"The bigger they are, the harder they fall"; this can be compared to the Roman Empire's existence. Rome was one of the oldest and greatest civilizations the world has ever seen, however, it gradually began to decline and was finally destroyed. This history essay will describe and account for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire in the west from AD 198 to AD 476. The essay will start by giving a brief history of Rome, and then list the primary reasons and account for the fall of Western Rome. Rome began as a monarchy, but after about seven kings ruled the city, the people took over. Rome began to conquer territories around its borders, and soon it became a vast area from the north of England across the North Sea, along the Rhine and Danube Rivers to the Caspian Sea, south to Egypt, along the coast of Africa to Spain until it became an empire. The Empire steadily grew powerful and reached its greatest might in the second century during the reign of Trajan; this was the time known as the Pax Romana. However, the Roman Empire eventually collapsed after a period of five centuries. The Fall of Rome has been debated all over the world by modern historians. The primary reasons for the fall of the empire are the division of the Roman Empire, rebellion and civil wars, economic problems, the rise of Christianity, and lastly, barbarian attacks.
The first reason was the division of the empire. In 235 A.D., Emperor Alexander Severus was assassinated by his trusted legion generals. This led to a period of invasions, civil strife, economic depression, and plague known as the Crisis of the Third Century. However, Emperor Diocletian rose to the throne in 284 A.D.; he reunited and reorganized the Empire temporarily. In 285 A.D. he set up some new policies to help govern the empire more effectively. Diocletian realized that Rome was too big to be controlled by just one emperor, so he divided the empire into two sections, the west and east.