Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Fall of Rome: Economic Causes
The collapse of Rome was due to many varied reasons. It is important to remember that the collapse was not quick but rather was gradual at first and slowly gained speed as the years and centuries passed. There are so many causes that few historians agree as to which were the most important. These are some of the major economic reasons for the Fall of the Roman Empire.
-Inflation caused by constant devaluation of coins and rapidly rising prices.
(price of a peck of wheat: 150 C.E.-½ denarii, 200 C.E.-100 denarii, 350 C.E.-10,000 denarii)
-Heavy taxation to pay for the military and public infrastructure.
-Lack of gold & silver specie.
-Negative balance of trade, especially for animals, slaves, silk & spices.
-Huge public welfare expenses (bread & circuses).