Decline of the Roman Empire, Historiography

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    Election 1: Ended 20:19, Aug 16, 15
    Version ID# 1360 by 198.51.100.18

    Summary

    The causes and mechanisms of the decline of the Roman Empire are a historical theme that was introduced by historian Edward Gibbon, in his widely read 1776 work The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He started an ongoing historiographical discussion about what caused the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, and the reduced power of the remaining Eastern Empire, in the 4th–5th centuries. Gibbon was not the first to speculate on why the Empire collapsed, but he was the first to give a well-researched and well-referenced account. Many theories of causality have been explored. In 1984, Alexander Demandt enumerated 210 different theories on why Rome fell, and new theories have emerged since then. Gibbon himself explored ideas of internal decline (

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