In this article I discuss the key historical factors contributing to the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and what lessons we can learn from this pivotal historical event.
The fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century is one of the pivotal events of world history. For over seven centuries the Romans had dominated the Mediterranean, spreading Graeco-Roman civilization throughout much of Western and Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Near East. Much has been written in the succeeding centuries attempting to account for the collapse of such a powerful and long-lived empire. In this essay I want to consider this question from the perspective of what lessons might be pertinent from this period in informing our responses to political and social problems in the present. While I believe the past is a valuable source of wisdom for the present, care must be taken in…
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