|Death of Marcus Aurelius
|The death of the last of the “Five Good Emperors” marked a shift from a period of relative peace and stability to a time of military anarchy and economic instability.
|Start of the Crisis of the Third Century
|This 50-year period saw the empire split into three competing states, frequent changes of emperors, and ongoing invasions by Germanic tribes.
|Reign of Diocletian
|Diocletian tried to restore stability by dividing the empire into a tetrarchy of four rulers. While initially successful, his reforms laid the groundwork for further division.
|Diocletian’s resignation led to a civil war over succession, distracting the rulers from external threats and further destabilizing the empire.
|Conversion of Constantine
|As the first Christian emperor, Constantine’s conversion led to Christianity’s spread throughout the empire. While this had positive aspects, it also led to divisions and conflicts.
|Founding of Constantinople
|The shift of the capital to the East and the subsequent focus on this region kicked off the slow decline of the Western Roman Empire.
|Crossing of the Danube by the Visigoths
|This marked the beginning of large-scale migrations and invasions into the Western Roman Empire from various Germanic tribes.
|Sack of Rome by the Visigoths
|This shocking event showed that Rome was no longer invincible, weakening morale and undermining trust in the empire’s ability to protect its citizens.
|Second Sack of Rome, this time by the Vandals
|This event further destroyed the sense of security and stability within the empire.
|Deposition of Romulus Augustulus
|Proclaimed the last Roman Emperor in the West, his deposition by Odoacer, a Germanic king, is traditionally considered the end of the Western Roman Empire.