Unit 1: Redefining World Society and Culture
Lesson C: Rise and Fall of the Classical and Medieval World
Activity 8: The Mighty Will Fall
|Empire||Location||Date Marking the "Rise" of the Empire||Date Marking the "Fall" of the Empire||Years in Existence|
|Mauryan Empire||India/South Asia||322 BCE||185 BCE||137 years|
|Han Empire||China/East Asia||206 BCE||220 CE||426 years|
|Roman Empire||Europe/North Africa/Southwest Asia||27 BCE||476 CE||503 years|
|Mayan Empire||Central America||250 CE||900 CE||650 years|
|Gupta Empire||India/South Asia||320 CE||600 CE||280 years|
|Byzantine Empire||South & Southeast Europe/North Africa/Southwest Asia||330 CE||1453 CE||1123 years|
|Tang Empire||China/East Asia||618 CE||907 CE||289 years|
|Song Empire||China/East Asia||960 CE||1279 CE||319 years|
|Mongol Empire||South, Central, Southeast, East Asia/East Europe||1206 CE||1368 CE||162 years|
|Mali Empire||West Africa||1230 CE||1600 CE||370 years|
|Songhai Empire||West Africa||1340 CE||1591 CE||251 years|
|Aztec Empire||Mexico/Southern North America||1428 CE||1519 CE||91 years|
|Incan Empire||Peru & Chile/South America||1438 CE||1533 CE||95 years|
As you examine the chart above you should notice that all empires eventually fall. Seldom is there an exact day and time when an empire "dies", rather it normally happens over many years or decades. Historians often look at empires and hypothesize about all the different factors that led to their decline.
In the activity, you will read different historians' accounts of the fall of the Roman Empire. Afterward, you will answer these questions in your notebook.
Written Activity - Notebook
In your notebook, respond to the following questions:
- What does each historian point to as the cause(s) of the fall of Rome?
- Why might each historian have drawn a different conclusion?
Classroom Activity - Fall of Empires
Directions: Now that you have had a chance to examine possible reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire, choose one of the other empires from the Chart of Empires and conduct research to find secondary sources that suggest reasons for the fall of that empire. Once you have done your research, share with your classmates different reasons for the fall of empires. As a class, compare and contrast the reasons that you researched with the reasons given for the fall of the Roman Empire.