Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rome's Fall

Rome's rise to her preeminent place of power, a place she kept long enough to impact the course of human history, was in no small part achieved by her almost invincible armies. The Legions, backed by auxiliaries proved an amazingly efficient military machine. These were fleshed out by citizens required to serve and by a very small, ruthless government (willing to plunder the wealth of nations to feed itself).

Later the administrative costs of the Empire grew to outrageous proportions, requiring 20 times the cost of the early Empire (though no appreciable increase in size). To save money the Romans debased their currency and cut the number of men in the Legions. Though on paper the Roman army was as great as it ever was, in reality it was half the size. This ruined the unit integrity and the entire tactical reason for the legions. Thus, in battle they began to fail and were forced to rely upon an ever greater number of mercenaries and barbarian Kings to defend their borders.

Eventually those Kings realized that the Romans were a shadow and thus an Empire fell.

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