>‘The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity repined the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight. The story of its ruin is simple and obvious; and instead of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it lasted so long.’ – Edward Gibbon
>>13148 Hardly. You're describing the Roman Empire on its deathbed. If you only looked at the the last century or two that might have been accurate (apart from the overpopulation part, they suffered a fertility crisis just like we're doing right now) but at the Republic/Empire's peak it wasn't any of those: it was a powerhouse.
Prior to that Rome had an army of short term enlisted landowners whose primary motivation was civic duty. After that you had an army of long term enlisted landless poor, whose primary motivation was money and land. And therefore they proved completely loyal to the generals who could provide that, not to the state.
In the 600 years prior to that point, the worst Roman on Roman violence was street clashes. From that point almost immediately you have legions fighting other legions which becomes both common and never stops until the very end of the Empire.
The final terminal step is when even the landless poor can't be incentivized or coerced into the army, and you end up a situation like after Adrianople an Empire an order of magnitude as populous as the Republic after Cannae has a harder time dealing with a defeat a third the size.
>>13504 The Marian reforms were a necessarily evil, though. Rome was in a bad spot at the time they were enacted but their efficiency ensured Rome's survival, but you are correct in saying that it helped pave the way to the centralizing of power to the Roman generals.
>>13643 I'm sure someone has come up with a theoretical system that would have dealt with the strains the traditional system was under without unleashing the side effects of the Marian reforms, but that's just hypothetical history.
>>11867 The simple answer is "the empire did not die of natural causes, it was assasinated".
All the "degeneracy"/"corruption"/"christianity" things are just ahistorical projections that have been trendy at some point as a way of framing it.
It was really just a series of blunders and the perfect shitstorm of the Migration Period.
"Bad Luck" isn't a satisfying answer, but that is a big part of it too. There were multiple times when shrewd governmentship might have turned things around, but by the time they had lost Carthage there was no possible way back, the networks that defined the Western Empire were gone for good and they had been dismantled piecemeal to the point where there was no possibility to put it back together again.
>>13801 A high birth rate coupled with patriotism and a sense of duty to one's people should be enough to generate a steady stream of soldiers, no? I don't think you need an advanced scheme or system for it to work. Sometimes the simple answers are the way to go.
>>11899 I still don't understand why they ran out of troops, as in #8. Did they run out of able-bodied men? Or did they just not want to fight anymore? For centuries Rome always seemed to draw on plenty of soldiers, like in the Punic Wars.
>>15985 Christianity led to the decline in the martial nature of Romans, since a big part of the doctrine is about peace etc. But they were still rich as fuck, so they just hired barbarians to fight for them, since the seemed to like doing it.
Some times things make an empire stronger like a powerful army, some things make it weaker like barbarian invasions. There are infinite positive and negative values that are fluctuating with the progress of time. After a few centuries the negatives outweigh the positives and the empire goes into decline. Once its declined enough it hits critical mass and collapses.
It was literally nothing but the product of chance. There was no "mistake" that caused it all to go wrong, it was more like a million micro-mistakes that would have been to much for anybody to understand.
The lack of a proper succession method made it hard for rulers to establish legitimacy, especially if the previous emperor did not name his successor. This ensured that civil war was frequent, especially with troop loyalties to their generals.
- Romes armies by the end were basically foreign mercenary tier that when werent paid decided to sack the city
-Christanity hated the fact that pagans existed, to them THEIR religion is the ONE TRUE religion and if you arent one of them you either are converted or you are killed. Pagans didnt give a fuck what religion you were as long as you didnt push it.
1. Abolition of gods 2. Abolition of rights 3. Absence of character 4. Absolutism 5. Agrarian question 6. Agrarian slavery 7. Anarchy 8. Anti-Germanism 9. Apathy 10. Aristocracy 11. Asceticism 12. Attack of the Germans 13. Attack of the Huns 14. Attack of riding nomads 15. Backwardness in science 16. Bankruptcy 17. Barbarization 18. Bastardization 19. Blockage of land by large landholders 20. Blood poisoning 21. Bolshevization 22. Bread and circuses 23. Bureaucracy 24. Byzantinism 25. Capillarite sociale 26. Capitals, change of 27. Caste system 28. Celibacy 29. Centralization 30. Childlessness 31. Christianity 32. Citizenship, granting of 33. Civil war 34. Climatic deterioration 35. Communism 36. Complacency 37. Concatenation of misfortunes 38. Conservatism 39. Capitalism 40. Corruption 41. Cosmopolitanism 42. Crisis of legitimacy 43. Culinary excess 44. Cultural neurosis 45. Decentralization 46. Decline of Nordic character 47. Decline of the cities 48. Decline of the Italian population 49. Deforestation 50. Degeneration 51. Degeneration of the intellect 52. Demoralization 53. Depletion of mineral resources 54. Despotism 55. Destruction of environment 56. Destruction of peasantry 57. Destruction of political process 58. Destruction of Roman influence 59. Devastation 60. Differences in wealth 61. Disarmament 62. Disillusion with stated goals of empire 63. Division of empire 64. Division of labor 65. Earthquakes 66. Egoism 67. Egoism of the state 68. Emancipation of slaves 69. Enervation 70. Epidemics 71. Equal rights, granting of 72. Eradication of the best 73. Escapism 74. Ethnic dissolution 75. Excessive aging of population 76. Excessive civilization 77. Excessive culture
>>13504 You raise an interesting point that leads me to a question
>even the landless poor can't be incentivized or coerced into the army
so this would mean that the state was unable to pay enough to maintain an army?
this would suggest to me that a large portion of the Roman economy slipped out of the government's hands, ie was black. I mean the money was obviously there to pay for those poor fuckers lives but not enough to get them to fight. Is there any literature on this topic?
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