Bounty Ended with 200 reputation awarded by 0range
7 added text, added sources
source | link

Recordings of Roman disasters by 4th and 5th century writers such as the anonymous author of Epitome de Caesaribus (previously attributed to Aurelius Victor) and Zosimus in Historia Nova seem to be expressed with feelings of despair, yet are followed by passages which relate that, within a few years, almost all was well again. An example of this can be found in sections on the Battle of Mursa Major in 351 AD when Constantius II defeated the usurper Magnentius, but with enormous casualities on both sides. Zosimus writes:

Constantius, considering that as this was a civil war victory itself would be scarcely an advantage to him, now the Romans being so much weakened, as to be totally unable to resist the barbarians who attacked them on every side

while the Epitome de Caesaribus relates:

In this battle, hardly anywhere was Roman might more fully consumed and the fortune of the whole empire dashed.

Yet the latter source soon after says "the frontier of Roman property was restored" while Zosimus, on the Battle of Argentoratum in 357 AD writes that

engaging with the enemy gained such a victory as exceeds all description. It is said that sixty thousand men were killed on the spot, besides as many more that were driven into the river and drowned. In a word, if this victory be compared to that of Alexander over Darius, it will be found in no respects inferior to it.

Even the poet Paulinus of Pella (died 461 or later), after the loss of his property in Gaul to duplictous Visigoths and Romans, retained an optimistic outlook in his Eucharisticus. True, he had wanted to leave Gaul for Greece, but this was due to his personal situation and he makes no comment on the future of Rome.

Even the poet Paulinus of Pella (died 461 or later), after the loss of his property in Gaul to duplictous Visigoths and Romans, retained an optimistic outlook in his Eucharisticus. True, he had wanted to leave Gaul for Greece, but this was due to his personal situation and he makes no comment on the future of Rome.

Recordings of Roman disasters by 4th and 5th century writers such as the anonymous author of Epitome de Caesaribus (previously attributed to Aurelius Victor) and Zosimus in Historia Nova seem to be expressed with feelings of despair, yet are followed by passages which relate that, within a few years, almost all was well again. An example of this can be found in sections on the Battle of Mursa Major in 351 AD when Constantius II defeated the usurper Magnentius, but with enormous casualities on both sides. Zosimus writes:

Constantius, considering that as this was a civil war victory itself would be scarcely an advantage to him, now the Romans being so much weakened, as to be totally unable to resist the barbarians who attacked them on every side

while the Epitome de Caesaribus relates:

In this battle, hardly anywhere was Roman might more fully consumed and the fortune of the whole empire dashed.

Yet the latter source soon after says "the frontier of Roman property was restored" while Zosimus, on the Battle of Argentoratum in 357 AD writes that

engaging with the enemy gained such a victory as exceeds all description. It is said that sixty thousand men were killed on the spot, besides as many more that were driven into the river and drowned. In a word, if this victory be compared to that of Alexander over Darius, it will be found in no respects inferior to it.

Even the poet Paulinus of Pella (died 461 or later), after the loss of his property in Gaul to duplictous Visigoths and Romans, retained an optimistic outlook in his Eucharisticus. True, he had wanted to leave Gaul for Greece, but this was due to his personal situation and he makes no comment on the future of Rome.

6 added text, added sources
source | link

The literary evidence for Romans anticipating the fall of Rome would seem to be very limited and, at most, indirect. There are, though, references to potential future threats to the empire, but also - among Christian writers - the belief that Rome's future was in God's hands.

The contemporary accounts we have tended to focus on the past and / or the times in which the writer lived. This meant not infrequent references to 'better times' in the past and the reasons why Rome had declined up to the time they were writing their accounts. This recognition of decline, though, did not necessarily mean they felt it was inevitable that it would continue. Writers were aware, after all, that Rome had faced many challenges before and survived.

Not all writers acknowledged that there had been a decline, though, while others observed a decline in some respects but not in others.

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, writing in the late 4th or early 5th century AD, very clearly recognizes a decline in the Roman military in De re militari but his work is a plea for reform, not an acceptance that the empire's decline is irreversible.

Christian writers, unsurprisingly, look at Rome from a divine perspective and do not necessarily perceive a decline. Rufinus (344/345 to 411), for example,

Carefully selected and framed his topics to demonstrate his belief that history provides evidence of the working of God in time, and that history has a progressive, if fitful, movement toward the fulfillment of a divine plan.

Source: David Rohrbacher, 'The Historians of Late Antiquity'

Sozomen (died about 450 AD) adopts a similar interpretation to Rufinus, that

imperial stability depends solely upon the emperor’s continuing devotion to God.

Source: Rohrbacher

Orosius (died after 418 AD) saw Rome as "divinely inspired" and wrote that

I discovered that past times were not only equally as grave as those of today, but that they were even more terrible in accordance with how much more distant they were from the assistance of the true religion.

Cited in: Rohrbacher

Far from anticipating the fall of Rome,

Orosius and Olympiodorus, different in so many ways, both envisioned a more peaceful future with Gothic forces allied with yet subservient to Roman power.

Source: Rohrbacher


The literary evidence for Romans anticipating the fall of Rome would seem to be very limited and, at most, indirect. There are, though, references to potential future threats to the empire.

The contemporary accounts we have tended to focus on the past and / or the times in which the writer lived. This meant not infrequent references to 'better times' in the past and the reasons why Rome had declined up to the time they were writing their accounts. This recognition of decline, though, did not necessarily mean they felt it was inevitable that it would continue. Writers were aware, after all, that Rome had faced many challenges before and survived.

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, writing in the late 4th or early 5th century AD, very clearly recognizes a decline in the Roman military in De re militari but his work is a plea for reform, not an acceptance that the empire's decline is irreversible.

The literary evidence for Romans anticipating the fall of Rome would seem to be very limited and, at most, indirect. There are, though, references to potential future threats to the empire, but also - among Christian writers - the belief that Rome's future was in God's hands.

The contemporary accounts we have tended to focus on the past and / or the times in which the writer lived. This meant not infrequent references to 'better times' in the past and the reasons why Rome had declined up to the time they were writing their accounts. This recognition of decline, though, did not necessarily mean they felt it was inevitable that it would continue. Writers were aware, after all, that Rome had faced many challenges before and survived.

Not all writers acknowledged that there had been a decline, though, while others observed a decline in some respects but not in others.

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, writing in the late 4th or early 5th century AD, very clearly recognizes a decline in the Roman military in De re militari but his work is a plea for reform, not an acceptance that the empire's decline is irreversible.

Christian writers, unsurprisingly, look at Rome from a divine perspective and do not necessarily perceive a decline. Rufinus (344/345 to 411), for example,

Carefully selected and framed his topics to demonstrate his belief that history provides evidence of the working of God in time, and that history has a progressive, if fitful, movement toward the fulfillment of a divine plan.

Source: David Rohrbacher, 'The Historians of Late Antiquity'

Sozomen (died about 450 AD) adopts a similar interpretation to Rufinus, that

imperial stability depends solely upon the emperor’s continuing devotion to God.

Source: Rohrbacher

Orosius (died after 418 AD) saw Rome as "divinely inspired" and wrote that

I discovered that past times were not only equally as grave as those of today, but that they were even more terrible in accordance with how much more distant they were from the assistance of the true religion.

Cited in: Rohrbacher

Far from anticipating the fall of Rome,

Orosius and Olympiodorus, different in so many ways, both envisioned a more peaceful future with Gothic forces allied with yet subservient to Roman power.

Source: Rohrbacher


5 added text, added sources
source | link

The literary evidence for Romans anticipating the fall of Rome would seem to be very limited and, at bestmost, indirect. There are, though, references to potential future threats to the empire.

The contemporary accounts we have tended to focus on the past and / or the times in which the writer lived. This meant not infrequent references to 'better times' in the past and the reasons why Rome had declined up to the time they were writing their accounts. This recognition of decline, though, did not necessarily mean they felt it was inevitable that it would continue. Writers were aware, after all, that Rome had faced many challenges before and survived.

 

The aforementioned Sidonius ApollinarisSidonius Apollinaris (died 489 AD) was a poet, diplomat and bishop who, despite being,

One writer who perhaps alludes to troubled times ahead for the empire is Ammianus MarcellinusAmmianus Marcellinus (died 391 AD or later), a soldier and historian who wrote about the period 353 to 378 AD. On the one hand, he asserts that:

Ammianus' reference in the first citation of Rome overcoming reverses in the past is echoed by the 5th century AD poet Rutilius Claudius NamatianusRutilius Claudius Namatianus. For example, Rutilius writes:

Even the poet Paulinus of PellaPaulinus of Pella (died 461 or later), after the loss of his property in Gaul to duplictous Visigoths and Romans, retained an optimistic outlook in his Eucharisticus. True, he had wanted to leave Gaul for Greece, but this was fordue to his personal reasonssituation and he makes no comment on the future of Rome.

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, writing in the late 4th or early 5th century AD, very clearly recognizes a decline in the Roman military in De re militari but his work is a plea for reform, not an acceptance that the empire's decline is irreversible.

In earlier times, some emperors were concerned about the fortunes of the empire under their successors (for example, Marcus Aurelius on his successor Commodus), but this did not lead them to anticipate the fall of the empire. Nor did TacitusTacitus (died about 120 AD), although he did forsee Germany

and was generally critical of the principate, observing that

Going back even further, PolybiusPolybius (died about 125 BC) made some general statements to the effect that all nations decay (see here and here), but this was - of course - long before the empire even came into existence.

The literary evidence for Romans anticipating the fall of Rome would seem to be very limited and, at best, indirect. There are, though, references to potential future threats to the empire.

The contemporary accounts we have tended to focus on the past and / or the times in which the writer lived. This meant not infrequent references to 'better times' in the past and the reasons why Rome had declined up to the time they were writing their accounts.

The aforementioned Sidonius Apollinaris (died 489 AD) was a poet, diplomat and bishop who, despite being,

One writer who perhaps alludes to troubled times ahead for the empire is Ammianus Marcellinus (died 391 AD or later), a soldier and historian who wrote about the period 353 to 378 AD. On the one hand, he asserts that:

Ammianus' reference in the first citation of Rome overcoming reverses in the past is echoed by the 5th century AD poet Rutilius Claudius Namatianus. For example, Rutilius writes:

Even the poet Paulinus of Pella (died 461 or later), after the loss of his property in Gaul to duplictous Visigoths and Romans, retained an optimistic outlook in his Eucharisticus. True, he had wanted to leave Gaul for Greece, but this was for personal reasons and he makes no comment on the future of Rome.

In earlier times, some emperors were concerned about the fortunes of the empire under their successors (for example, Marcus Aurelius on his successor Commodus), but this did not lead them to anticipate the fall of the empire. Nor did Tacitus (died about 120 AD), although he did forsee Germany

was generally critical of the principate, observing that

Going back even further, Polybius (died about 125 BC) made some general statements to the effect that all nations decay (see here and here), but this was - of course - long before the empire even came into existence.

The literary evidence for Romans anticipating the fall of Rome would seem to be very limited and, at most, indirect. There are, though, references to potential future threats to the empire.

The contemporary accounts we have tended to focus on the past and / or the times in which the writer lived. This meant not infrequent references to 'better times' in the past and the reasons why Rome had declined up to the time they were writing their accounts. This recognition of decline, though, did not necessarily mean they felt it was inevitable that it would continue. Writers were aware, after all, that Rome had faced many challenges before and survived.

 

The aforementioned Sidonius Apollinaris (died 489 AD) was a poet, diplomat and bishop who, despite being,

One writer who perhaps alludes to troubled times ahead for the empire is Ammianus Marcellinus (died 391 AD or later), a soldier and historian who wrote about the period 353 to 378 AD. On the one hand, he asserts that:

Ammianus' reference in the first citation of Rome overcoming reverses in the past is echoed by the 5th century AD poet Rutilius Claudius Namatianus. For example, Rutilius writes:

Even the poet Paulinus of Pella (died 461 or later), after the loss of his property in Gaul to duplictous Visigoths and Romans, retained an optimistic outlook in his Eucharisticus. True, he had wanted to leave Gaul for Greece, but this was due to his personal situation and he makes no comment on the future of Rome.

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, writing in the late 4th or early 5th century AD, very clearly recognizes a decline in the Roman military in De re militari but his work is a plea for reform, not an acceptance that the empire's decline is irreversible.

In earlier times, some emperors were concerned about the fortunes of the empire under their successors (for example, Marcus Aurelius on his successor Commodus), but this did not lead them to anticipate the fall of the empire. Nor did Tacitus (died about 120 AD), although he did forsee Germany

and was generally critical of the principate, observing that

Going back even further, Polybius (died about 125 BC) made some general statements to the effect that all nations decay (see here and here), but this was - of course - long before the empire even came into existence.

4 added text, added sources
source | link
3 added text, added sources
source | link
2 added 515 characters in body
source | link
1
source | link