Did Christianity Cause The Fall Of Rome?

By Antonia Čirjak on May 26 2020 in Answer

The answer to what caused the fall of the Roman Empire is extremely complex and can’t be boiled down to just one thing.
  • The first Christian Roman emperor was Constantine, and he stopped the persecution of Christians in Rome.
  • There were many reasons that combined and attributed to the fall of the Roman Empire, and Christianity is just one of them.
  • In 286 AD, Emperor Diocletian split the Roman Empire into two parts.

The answer to what caused the fall of the Roman Empire is extremely complex and can’t be boiled down to just one thing. So to answer the question quickly, no, fall of Rome can’t be attributed just to Christianity. However, some believed it did play a role in it. The fall of the Roman Empire was a long process; it took several hundred years to be exact. This is why it is wrong to place blame on just one thing. The rise of Christianity had a role, and it was not insignificant. Traditional Roman beliefs were becoming obsolete with the widespread acceptance of Christianity, and this caused conflicts between Christians and people that still held onto their pagan beliefs. 

The Reasons Behind The Fall

Once these conflicts started to become more common, it led to the persecution of Christians. It wasn’t until the first Christian Emperor of Rome appeared that the persecution stopped. This Emperor was Constantine. Besides Christianity, many historians believe that multiple other reasons caused the fall of the Empire. There were several internal reasons. These included political corruption, economic problems, and selfish leaders. These leaders were more concerned with their personal gain than the wellbeing of the common folk.

There were several external causes, as well. Some of these included various plagues and diseases that attacked the people and decreased the population. Several war defeats might have helped make the fall happen quicker. The Roman Empire was defeated by the Germans, Huns, and other barbarian tribes. The Roman military was permanently weakened because of this, and their territory was decreased tremendously.

The Split Of The Empire

The Empire was showing serious signs of crumble by the year 286 AD. This was when Emperor Diocletian split the Empire into two parts. These were the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire. Eventually, the Eastern Empire became the Byzantine Empire, and the Western Empire continued to decline. By the year 476 AD, the Western Roman Empire was no more, and it became nonexistent. Barbarian tribes destroyed its remains, and this caused the Roman rule over Europe to diminish. The last emperor of the Western Roman Empire was Romulus Augustus.

Hopefully, this answers the question from the title of this article. It is not easy to pinpoint what exactly caused a decline of an entire empire, especially one so large as the Roman Empire. However, Christianity obviously played a role. How big of a role that was exactly is left to be determined, but it left its mark, that much is sure. At the least, it managed to hasten the fall. It was the reason for much political unrest that was happening all over the Empire, so it comes as no surprise that many people believe it to be the one sole reason for the fall. We named several other factors, such as assaults from other barbaric tribes, government corruption, overexpansion, and economic troubles, and all of these, combined with many more all attributed to the fall of one of the biggest empires in the history of humankind.

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