The Roman Empire was plagued by tyrannous rulers, whose actions did not favor the people. However as Gibbon states, "to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly" (73). This empire, as massive and supposedly great it was, had the word "fall" written all over it because its entirety was based upon deception and fear. And even though the Roman Empire lasted so long, there were times when its longevity was questioned; unfortunately those questions were never answered. Instead, they became problems which eventually lead to its great "fall.".
The tyrannous rulers are not all to blame for the fall of the Roman Empire. The Roman senate and people were also at fault for willing to subject to unjust situations, such as slavery. They were promised that they would still have their "ancient freedom," but how can one actually be a slave and be free? When they finally did rebel, their aim was completely off. They acted because of "self-preservation, not a principle of liberty, that animated the conspirators against Caligula, Nero, and Domitian. They attacked the person of the tyrant, without aiming their blow at the authority of the emperor himself, but his power" (64). Authority in this case, does not actually mean the emperor himself, but his power. Gibbon makes a good point because successors would inevitably follow the policies of the prior ruler, and the attack would have meant nothing. .
More bad luck was to be found in the Roman Empire. Gibbon, then writes of the consuls" substantial, however "ineffectual attempt to reassume its long-forgotten rights" (64). The throne was, at that point, empty of a ruler, and together, the senate worked to obtain liberty. It was, sadly, too little, too late. The Praetorian Guards had resolved and an heir to the throne was found. "The dream of liberty was at an end; and the senate awoke to all the horrors of inevitable servitude. Deserted by the people, and threatened by a military force, that feeble assembly was compelled to ratify the choice of the Praetorians" (64).