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When Did Rome Fall?


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What? Don't listen to this post, Enworld. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a beautiful book. The historiography is outdated, but the prose is wonderful. It's a delight to read.

Added by edit: In fact, now that I think about it, I reread it after I visited Rome. I remember standing on the Capitoline Hill looking at the ruins of the old forum and being reminded of Gibbon's description of Poggius surveying the ruin of Rome from the same spot and contemplating the city's fall some 600 years previously. Gibbon talks then about the beginnings of the transformation of the ancient ruins into a tourist attraction for foreigners (this was in the 18th century):

"The map, the description, the monuments of ancient Rome, have been elucidated by the diligence of the antiquarian and the student: and the footsteps of heroes, the relics, not of superstition, but of empire, are devoutly visited by a new race of pilgrims from the remote, and once savage countries of the North."

I loved reading the Decline and Fall. Like you say it is outdated and you would want to read something more up to date for some of the specific facts, but it is an important book and one that shaped how history is done. It is worth reading for the prose, the wit, but also to see something that contributed to the discipline of history. When I was a history student it was assigned for one of our classes (and I accidentally read the whole thing because I didn't know we were supposed to read the condensed version---which turned out to be a good mistake because I think reading the whole thing really made a difference for my appreciation of it). When you take historiography* it is one of several key books that come up as significant. Again it isn't current scholarship, and his thesis about why the empire fell isn't widely accepted (but grand theories like generally aren't embraced anymore). It is still considered a classic history book . It has been a long time since I was a student, but I recall one of the big reasons we discussed him in the historiography course was the importance he placed on primary sources. Definitely if you read it, read about its place in historiography and read about what it gets wrong, because it was published around the time of the revolution. With any older history book, you want to understand its context and importance (you do read something like decline and fall differently than you would say a modern history book written on the decline and fall---though even those all belong to a particular school of thought usually, and should still be read critically).

*historiography is just the study of history, its history and methods---for example if you read a historiography of middle eastern history it would likely be a book that covers all the important history papers and books about the middle east and describe how approaches and interpretations have changed over the years). I you read a general historiography book or took a general course, you would get an overview of the history of history as a discipline, examine key works, and read about all the different schools of thought. I am sure lots of people know this but I didn't want to just throw a bit of jargon in without explaining it
 


Give me a few more turns and Rome will fall in Civ VI

Venerable Bede — 'As long as the Coliseum stands, Rome shall stand; when the Coliseum falls, Rome will fall; when Rome falls, the whole world will fall.'
 
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Thunderfoot

Adventurer
Well...it depends. What exactly do you classify as "The Roman Empire". Rome the city or the land conquered by it? The Western or Eastern empire? The Byzantines? The Roman Catholic Church? In some ways, all of these qualify. The only one that doesn't really is the Holy Roman Empire. That's really the start of the German state.
 
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GreyLord

Legend
I would probably say a new date which is 1204.

By the time Rome fell, the capital of the Roman empire actually had changed to Constantinople. In it's later existence of the late 2nd century onwards, Rome focused even more heavily on it's four quarters (it had been separated into four quarters for a while, which caused all sorts of problems at times with Western vs. Eastern Emperors, the catalogue of discourses and wars between the various factions...etc) which were primarily the North and South and East and West, making it the Northwest, Southwest, North East, and South East quarters. By the time Rome Fell, we could say it was more of a focus of the Eastern portion of the Empire, with the Western portion (of which Rome was a part of) having fallen in repute and economics for at least a century.

The real heart and what was considered the empire at that point was in the East. That empire continued for several more centuries.

Rome, the city fell, but ONLY Europe (and specifically Europe that was constrained by the Roman Catholic Church which had a vested interest from the inheritance of Charlemagne) actually considered that meaning that the Roman Empire fell...or that Rome fell. This was for legitimacy in their part, as they were trying to show legitimacy of rule and right...a legitimacy rejected by others.

However, when trouble hits, as it did, sometimes lines blur. In the late 11th century, Rome was in trouble. They had incursions from tribes that were threatening it's capital and so it asked it's brothers in Christianity for aid. Ironically, rather than just aid the slowly fading royalty of the Byzantines (who were the Romans), they went on crusade (now known as the first crusade) and went on to cause trouble all along the way until they left on the Southern borders and went on to conquer Jerusalem.

This same idea of crusade eventually led to the 4th crusade, where the final remnants of Rome, it's rulers and aristocracy were overthrown and replaced by Roman Catholic counterparts and the ideas that the Roman Catholic Church expoused in claiming that this was the Byzantine...not the Roman...empire.

It was at that point I think that the old Roman empire truly finally died in it's death throes (death throes that had been ongoing for several centuries at that point) and a short lived Roman Catholic nation existed.

If one doesn't accept that, I'll take the later date where it falls from Christian hands to Islamic hands, but I don't think the fall of the city of Rome actually was the Fall of the Roman empire as has been popular amongst nations heavily influenced by the Roman Catholics in their noted history books during the 18th - 20th centuries. It is an idea that I think is finally starting to fade away as other historians and ways of looking at history are finally being seen by the forefront of history today and a wider acceptance of history beyond that of Western European dialogue is finally surfacing.
 



Zardnaar

Legend
I would probably say a new date which is 1204.

By the time Rome fell, the capital of the Roman empire actually had changed to Constantinople. In it's later existence of the late 2nd century onwards, Rome focused even more heavily on it's four quarters (it had been separated into four quarters for a while, which caused all sorts of problems at times with Western vs. Eastern Emperors, the catalogue of discourses and wars between the various factions...etc) which were primarily the North and South and East and West, making it the Northwest, Southwest, North East, and South East quarters. By the time Rome Fell, we could say it was more of a focus of the Eastern portion of the Empire, with the Western portion (of which Rome was a part of) having fallen in repute and economics for at least a century.

The real heart and what was considered the empire at that point was in the East. That empire continued for several more centuries.

Rome, the city fell, but ONLY Europe (and specifically Europe that was constrained by the Roman Catholic Church which had a vested interest from the inheritance of Charlemagne) actually considered that meaning that the Roman Empire fell...or that Rome fell. This was for legitimacy in their part, as they were trying to show legitimacy of rule and right...a legitimacy rejected by others.

However, when trouble hits, as it did, sometimes lines blur. In the late 11th century, Rome was in trouble. They had incursions from tribes that were threatening it's capital and so it asked it's brothers in Christianity for aid. Ironically, rather than just aid the slowly fading royalty of the Byzantines (who were the Romans), they went on crusade (now known as the first crusade) and went on to cause trouble all along the way until they left on the Southern borders and went on to conquer Jerusalem.

This same idea of crusade eventually led to the 4th crusade, where the final remnants of Rome, it's rulers and aristocracy were overthrown and replaced by Roman Catholic counterparts and the ideas that the Roman Catholic Church expoused in claiming that this was the Byzantine...not the Roman...empire.

It was at that point I think that the old Roman empire truly finally died in it's death throes (death throes that had been ongoing for several centuries at that point) and a short lived Roman Catholic nation existed.

If one doesn't accept that, I'll take the later date where it falls from Christian hands to Islamic hands, but I don't think the fall of the city of Rome actually was the Fall of the Roman empire as has been popular amongst nations heavily influenced by the Roman Catholics in their noted history books during the 18th - 20th centuries. It is an idea that I think is finally starting to fade away as other historians and ways of looking at history are finally being seen by the forefront of history today and a wider acceptance of history beyond that of Western European dialogue is finally surfacing.
I would probably say a new date which is 1204.

By the time Rome fell, the capital of the Roman empire actually had changed to Constantinople. In it's later existence of the late 2nd century onwards, Rome focused even more heavily on it's four quarters (it had been separated into four quarters for a while, which caused all sorts of problems at times with Western vs. Eastern Emperors, the catalogue of discourses and wars between the various factions...etc) which were primarily the North and South and East and West, making it the Northwest, Southwest, North East, and South East quarters. By the time Rome Fell, we could say it was more of a focus of the Eastern portion of the Empire, with the Western portion (of which Rome was a part of) having fallen in repute and economics for at least a century.

The real heart and what was considered the empire at that point was in the East. That empire continued for several more centuries.

Rome, the city fell, but ONLY Europe (and specifically Europe that was constrained by the Roman Catholic Church which had a vested interest from the inheritance of Charlemagne) actually considered that meaning that the Roman Empire fell...or that Rome fell. This was for legitimacy in their part, as they were trying to show legitimacy of rule and right...a legitimacy rejected by others.

However, when trouble hits, as it did, sometimes lines blur. In the late 11th century, Rome was in trouble. They had incursions from tribes that were threatening it's capital and so it asked it's brothers in Christianity for aid. Ironically, rather than just aid the slowly fading royalty of the Byzantines (who were the Romans), they went on crusade (now known as the first crusade) and went on to cause trouble all along the way until they left on the Southern borders and went on to conquer Jerusalem.

This same idea of crusade eventually led to the 4th crusade, where the final remnants of Rome, it's rulers and aristocracy were overthrown and replaced by Roman Catholic counterparts and the ideas that the Roman Catholic Church expoused in claiming that this was the Byzantine...not the Roman...empire.

It was at that point I think that the old Roman empire truly finally died in it's death throes (death throes that had been ongoing for several centuries at that point) and a short lived Roman Catholic nation existed.

If one doesn't accept that, I'll take the later date where it falls from Christian hands to Islamic hands, but I don't think the fall of the city of Rome actually was the Fall of the Roman empire as has been popular amongst nations heavily influenced by the Roman Catholics in their noted history books during the 18th - 20th centuries. It is an idea that I think is finally starting to fade away as other historians and ways of looking at history are finally being seen by the forefront of history today and a wider acceptance of history beyond that of Western European dialogue is finally surfacing.

Apparently chariot races were run up until 1204.
 






dragoner

Dying in Chargen
well having a PhD in Byzantine history and his beard would give his thoughts some weight lol
They correspond basically with the crisis of the 3rd century, to post plague of justinian 'fall of the classical urban culture'. Which in fact is quite a bit of time ...
 


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