The decline of the Roman Empire was as a consequence of Christianity’s influence in burrowing morals of the society coupled with thirst for power, the disunions between the eastern and western empires and also outside pressure. Internal weaknesses and external attacks contributed to the fall and destruction of the Roman Empire. The fall of the Roman imperial power was allegedly caused by moral decadence of the society, attributed to paganism, increased immorality in the society, the rise of Christianity, environment challenges and changes, increasing infertility and depopulation (Gibbon 1984).
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WESTERN AND EASTERN EMPIRES
The fact that there was one emperor in Rome, it was clear that administration could not be effective or efficient to cater for the Western and Eastern empires nor cater for attacks from other far-flung areas. At the beginning, the Eastern and Western empires sustained each other economically and during war by providing military help to the warring side; they also had an amicable relationship when there were two emperors thus two administrative bodies and military systems but the fact of having only one emperor brought about discontent (Gibbon 1984).
The Western Empire was mostly populated with Latinos while the Eastern Empire was a Greek nation. This created a cultural bridge thus straining religious and diplomatic linkages thus any efforts towards reconciling the two empires would prove futile. This bridge created mistrust between the two empires thus instigating division between the two empires that later led to the Eastern Empire emerging as strong and independent whilst the Western Empire fell due to its weaknesses (Gibbon 1984).
As with European Christians, the symbol of the cross was carried into battle and used in imperial propaganda. Despite similarities in religiosity, eastern empire did not possess the same degree of religious fervor that its counterparts would experience in Europe. Another quality that differentiated some western armies from the eastern armies was the civic involvement with the military. The strength of the Western empire was never ultimately in the consistency of its troops but rather in the utilization of political and economic resources. (Gibbon 1984).
Western Empire cities were far from trade routes and thus poor in terms of trade related resources compared to the Eastern counterparts. Their capitals were small and bare incase of an attack. This weaknesses lead to the fall of the Western Empire and the rise of the richer east due to Constantinople trading with Asia, Africa, Europe (Gibbon 1984).
THE LEADING EMPIRE
The Eastern Empire proved to be independent and rich due to the trading activities it engaged in thus having a constant adequate flow of resources. The fact that its cities were better fortified and densely populated thus ensuring thriving trade and security in case war broke out also served as an advantage towards ensuring its growth. The Black Sea also aided the Eastern Empire against external attacks since it served as a natural barricade. Byzantine Empire as the Eastern Empire was also known lasted about 1, 000 years after Western Empire (Gibbon 1984).
Gibbon, E. The History of the Decline and the Fall of the Roman Empire (Volume III). New York: Penguin Classics, 1984.