holding that imaginary set of "older" Roman values, I don't really know tbh.

    Second, I do not have the text with me but Tacitus also wrote very negatively of what he thought was the Germanic addiction to gambling and drinking. I know all about his views on chastity but the whole picture Tacitus painted of Germanics is not particularly flattering and it is the whole picture that I am interested in. I do agree though (so I am not saying this to disagree with you, just to be more exact on what Tacitus believed) that in some respects he thought Germanic tribes were untainted by the corrupting influences of luxury and comforts (just like the early Latins).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    I agree;
    the Near East influx most likely comes from the Roman Times;

    ---

    I agree;
    Sardines are the benchmark for Neolithic admixture;
    Bronze-age Sardines cluster closest to/with ancient pre-Indo-European Minoans and
    so does Modern-day Sardines with Neolithic Ötzi;

    Hughey et al 2013 - Minoans
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal...comms2871.html

    ---


    Modern day Italians are genetically (haplogroups and admixture) diverse from each other;
    with Sardines clustering in a world of their own


    DiGaetano et al 2012
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0043759


    Figure 2. SNP-Based PC of 1,014 individuals from the Italian dataset.
    A. A Scatter Plot of the Italian population of the first two principal components obtained via R software (prcomp).
    Individuals included belong to:
    Northern Italy
    : black dots / Central Italy: red dots / Southern Italy: green dots / Sardinian: blue dots.
    B. Italian population without the Sardinian-projected scatter plot of the first two principal components obtained via the R software (prcomp)



    Nelis et al 2009
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0005472





    It is proven that Italians didnt greatly inter-mix with each other - over the last 1,500 years
    (end of Roman Empire)

    Coop & Ralph et al 2013
    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/i...l.pbio.1001555

    Spain and Portugal showing very few common ancestors with other populations over the last 2,500 years. However, the rate of IBD sharing within the peninsula is much higher than within Italy—during the last 1,500 years the Iberian peninsula shares fewer than two genetic common ancestors with other populations, compared to roughly 30 per pair within the peninsula; Italians share on average only about eight with each other during this period.
    Italians never intermixed, they always saw themselves as different from each other. If it was not for Napoleon bringing down all the Italian states, there would have never been an italy. He ruined many nations/states. Turned all of Europe into nations of monarchs which led to the first world war.

    Ancient Romans affiliated more closely with southerners instead of northers because the Northerners where classified as gallic people

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    Quote Originally Posted by zanipolo View Post
    Italians never intermixed, they always saw themselves as different from each other. If it was not for Napoleon bringing down all the Italian states, there would have never been an italy. He ruined many nations/states. Turned all of Europe into nations of monarchs which led to the first world war.

    Ancient Romans affiliated more closely with southerners instead of northers because the Northerners where classified as gallic people
    Roman skulls were closer to Etruscan skulls from central Italy than to Samnite skulls from the south.

    Source: Rivista di Antropologia Volume LVI (1969).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    Pre-Roman Italy was just as diverse as Roman Italy;
    and no Celtic slave or Hellenic Anatolian Immigrant could greatly alter the already existing diversity any further;
    Have you read my new article on the Genetic history of the Italians ?

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