The collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD has been referred to as the “Fall of Rome.” However, historians have different opinions about the exact date and causes of this event. While some believe that the Roman Empire lasted until it fell in the East centuries later, others regard Aug. 24, 410 or Sept. 4, 476 as the decisive dates for the fall of Rome. Glittering Gemstones Discovered in Drain of Roman Bathhouse in England
At its peak around 100 AD, the Roman Empire spanned from modern Britain and France to Egypt, Israel and Jordan, and from Morocco and Spain to Romania, Armenia, and Iraq. The Western and Eastern Roman Empires were later formed when emperors divided the empire into more manageable pieces.
On Aug. 24, 410, the city of Rome was sacked by an army of Visigoths, marking the first time in 800 years since it was overrun by Gauls during the Roman Republic. The Visigoths were Christians and allowed people to take refuge in churches during the siege. This event was considered a significant cultural shock but had limited practical impact. Complete Roman Era Residential City Discovered in Luxor, Egypt
The formal end of the Western Roman Empire is said to have taken place decades later on Sept. 4, 476, when the first barbarian king of Italy, Odoacer, forced the young emperor Romulus Augustulus to abdicate. Odoacer, who was a Roman general of Germanic descent, sent the imperial vestments of the West back to Constantinople and declared that there was no longer any need for an emperor in the West.
By the 5th century AD, the focus of the empire had shifted to Constantinople, now Istanbul, which was rebuilt by Emperor Constantine the Great in 330 AD. Some historians believe that the Eastern Roman Empire is still the Roman Empire and saw its decline in the Arab invasions from 632 until 661.
In conclusion, the “Fall of Rome” is a complex event that historians continue to debate and study. Whether it’s marked by the sack of Rome in 410 or the abdication of Romulus Augustulus in 476, the end of the Western Roman Empire was a significant turning point in history.