Demographic Doom Podcast

Lessons of the Roman Empire

October 1, 2019

Every historian has their own theory about why the Western Roman Empire collapsed. Was it their hedonism, invading barbarians or incompetent rulers? Glenn Campbell offers his own view based on macroeconomics and the theories of anthropologist Joseph Tainter. At its base, the Roman Empire ran on grain, which could be stored and taxed. Collapse became inevitable when the cost of maintaining the empire exceeded the grain collected.