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Cause of Fall of Roman Empire
|The Colosseum in Rome city, Italy by pcs34560 From Wikimedia
The primary cause of fall of Roman Empire is Constutio Antoniana. The revenge by Carthage which pretended a pretext, the equality, destroyed the Roman Empire. I got this idea, "the loss of Roman citizenship as imperial bonds" by applying "historical psychology" to historical knowledge gotten by books. However, this idea itself is my creation. In "Tales of Roman" volume 12 (written by SHIONO Nanami, published by Sinchosha in December 2003), there is a similar idea. But this idea was already released on the Net in January 2003 by me.
I think that what "the prideful peoples for maintaining the public goodness" as internal factor decreased is decisive cause that brought about the end of Pax Romana. In volume 10, the appearance of "the prideful peoples for maintaining the public goodness" to support infrastructure in Rome was described. Such peoples are indispensable for the great empire like Rome. Then, as for the decrease of "the prideful peoples for maintaining the public goodness", what the emperor Caracalla gave Roman citizenship to all residents in the empire in A.D.212 and what Christianity was popularized were very important.
About opening the Roman citizenship to all residents. As we know by close connection between the Roman citizenship and the qualification to be legionaries and so on, it was proud to be not provincial people but Roman citizens for "the Roman citizens, the prideful peoples for maintaining the public goodness". For "the provincial people, the prideful peoples for maintaining the public goodness", to be Roman citizens was their goal. The emperor Caracalla robbed residents in the empire of their pride and goal.
Then, if it is necessary only to be a resident in the empire for getting citizenship, savage tribes think that by only migrating to the empire they can receive benefits from civilization and good land. This could be incentive to the migration of savage tribes. Also, for provincial people who were chasing living needs, as they had few loads as provincial people, they accepted the rule of the Roman Empire. If provincial people become Roman citizens who had heavy loads, they will accumulate dissatisfaction.
The Christianity specifically in the early stages prized neighborly love higher than the maintenance of public goodness. They valued the persons who practiced neighborly love higher than "the prideful people for maintaining the public goodness" who thought about the whole empire and those who lived in the distance. Then, the people who were enthusiastic about arguing theology became more than the people who thought about the public goodness.
Then, with Constutio Antoniana by the emperor Caracalla, the Roman Empire drastically changed and the Roman Empire reaches the crisis in the 3rd century. "Roman citizenship as imperial bonds" was lost by Constutio Antoniana.
"The loss of Roman citizenship as imperial bonds" had big influence on the hearts of the Romans. One of its results is that they became impossible to maintain hoplites. The hoplites was an important kind of soldiers which was based on civil mind and needed severe training and collective mind. The civil mind which was the foundation was lost by opening the Roman citizenship to all residents. The qualification, the Roman citizenship which legionaries was proud of was lost. As the result, the hoplites weakened and advantage over the savage tribes was lost, too. The hoplites which was based on the civil mind had secured the predominance of civilization. Therefore, to fight equally to the savage tribes, at the time of the emperor Galliano's, they threw away the hoplites which became difficult to maintain and made cavalry core troops.
Then, opening the Roman citizenship to all residents had politically big meaning. The emperor had been approved by the senate and the Roman citizens (actually Roman citizens in the Rome city.) However, as the provincial people became Roman citizens, a question occurred to the orthodoxy.
That the Roman citizens in the Rome city weren't representing all the residents of the Roman Empire was clear. On the other hand, the trend that the army which had accepted a lot of human resources from provinces was the representative of the Roman citizens occurred and the army picked up their emperor of their own free will. After the predominance of the civilization by the hoplites was lost, the savage tribes got to invade the empire frequently. The army which coped with the savage tribes' invasion got better status and the Severus dynasty gave good treatment to the army. These were the reasons why the army became to pike up emperors.
On the other hand, the senate was representing the conventional Roman citizens traditionally but the question whether or not the senate really represented all the citiznes including provincial people had occurred. To this question the senate gave wrong answers. Though it was necessary for the senate to show themselves represented all provinces, the senate refused the emperor (the emperor Maximinus) who came from province. By this, the authority of the senate was impaired.
Then, the big happening occurred in 260. It was the captivity of the emperor Valerianus who belongs to the senate class for generations. As the result, the emperor Gallienus established the law which separated the army and the senate. The civil mind of the senators had become weak. The senators had lost the confidence to win in the battles by senators' leading the army. It was necessary to be military professionals for victory and the leeway for educating the senate class as the military professionals was lost. These were reasons. These things had important meaning. The empire was in the crisis and military ability was sought. Then, the emperor was the existence who must fight by standing at the top of the army and leading them. The senators who were separated from the army lost the qualification to become an emperor.
The activity of the emperor Aurelianus brought the crisis which had begun in 260 to an end. The senate class played a big role when Gaulish Empire surrendered. It is possible to say that the civil mind faded but it still showed power in this time. It was the reason why the crisis which had begun in 260 didn't become the collapse of the Roman Empire.
However, the senate made a big mistake in this time. The mistake is that the senate picked up the old senator as the successor of the emperor Aurelianus who died an unnatural death in 275. As the senators lost the qualification to become an emperor, the senate had to pick up the ablest serviceman as the emperor and needed to keep the authority. If the senate had done like this, the senate could have picked up persons as emperors, put them authority and contributed to the stability of the throne and empire. Once, the army followed the emperor elected by the senate. However, the army ignored the 2nd.
Then, as Dodds and Gibbon and then Mrs.Shiono pointed out, the main reason why Christianity spread in these times was the social anxiety by the invasion of the savage tribes.
Via the crisis in the 3rd century, tentative measures to the loss of the Roman citizenship and the Christian popularization were accomplished. They are that the emperor Diocletianus made his status an autocrat and governed the divided empire with colleagues and that the emperor Constantinus authorized Christianity and that the emperor Theodosius made Christianity the state religion. The divide and rule of the empire could be the measure to make it easier to govern the empire which was difficult to rule for the loss of the Roman citizenship. However, the tendency which causes a civil war by the rulers was big. To make emperors autocrats meant farewell to the civil mind to respect the senate. And it was this civil mind that distinguished the Roman Empire from the other ancient empires and gave the Roman Empire long life. After following the first decisive step, "the loss of the Roman citizenship", the Roman Empire stepped forward to the 2nd decisive step to abandon the civil mind to cope with "the loss of the Roman citizenship". With this, the Roman Empire got the nature of ordinary ancient empires. To make Christianity the state religion is the measure which raises Christianity to the public goodness.
After that, the decisive phenomenon of knocking down dominos happened. As for the phenomenon of knocking down dominos by the savage tribes, I think that the following is its cause. First, the savage tribes near the Roman Empire receive the benefit from civilization and the untamed mind fades. Also, they are directly weakened by the military power of the Roman Empire. However, far savage tribes don't have too much influence over their untamed mind from civilization. But the far tribes had tendency to learn the progressive military ability of civilization. Therefore, when the far tribes fascinated by civilization and so on advance towards the empire, the savage tribes nearby can not confront the far tribes and try to run into the Roman Empire desperately.
There appeared the efficient cause of the decisive phenomenon of knocking down dominos. It was Hun. The far savage tribes, too, couldn't oppose this Hun and began the movement towards the empire all together. On the other hand, the empire which had received only tentative measures faced terrible difficulty.
Well, why did the eastern empire survive and the western empire ruin when Volkerwanderung occurred? There was the difference of degree of skill of military policy for Volkerwanderung, but I think it was the following two points that was big.
First, in case of crisis, they need dictatorship. The eastern empire could cope with the crisis by gathering the eastern empire up with caesaropapism on the occasion of crisis. Because the eastern empire was in the climate matching absolutism, Orient. On the other hand, the western empire, the Latin world could not cope with the crisis by caesaropapism. After the Middle Ages, an emperor and the Pope are different persons, too. The character to respect independence and liberty and so on did like so. Then, as for the western world, to accept the authority of the Pope was not to accept the control of emperors.
Next, in the western empire the progress of the apathy was more serious because there had been the capital of the Roman Empire, Roman city. Then, the people of the western empire felt the trend that the unprecedented great empire would ruin more seriously than Orient where many big empires repeated their rise and fall. Moreover, the eastern empire could have the big capital with the iron wall which was called Constantinople.
In addition to the above points, there was the fact that the western empire was near the Germania mainland and the Germanic peoples were familiar with the land of the western empire. However, once, against the big menace, Hun, the western empire cooperated with the Germanic peoples and won the battle of Catalaunum. But, after the menace of Hun left, they could not stop the process of breaking the western empire.
Then, I refute the Mrs. Shiono's opinion in volume 11 which sees the beginning of the end of "Pax Romana" at the Emperor Marcus Aurelius in "Tales of the Roman" volume 11. It seems that the bases of the opinion are that Marcus Aurelius had not go out homeland Italia before he ascended to the throne and that the phenomenon of knocking down dominos of savage tribes attacked the Roman Empire first at the time of Marcus Aurelius.
Surely, when you are near the scene you can get better information. However, when you keep a distance from the scene you can make a cool judgment and you had better keep a distance in order to synthesize or analyze the information. Then, even if you are at the center and when you can know correct information with some degree about the process of the execution and the result, you can experience what result your actions bring about and accumulate the correct information. It is impossible to replace experiences at the scene fully, but I think that it is possible with some degree.
Including showing the scene our face, grasping the scene is surely important but the emperor Marcus didn't go to Roman provinces before his accession. However, as for the responsibility, most are owing to his father-in-law, his teacher, his superior, the emperor Pius who didn't make the Marcus have the experiences of the scene. The emperor Marcus Aurelius stitched to the scene, the Danubian defense line, after his accession, and there is no fact that all the Romans after the emperor Marcus Aurelius imitated him before his accession and slighted the scene.
If the Marcus had had responsibility, it would have been the point that the Marcus hadn't gone to provinces of his own accord against the emperor Pius. "The Marcus liked learning. He had sincerity. He had strong responsibility sense. He had the obedience which accepted what was taught without resistance. He was an honor student. He cherished home life. He was a good homey person. He had the strong feeling that he was to assume the imperial title and that it was necessary to be the model of the people. He had warm love and deep respect towards the people who guided him." Therefore, He didn't go to province against the Pius, that would be worth criticism?
And the emperor Pius, too, thought that the defense of the Roman Empire becomes fully prepared by the emperor Hadrianus. Moreover, the Hadrianus who walked in the scene of provinces had the severe reputation from the senate. Then, actually, the time was passing calmly. Therefore the rule from the center doesn't seem to be worth so much criticism.
And, it is because the peaceful times continued that the senate didn't understand the emperor Hadrianus. Moreover, as for what was shown by the emperor Pius, it was the fact that the government of the empire from the center was possible sufficiently when it was peaceful time if the defense of the empire was prepared completely as the emperor Hadrianus did.
Mrs.Shiono says "It is sarcastic that the Roman's community spirit which was strong in the evil emperor Nero's times began to become weak in the wise emperor Marcus's times" about "the apathy" (spiritless) of the Roman empire. But it is in so-called tendency of the history that "the apathy" gets power if peace continues. Even if "the apathy" appears in the times of the Marcus who is situated on the end of the times of the 5 wise emperors, the Marcus's is not responsible for it. Also, there was no act of the emperor Marcus to increase the apathy.
Surely, the emperor Marcus Aurelius was not a military genius and could not establish perfect measures against the phenomenon of knocking down dominos of savage in the future, too. However, the Marcus was proceeding with war very favorably at the Danubian defense line as he left a will to continue the war. The Marcus sincerely achieved given problems and it would be severe to make him responsible for so-called the phenomenon of knocking down dominos in the future.
And, the emperor Marcus Aurelius doesn't have responsibility at all for breaking out the phenomenon at the time itself. I would suspect that Mrs. Shiono did such speaking to exclude the person, philosopher who doesn't have an experience to go to a foreign country.
Then, perfect solution of the phenomenon would have been to romanize and civilize the important part of the Germanic big tribes and to make the advance guard for defending the Roman Empire. It is necessary for achieving it to conquest the German mainland. However, it is what even Augustus and Tiberius could not complete.
If you said that the Marcus had responsibility not to forecast and cope with the phenomenon, I would contend with it. As persons in the coming ages know the history, they can easily say that it was the sign of ......... However, actually, it is difficult for the persons who lived in the times to know the first sign. Then, if you said that the Marcus had responsibility to have few military geniuses, there were many emperors who had fewer military geniuses than the Marcus. Also, there was no historical fact that the decisive situation for the ruin of the empire was made by the Marcus's military genius.
At the 4th part of volume 11, Mrs.Shiono describe about the emperor Severus. Then she lastly says, "then the Roman Empire after this rushed into "the crisis in the 3rd century" which the historians call. It is said that fish decays from the head. The Roman Empire, too, decayed from the head". However, it isn't possible to think that the emperor Marcus Aurelius didn't have even a little rotten smell. Lineal transfer of power to his son, too, was to avoid a rebellion. Also, I think that he had true pride that "anyone is the same if died but not the same until died". And he tackled affairs of the state sincerely as an emperor.
I think that we cannot see the beginning of the end of "Pax Romana " in the emperor Marcus Aurelius. To make further reference, the emperor Marcus Aurelius didn't have responsibility for the crisis in the 3rd century, the emperors after the Marcus have responsibility for it. And specifically, it was important that the emperor Severus steer their course to making the Roman Empire a garrison state.
The emperor Severus made the Italian Guards dissolve. He made the empire ruled by a military government. He killed his co-emperor. That the emperor Marcus made his co-emperor ascend to the throne by himself and respected the co-emperor until the last is recalled. Also, the Roman citizenship was lost by Severus's child, the emperor Caracalla. These would be called the non- Italian-ization of the empire. I couldn't help thinking that the non- Italian-ization was the revenge of Carthage because the coming place of the Severus dynasty was northern Africa. I couldn't help thinking that the seed of Carthage was slipped into the Roman Empire and had made the Roman Empire change in the quality.
In short, Mrs.Shiono's claims in volume 11 are that she wanted to thrust the cause of fall of the Roman Empire on the emperor Marcus by using the Marcus's situated in the end of the 5 wise emperor times for the ideology which she supports.
At the last, I would like to tell that I got not a little part of my knowledge about the Roman Empire for writing this through Mrs.Shiono's books, "Tales of Romans" from volume 1 to 12. But "the loss of the Roman citizenship as imperial bonds" is my original from first to last.
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