Did the Roman Army contribute to the fall of Ancient Rome?

Expert Answers
pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Roman Army did contribute to the fall of Ancient Rome.

There were many contributing factors that led to the fall of Ancient Rome.  The Roman Army played a role in weakening the Empire.

The Roman Army widely known for its ability to conquer new territory, in the 3rd century they were forced to return to Italy to fight a civil war. This made it possible for the Germans, long desiring to invade, a chance to penetrate an open border on the Rhine-Danube.  Once they got in, the army could not get them out.

Other invaders also flooded into Roman territories, the Army could not keep up with the onslaught. Once the Army was engaged in this way, other territories were left unprotected.  Invaders of all sorts ransacked territories formerly part of the Roman Empire.

According to one noted historian, the Roman Army's inability to conquer new territories and gain new riches for the Empire, along with their failure to protect the already conquered territories, did contribute to the fall of Ancient Rome.

"The Roman army was huge −− and costly −− but spread thin. When raiding Huns drove Germanic tribes across the Rhine and the Danube in the 4th and 5th Centuries, the Romans could not field a big enough army to defeat them. The invaders gained control of wide swaths of Roman territory, stripping the gov't of tax revenues."