By 285 CE, the Roman Empire was divided into Western and Eastern Rome with Rome as the capital of Western Empire and Byzantium as the capital of Eastern. Western Rome was ruled by Romulus Augustus, while Eastern Rome was ruled by Constantine. The 2 cities were vastly different. Besides the geographical location itself, some of the major differences that we can highlight are the peace within the empires and the divided beliefs on Christianity.
The location of Western Rome made it particularly vulnerable as they were constantly threatened by the Germanic tribes surrounding them. The differences between the two empires are possible reasons that led to their fall but there are other viewpoints on their fall. Note that it is the fall of Western Rome that we are looking at, and highlighting on Instagram. The fall is significant to history because the formidable and unified empire collapsed easily despite its many conquests; thus it is worth taking a look at the invasion of Barbarians tribes, government corruption and political instability, and economic troubles and over-reliance of slave labour that contributed to the fall.
These reasons are closely examined on our Instagram, accompanied with beautiful gallery of images reflecting Rome's history. However, you might realise that there are different viewpoints to this fall. Was it really a fall where people’s lives were made harsh (being named as the Dark Ages) or a necessary transformation (to eradicate slavery, promote equality among mankind)? It is truly debatable on whether it is a fall or just a decline of Rome. Discover more with us on our Instagram!
Excerpt: Sam Valadi, Colosseum - Rome - Italy (31 Mar 2015). CC-BY-2.0
Instagram Profile Picture: Andrea Albanese, Rome, Italy, Dome, Roof (21 January 2017). Public Domain.
Post 1: Thomas Quine, Barbarians vs. Romans (18 June 2012). CC-BY-2.0.
Post 2: John Leech, Comic History of Rome Table 02 Tarquinius Superbus Makes Himself King (1850). Public Domain.
John Leech, Comic History of Rome Table 10 Cicero Denouncing Catiline (1850). Public Domain.
Tataryn, The Roman Empire Trajan 117 AD (28 May 2012). CC-BY-SA-3.0.
Post 3: Karl Briullov, Genseric sacking Rome (1833-1836). Public Domain.
Joseph-Noel Sylvestre, Visigoths sack Rome (1890). Public Domain
Map Master, Invasions of the Rome Empire (1 October 2006). CC-BY-SA-2.5.
Post 4: Unknown, Vandals Plundering (1880). Public Domain.
International Pub. Co., Pyramid of Capitalist System (1911). Public Domain.
Post 2-4 (Video): Cine Kids. Fall of the Roman Empire | History for Kids. (30 June 2014) YouTube.
Post 5: Eugène Delacroix, Attila and his Hordes Overrun Italy and the Arts (1838-1847). Public Domain.
Post 6: Scott Taylor, Ancient Rome (28 May 2016). CC BY-ND 2.0.
References (in accordance to post):
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O. Bengtsson, Bengt. ”Strange history: The fall of Rome explained in Hereditas” (December 2014). Hereditas, 151/6: 132-139.
F. Roy Willis, Robert A. Guisepi. The Germanic Tribes, and Huns (n.d.). From History World International. Accessed 31 March 2017.
Galtung, Johan, Heiestad, Tore, and Rudeng, Erik. ”On the Decline and Fall of Empires: The Roman Empire and Western Imperialism Compared” (1980). Review (Fernand Braudel Center), 4/1: 91-153.
Williams, Stephen & Friell, Gerard. The Rome that Did Not Fall: The Survival of the East in the Fifth Century (1999). Google Books.
De Blois, Lukas. The Representation and Perception of Roman Imperial Power (2003). Google Books.
Bunson, Matthew. Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire (2002). Accessed 30 March 2017.
Heather, Peter. The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians (2007). Google Books.
US Government Printing Office. Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the… Congress (1990). Accessed 20 April 2017.
Saunders, J. J. “The Debate on the Fall of Rome” (February 1963) History, 48/162: 1-17.
Collins, R. Early Medieval Europe 300-1000 (2010). Google Books.
Wickham, C. The Inheritance of Rome: A history of Europe from 400 to 1000 (2009). Google Books.
Institute of Public Affairs. Did Rome fall? (31 December 2013). From Foundations of Western Civilization Program. Accessed 3 April 2017.