The rule of the Roman Empire is said to have been from 27 BC to 476 AD. There are several factors that contributed to the Roman Empire Fall. These events that led to the fall spanned 500 years ans are as follows:
1. Conflict between the Emperor and the Senate
One of the factors that contributed to the decline of the empire was the friction between the Emperor and the Senate. The Emperor has the power over Rome’s religious, civil and military affairs while the Senate is in an advisory position. Much like the set-up of governments today (except that there is a separation between the Church and the State and that legislation now falls into the hands of the senate and congress). Although there were emperors who were competent, there were also emperors who were spoiled and power hungry. They led immoral and corrupt lifestyles that led to the unrest in society.
2. The Weakening of Morals
During the span of 500 years, Rome saw the decline or weakening in morals in the upper classes, most especially the emperor. Emperors like Caligula, Elagabalus, Tiberius, Nero, and Commodus all engaged in immoral activities that include promiscuity, large consumption of alcohol, gambling and sadistic cruelty towards man and animals.
3. Corruption in Government and the Praetorian Guard
The Praetorian Guard is an elite group of soldiers responsible for guarding the emperor. They can be seen as the modern Presidential Security Group. After many years, the Praetoria Guard somehow held influence on who will be the next Emperor. If an Emperor holds the loyalty of the Guard, then they are assured of their position. That was why when Caligula became Emperor he gave the Praetorian Guard a big bonus for their “loyalty.” There was also a time that the Praetorian Guard auctioned the throne to the whole world to the highest bidder.
4. Riots and Costs of the Gladiatorial Games
Since jobs for the working class were scarce, this led to the common people to be bored, and riots broke out into the streets. To prevent this, the empire organized gladiatorial games to amuse the masses. This is at the expense of the emperor and corrupt officials trying to buy the loyalties of the people. The overall costs of the games amounted to one-third of the Empire’s total income.
5. Great Military spending and enemy knowledge of Roman Military Strategies
Another factor that led to the fall was the heavy funding for the military and enemy knowledge of the moves of the Roman army. War costs money; there was constant fighting as barbarians saw the decline in the empire. To keep the empire, the Emperor and other officials have to keep on sending men to battle, and this has proven to be very costly. Another factor was enemy knowledge of the tactics used by the Roman Army. The last and most disastrous sack Rome experienced was when it fell to the Visigoths led by a former Roman soldier named Alaric.
Thus, history reveals that the primary reason for the fall of the Roman Empire was the differences between the communal and patriarchal forces that gave rise to various internal and external wars, thereby furnishing the decline of the great empire.