One of the great questions of Western history, if not the great question, is "Why did Rome fall?" Reasonable answers to this most perplexing of history's puzzles—and there have been hundreds of answers advanced—begin with understanding the complex nature of late Rome and the barbarian invasions in which the Roman Empire ultimately drowned. Still, the failure of great minds like Edward Gibbon to win over a majority of historians to the view he espoused in his monumental work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, suggests we should seek perhaps another path and examine the terms we're using to express the problem, especially what we mean when we speak about "Rome falling." Indeed, close study calls the very question into question. "Why did Rome fall?" may be a line of inquiry that has no clear resolution because the question itself is fundamentally flawed. It might be better to ask, "Did Rome fall?"
Attribution to Mark L. Damen
Professor of History and Classics
Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-0710
The focus of this channel is history plain and simple and all of the facts and theories that come with it.