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a Sept 18

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Alicia Mc Kenzie

One Empire Two Fates? The Fall of the Western Empire and the Survival of the East How did the eastern part differ from the western part? Where did the division originate? Why did the eastern empire survive when the western did not? Developmental differences between east and west Land tenure (east small land holders, west large land holders “hyper rich”) Difference in peasant status (more class mobility in east) West peasants bound to land East peasant had land leases, could leave for better land Wage labour, so you have options (save money) Land-bound peasants can’t save money Lived in villages, healthier society Military threat difference East less imperiled militarily, but they have Constantinople and its walls *** Rome not defensible Constantinople surrounded by water and great walls Defends choke point Have chain that defends city from ships Persians on the eastern front More powerful But more predictable Eastern versus western politics Competent Emperor Two Empires from one Tetrarchy Split boundaries Later roman authors think the split was permanent Thought it was okay to split if you had concrete boundaries Constantine Hybrid succession system Tertrachy + dynastic succession One brother is killed, so east-west division Valentinian and Valens (364) Administration division between East and West Theodosius’s division (395) Had two sons, east-west still One was child (in this system not good to be child-emperor in this system) Fall of the Western Empire (slow process) Agradual decline, not a fall Impact of the civil wars Fighting in Italy Need troops (taken from frontier forces) Reliance on Foederati once more, more Germanic peoples needed Withdrawal of field armies Pulling mobile + elite troops back This is a practical decision (Rome too big) th Generals and puppet emperors 4 century -476 Not Roman (thought that a non-Roman should not be Roman emperor) Taken down once they misstep Romulus Augustulus and Odovacer (476) Other explanations Lead pipes In cities used lead pipes so the generations got stupid Not believable Barbarians Men and money sucked out of the west into the east to deal with constant assault of Persia Death of Civic spirit Christinaity caused end of Rome
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