Roman Empire Facts From History
7/25/2013 by BY MARGARET BOGUE
Ready for some startling facts from history? Here goes:
The Roman Empire lasted 600 years. The first 300 years were marked by the principles of individual work and self-support; strong marriage and family bonds. The second 300 years showed the decline and decay. The decline was gradual, but finally led to the fall of this once mighty empire around 476 A.D.
The Romans were far advanced for their time. They had first-rate plumbing with hot and cold running water in their baths.
They built good roads, loved the theater and had thousands watching sporting events in the famous Coliseum.
This report is from two famous books on the subject of Rome?s fall:
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. The book was finished in 1787 after 20 years of research, and is considered a classic.
The other book by Will Durant is one of a ten volume series, The Story of Civilization, which he began in 1935. For this report the volume Caesar and Christ copyright 1944 is used.
Some of the reasons Gibbons gives for the fall:
1. Couldn?t control immigration of barbarians from lands conquered by the Roman army.
2. Many Romans lived in luxury and had few children. The immigrants had large families, and eventually outnumbered the Romans.
3. Differences of language, manners and religion.
4. Ignorance of the dangers of their enemies.
5. Extravagance of the wealthy. The ruler Nero, gave one banquet that cost half million dollars.
6. Heavy taxation with increasing indebtedness.
7. Over-emphasis and violence in sports. Thousands were entertained by watching lions kill human beings.
8. Obsession and perversion of sex.
9. Break-up of the family and home.
10. Divorce was rampant. Some additional reasons were pinpointed by Will Durant:
11. Population was decreased by sickness in epidemic proportion. In the plague of 260 ? 65 A.D. it is said that in Rome there were 5,000 deaths every day for many weeks.
12. Government role weakened to the poor ? luxury weakened the rich.
13. Christianity, some say, weakened Rome, in that it taught peace instead of military strength. Others say it was because Rome was dying that Christianity grew so rapidly.
14. The state defended wealth against poverty.
15. Toil was taxed to support luxury.
16. In trade there were more imports than exports.
17. The rising cost of government supporting large armies, many wars, doles and public works.
18. Cities were crowded with immigrants who brought in a hundred cultures.
19. Moral standards were lowered by the masses.
20. The empire grew too vast for its statesmen to rule or its armies to defend.
These twenty reasons are just some of the causes for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. The two books used for this report are not available at the library.
Think about it: ?A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.? Will Durant
We have some good folks to thank for memorial gifts to the library: W.R. and Freddy McSwain for Lana Erwin and Bob Lee Walker. Joe and Kay Walker gave for Kenneth Wren and Bob Lee Walker. Charlsie Thomas gave for Mildred H. Thomas. The Guy Maggard family gave for Kimsey Posey.
Good reading to you!