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How did the traditional method of imperial succession become a problem for the Roman Empire? How did this problem lead to the decline of the Roman Empire?
The great empire of Rome expanded over centuries increasing its territory, population, wealth, and trade partners. But despite this apparent good fortune that Rome experienced in the early stages of its empire, it began to suffer in later years. The more an empire would expand the harder it was to govern the empire and maintain order. As Rome expanded outward Roman legions began to work with Germanic mercenaries whose first allegiance was to money and second was to their commanders. While they worked with Rome, most had never seen Italy and as a result had little ties to Rome. These groups started to fight against Rome. Attacks from Barbadians like these began to test Roman power. Rome could not seem to conquer them. The Empire had expanded to the point where these barbarian groups were inside of the territories that Rome owned.
As an attempt to better govern Rome, Augustus Diocletian (emperor) spit the empire into 4 sections. One governed by himself, one by another Augustus and the other two by Caesars. This was supposed to help distribute military control and establish a succession for the future. This plan failed resulting in multiple emperors and more confusion. Constantine reunited the empire under himself and Diocletian. Constantine also established a new capital of the empire in Byzantine called Constantinople. This eventually led to dipartites among the two regions separating Rome into the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Byzantine Empire. The regions began to separate in more ways than just rulers. Christianity also began to spit. Rome had the pope who was Gods chosen elect on earth who represented Gods will while the Byzantine emperor elected a patriarch over the new Eastern Orthodox Church.
The west remained under attack from barbarians such as the vandals, Visigoths, and Huns. The empire continued to fail financially and could not maintain the empire. This plus the religious divide between the church and the emperor continued to rip Rome apart.