=nations =history =explanation
Why did the Roman Empire collapse?
I've sometimes heard people say that Christianity caused the fall of the Roman Empire: if only Christianity hadn't come around and interrupted the continuous progress of humanity, we'd be colonizing other planets by now.
Why is that?
During the Renaissance, many influential thinkers felt that the Christian church was restricting their ability to discover new knowledge. There was also widespread admiration for Ancient Rome, and some people wanted to be more like them.
This book was quite influential, and basically blamed Christianity for the decline of the Roman Empire. It didn't have any actual evidence for that, just associating Roman moral decline with the spread of Christianity.
It really doesn't make sense to blame Christianity for problems in Ancient Rome or losing its advances. In fact, Christian monks preserved and copied Roman texts, and studied Latin. Also, Christianity developed in Ancient Rome, and thus largely had Roman culture as a basis.
OK, so why did the Roman Empire collapse?
Mongols developed more advanced cavalry tactics, combining heavy armored cavalry with light horse archers.
The Huns pushed Germanic tribes into the Roman Empire.
But this wasn't exactly an invasion. The Goth refugees rebelled when exploited by corrupt Roman officials, and then it became a war, while refugees continued coming in.
Now we're approaching the answer. Rome at its peak could have easily defeated that rebellion, but its military had grown weak for the same reason that rebellion happened in the first place: government corruption.
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