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Re: Plague and the Migration Age

Poster: keith.finn@erols.com

To answer your ?, m'lord, Constantinople fell to the Turks and their
Hungarian-manned artillery in 1453, although Trebizond, the last remnant
of the empire, held out until 1461 (thus the Roman Empire survived the
fall of Rome by a thousand years).


EoganOg@aol.com wrote:
> Poster: EoganOg@aol.com
> In a message dated 12/10/98 4:27:13 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> t_neill@hotmail.com writes:
> > Isn't that the time of the fall of the Roman Empire and the Migration
> >  Age in Europe?  Someone was asking me about what caused the fall of the
> >  Roman Empire and I thought it was a combination of internal corruption,
> >  wasted spending and pressure from the Vandals, Visigoths, etc.  The fact
> >  of widespread disease did not occur to me.
> >
> >  WAS this one of the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire?  And did the
> >  decimation (no, that's too mild a word) the ... quadmation ?? of the
> >  population leave a large population vaccume for the Migrators of the
> >  Migration Age to Migrate into?
> You are correct that there were many factors leading to the Fall of the Roman
> Empire, and yes, the plague was one of those factors.  Different people will
> tell you different times for the Fall of the Roman Empire, which is silly,
> because it took place very gradually.  Most history courses on the Romans end
> when the Empire became officiallt Xian.  But here is a time line:
> 160s AD -- the plague hit Rome.  A legion had gone out to reconquer
> Mesopotamia (they did this every now and then for fun), and happened to pick
> up an unexpected plauge, which they brought back to Rome with them. It spread
> like wildfire thoughout the legions.  No one can truly estimate the total
> figured that died, but we know for sure that the legions were almost
> decimated.  This greatly weakened the army and for the first time in its
> history, Rome began to have border conflicts that it just wasn't prepared for
> (i.e Germans).
> 235-285 AD-- this is the period called the Anarchy.  Basically it is 50 years
> when you have a bunch of folks trying to be Emporer, none of them succeeding
> too well, etc.  Too much politics to get into here, and besides, my cereal is
> getting soggy ;-)
> 280AD--this is when Diocletian took control and "restored the world" as he so
> humbly described it.  Constantine was his successor.  These two are considered
> the last two great emperors.  Constantine was the one who made the empire
> officially Xian, which is unusual because atthat time Xianity was simply one
> of 4 prominant mystery religions, and he one with the least followers, for
> that matter.  He moved the capital from Rome (which he viewed as a pagan city)
> to Constantinople, a new Xian city.  Many people veiw this as the beginnings
> of the Middle Ages.  These two emperors did a lot to restore the government,
> but not the economy.  They put in place a "status freeze" which meant everyone
> was to remain in their own status as they were.  This was the beginnings of
> serfdom, for it tied farmers to their land.
> 400-500AD  Rome lost the entire western half of the Empire.  We call what is
> remaining the Byzantine Empire to distinguish it from the Roman Empire,
> however at the time, they still called it the Roman Empire, even though it no
> longer contained the city of Rome.
> 600s AD-- the Arabs came and took half of that, including Egypt and the Middle
> East.  By 650 all the Roman Emprie consisted of was the Balkans, Greece, and
> Turkey.
> 700s AD-- the Slavs migrated down from the north and took another half of what
> was left.  The Roman Empire was now Turkey.
> Now, later on the Turks would migrate in and take about 90% of that, making
> the Roman empire essentially the City of Constantinople.  Note that they still
> called this city "The Roman Empire."  Technichally this continued to exist
> until 1485?  I'm not sure on this date.  Someone mor up on Byzantine History
> please correct me.  We are getting out of my familiar realm here.
> But the big point was, yes disease was a big part of the process, wiping out
> the majority of the legions, enabling the tribes along the borders to break in
> and cause havok.  See what a little plague can do?
> Aye,
> Eogan Og
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