The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire Analysis

1412 Words 6 Pages
Throughout history the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has been widely analyzed and researched. For generations, historians have sought out the great flaw that led to the collapse of this once monumental civilization. One primary contributor to this effort was Edward Gibbon whose six volume discourse The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was pivotal in societies attempt to understand this great tragedy. Gibbon’s arguments on the flawed power system in the empire caused by unprecedented virtues, as well as their mistaken identity in the dispute between scepticism and superstition/enthusiasm is an exceptional classification of Roman corruption. Historian and Professor J.G.A Pocock created an article to erupt Gibbons …show more content…
The Roman Empire’s ultimate quest for republic virtue as well as an opportunity for power in the high class was battling forces. These forces ultimately inspired a system that proved to be vulnerable to corruption especially when put against a set of uniform savages. One aspect in how Pocock expanded on Gibbons argument on despotism as a factor of the Decline and Fall is how he clearly outlines Gibbons lack of assurance behind the argument of commerce and luxury being a major factor of the decline. Pocock clearly confesses his perspective of Gibbons argument that the Decline and Fall had much more to do with the expansion of the empire and armies than the effects of luxury. He proclaims that virtue was much more dependent on military and agriculture. Pocock states “Despotism, not luxury, which corroded the ability of an ancient society to defend itself” (Pocock 298) in his attempt to move away from luxury as a key component of the decline. Another main argument of Gibbon that Pocock applies to this essay is how man’s attempt for virtue is destroyed by power in excess. The Roman Empire’s attempt to provide the republic with virtue and freedom was ultimately the ironic demise of Roman virtue. Parallel to the problems of Capitalism, dictated by Adam Smith, the opportunity for success, provided by virtue, led the high class to strive for power and leadership. This act created an obsession for power, mainly in the high class, which led the empire to corruption and decay. Finally, Pocock outlines Gibbons opinion that the German and Gothic forces were embedded with primitive virtue that in turn led them to be pre-agricultural savages fuelled only by war. However, this very fact created a unity between them that was unstoppable compared to the dysfunctionality between the roman republic and empire. additionlly, the law abiding superstition embedded in the

Related Documents