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Home The Light Articles from 2004 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon (1788), sets forth five basic reasons why that great nation withered and died. He lists:

1. The rapid increase of divorce, with the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.

2. Higher and higher taxes; the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.

3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming more exciting, more brutal, every year.

4. The building of great armaments when the real enemy was within, in the decadence of the people.

5. The decay of religion; faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life, becoming impotent to guide the people.



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