Lesson #29 - The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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We'll finish up our look at Rome today and tomorrow. Today's focus will be on the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.


No, you don't need to know this list, but you might find it interesting to scroll through this list of the "210 Reasons for the Decline of Rome." The list is the basis of a book written by Alexander Demandt, a German professor. (No, I don't know what some of them mean either...)

The Decline and Fall of Rome: We'll continue today by having you pair up with one partner (if you'd like), and spending 15 minutes working on a DBQ (document-based questions) activity on the fall of Rome. Whether you are finished or not at that time, we'll get back together to brainstorm our list of causes for the decline and fall of Rome.

You'll get assigned to one of four groups: economic causes, military causes, political causes or social causes. You need to pull together ideas from the reading and DBQ activity, as well as other things you know/ suspect. You can also consult this The Fall of the Roman Empire handout. 

We'll have you list your ideas on the whiteboard. I've also got a couple overheads to help us make sense of Rome's eventual fall in 476 CE.


Finally, we'll bring this up to today and talk about whether this has anything to do with the modern United States. Here's the "big question": Is the United States an "empire" in decline?

Let's consider some of the reasons established in the handout linked above. For each category, try to think of parallels/ differences between Rome and the United States of today.

  • Decline in Morals and Values
  • Public Health
  • Political Corruption
  • Unemployment
  • Inflation
  • Urban decay
  • Inferior Technology
  • Military Spending

If the United States and the Roman Empire are comparable, do you believe were are destined to suffer the same fate? Why or why not?

If time permits, we can examine some possible solutions to the problems you may have identified.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Friday, December 16th

You'll have your "Latin Phrases Still Used Today" quiz.

I'll ask you to read the very short "Ancient Roman Life" handout.

Don't forget about your "Fakebook" assignment that will be due on Monday, January 9th.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Vergin published on December 15, 2011 8:00 AM.

Lesson #28 - The Rise of Christianity was the previous entry in this blog.

Lesson #30 - The Legacy of Rome is the next entry in this blog.

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