The grand finale of the Roman Empire is finally here! For this exiting last episode on this topic, Barbute and Lauritz goes through the following topics in somewhat jumbled order:
1. Wrap up of “good emperors” and commodus (preprepared)
2. Year of 5 emperors, crisis of the imperial office, crisis of empire
3. Severan dynasty, military dictatorship
4. Caracalla and fucking with the denarii
5. Overall decline, changes in peopulation, economy, military, 235–284 AD
6. Diocletian and imperial reforms, tetrarchy
7. Constantine the great, early church
8. Religious bait
9. Recovery/resurgance of the 4th century
10. Goths across the danube, Adrianople
11. Alaric, sack of rome, western empire crumbling
12. Romulus Augustulus
RSS Feed: feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundclo…553/sounds.rss
Peter Heather makes a very compelling case for the reason for Romes fall was that contact with the empire had utterly transformed the barbarians. The Marcomanni or Visigoths or Vandals or Franks or Allemanni that the romans faced in the 4th and 5th centuaries were totally different beasts than the Cherusci of Herman in 9ad. In the 4th centuary the same tribe under the same leader could come back again and again. Under the same leader. Something that Hermans loose federation of 9ad could not do, one defeat and it was scattered. The kings of the 4th centuary had professional soldiers, their hird, that let them maintain power.
The demographics of the tribes were also different, roman agricultural technology and other changes had leaked into Barbaricum and the barbarians were much more populous and densely populated in the 4th centuary.
The militarization of the tribes were an effect of struggling for having a spot on the border with the romans. A roman legion on the limes was dependent on trade with the barbarians to get fed and supplied. The romans also payed subsidies to tribes on the border. And slavetrade and furtrade and plundering raids made controlling a spot on the border even more lucurative. Resulting in constant wars among the barbarians to control a border spot. And regular wars against the romans.
Regular service in the roman armies had also given the 4th and 5th centuary barbarians intimate knowledge of the roman military.
Diocletian fielded much larger armies than Augustus. But the northern threat they faced was many times stronger than in Augustus era. Anyway, Heather makes a compelling case. I recommend reading him for those that want another take on the roman empire. And a reevaluation of the postwar consensus on the migrations of the migrationera.