Western Civilization Final Term Paper

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Still one of the crucial elements in this sense was the spread of Christianity. Constantine was the one who believed in a revelation that determined him to raise his children in the Christian faith and acknowledged Christianity as a religion (Potter, 2004). The main point for this decision was the desire to unite the empire under a common belief. The Christian belief was in total opposition to the pagan on the Romans were adherents of. However, it was believed that a belief in a higher good which promotes values related to the human being and a common religion would represents a connecting point for the maintenance of the unity of the empire.

Throughout the conversion process, there were heretics such as the Arians which questioned the legitimacy of the Christian faith. Nonetheless, the Christianization process spread throughout the empire and created a sense of unity inside of it. The most important connection point however was the Christian Church which Constantine gave a particular dimension that would influence in the future the development of the empire.

In my opinion the main reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire are related to the external factors. On the one hand, the increase in size of the empire was not benefic because the Roman consuls and Emperors were unable to control too many different cultures with their own individuality. On the other hand, the threat of the invading peoples was another major point. However, all these would not have represented essential points should the empire have a strong united military along with a stable political succession. Therefore, governments should avoid the split of opinions and the search for authoritarian power because it makes them more vulnerable and prone to political chaos and attacks.

The fall of Rome was the result of the external factors as well as the internal ones. The attacks of the Goths on Rome destroyed the rule of the Romans in the Mediterranean and the Roman army was unable to control the borders which stretched to Constantinople. However, the external factors were the triggering moment of the crisis. In fact the society and the political scene began to fall apart and there was no longer a sense of a Romanic identity. Therefore, the political corruption, the poor state of the population resulted in a crisis of the Roman society which led to its demise.

The following period marked the start of the end for the Roman Empire. Due to the fact that there were increasing pressures at the borders of the Empire and with internal fights for power, it finally split in 395 in one empire with the capital in Constantinople and the West with the one in Ravenna. By 476 the Western Empire falls prey to the migrant population. However, in the East there was a certain renaissance period which included a political stability and a cultural harmony (Berstein and Milza, 1994). The Eastern Empire as a result of the reforms eliminated the outside threat of the migratory peoples and managed to hold on to power. However in order to increase the control, "Emperor Heraclius made Greek the official language, and the Emperor's Latin title, Augustus, was replaced with the Greek Basileus." (World News Network, n.d.). Throughout its history reforms are achieved in the military aspect, the economic one, as well as the religious one. More precisely, the Empire created an important military force in order to prevent and fight against the invaders such as the Turks. Also, in terms of economic manners, manorialism was born. This practice implied that "large landowners had to consolidate their hold over both their lands and the laborers who worked them. This was a necessity in the midst of the civil disorders, enfeebled governments, and barbarian invasions that wracked Europe" (Beckman and Cheran, 1998) at the same time it was a useful mechanism for controlling both the land and the people.

Despite all events the fall of the Byzantine Empire came at the hands of the Turks who conquered Constantinople in 1453 and would later establish the Ottoman Empire.

Works Cited

Backman, Clifford R. The Worlds of Medieval Europe. Oxford University Press: New York. 2003.

Beckman, Nathan and Elango Cheran. "Feudalism and Manorialism." Medieval Economics. 1998. 13 May 2008 http://web.nickshanks.com/history/medieval/manor

Berstein, Serge, and Milza. Pierre. Histoire de l'Europe. Paris: Hatier, 1994

Bonta, Steve. "The Rise of Caesarism: The Weakened Roman Republic Was Crushed by Julius Caesar, a Charismatic Military Leader Who Exploited His Popularity with a Roman People Who Desired Security above All Else." The New American. Vol. 21, issue: 1. 2005, 34.

Potter, David S. The Roman Empire at Bay: AD 180-395. Rutledge: New York 2004.

Taylor, Lily Ross. "The Rise of Julius Caesar." Greece & Rome, Second Series,…

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