The Fall of Ancient Rome to the 1600s

The Fall of Ancient Rome to the 1600s

Middle ages

The fall of Rome according to many historians is dated to be in 476 when the Germanic Odoacer overthrew the last of the roman emperor and ruled the western part of the Roman Empire. However, the fall of the Roman Empire started before this date, around 190 when the Roman Empire was attacked by other tribes such as the Goths. During this time, there were civil wars that arose, but still managed to be strong. In 284, Diocletian took the throne, when the empire had been affected by civil wars and plagues too. The economy had been wrecked since most of their agricultural activities had been affected. During this time, Rome was divided into classes of noble and the peasants who worked in their farms. Diocletian doubled the military defense but lacked good soldiers to recruit. He separated the empire into western and eastern, and bore more costs of setting up more military defense to cover all areas. In 455 it was attacked, and gain in 476, which was the last empire in the western side (Heather, 2006).

Renaissance age

During the middle of the fifteenth century, there was renaissance in Rome, where increased intellectual concerns and embracing of similar cultures were persistent, they brought a new dawn of humanism in Rome, and common ideologies were welcomed. During this time, the eastern side was flourishing economically, as well as cultural trends were changing. The western side was coming out of the middle ages, and they were able to recovering from the middle ages. It is during this time that more advancement in technology such as roads and urbanization were high since artists were called in to help in restoring Rome (Heather, 2006).. The renaissance movement was a group of humanists, who would be hired to teach models of Latin classical morality. The big picture in the renaissance was to seek knowledge and the best ways of living, promote education, where scholars were hired to write on matters concerning Rome such as the pope and the rule of the church that were governing at the time, and be at the service of the church. The scholars wrote their views of Christianity, some were controversial, and hence a conflict arose between those who defended the church and those who protested.

Reformation age

The Protestants sought to reform the church to its original true meaning before distortion of information by the scholars. The Romans did not agree to this, and violently resisted the reformation everywhere because they did not comply with the Rome’s teachings. This bore the protestant churches that we know today, catholic remaining as the first church, while the others came to protest against what was taught by the cardinals of Rome. During this time, printing was used to make more copies of bible that to spread the gospel to help in the reformation of the church. The Protestants were protesting against the corruption of roman church and unjust rules while at the same time spreading the true gospel according to the bible.

Formation and rise of the modern European states

            This was just before and after the reformation period where countries such as French fought for the reforms among others. During this time, power was hereditary and there were no established states or countries, except cities and towns were ruled by kings. During the reformation, conflicts arose, and the Protestants viewed all people as equal in God’s eyes and helped to lay a base for democracy from the revolutions of Dutch and the English. This was by late 1600, and people started realizing the interrelation of economics, administration and political welfare of the state. This was after the idea that kings should be responsible for their people, and this led them to start developing resources for their kingdoms. The kings further used the resources for public constructions, such as roads with the aim of increasing their tax, but at the same time benefited. In the start of the 1700s, the rule changed from monarch to ‘enlightened one where privileges of the kings were not regarded, but the principles they used. In the 18th century, not all people had privileges as the noble ones, and a rule of selecting people on merit was developed, that continues to govern today.

Comparing and contrasting

            The middle age was full of civil wars that were territorial, unlike today where nations compete for economic resources and markets for their goods. Renaissance can compare with modern trends of education, where everybody seeks education at one time and new means of living. In the current world, people always invent new methods of tackling life, which results to more technology advancement. Today, in the Christian world, there continue to be a difference of the roman church and the Protestants, and more denominations have come up, with more churches are formed everyday by people. However, the message of the roman church and Protestants is similar, the only difference is the means used in delivering the message. Comparing the middle age to renaissance it is clear that people were fighting for the truth, as opposed to the middle age. The three ages could have relevance in demonstrating evolvement of democracy in current states we live in.



Heather, P. J. (2006). The fall of the Roman Empire: a new history of Rome and the Barbarians. New York: Oxford University Press.

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