Christianity: The Downfall of Roman Civilization

This study questions the extent to which Christianity undermined the authority of the Roman Empire.

This paper focuses on the rise of the Christian culture around 30 A.D, with some insight into the fall of Rome in 476. This assessment provides a proper background to determine the extent Christian culture impacted upon the empire. Other topics that provide insight into Christian influence include the repressive and intolerant policies of Roman leaders that attempted to quell the upcoming religion, the integration of the Christian religion through Constantine, and, finally, to ascertain if there was an incompatibility of the religion to be an integral aspect in daily Roman culture.
“Why did Rome fall? This question has been plaguing scholars for some time. When trying to sort out the complexities of such a vast empire, there can be no obvious single factor to attribute the decline of Rome. While scholars contend the fall of Rome to absolutist policies and the stern solidification of the Roman Empire, i.e. centralized state policies, there is a view on the opposite side of the spectrum, the late policies of autocratic Constantine led to the empire’s demise. Others believe that the empire expanded too quickly; weak leadership was also a factor in trying to explain the fall of the empire. Some scholars maintain that absolutist rulers could not contain the colossal grandeur of such a large state. Contemporary scholars like Edward Gibbon, who first posed the question of Rome’s demise in the 18th century, believe that the fall of the empire was due to outside influences of Barbarian invasions which worked side by side with the massive economic turmoil of the decaying empire (Tierney, 275.) While these examples provide major insight into the loss of the empire, could it not be a combination of all these factors mixed into one explosive powder keg that exploded onto the downfall that is Roman civilization?”