How long would the Roman Empire have lasted if there were no internal conflicts

Jan 2018
2
United States of America
Most people know that when Rome became an empire there were many bad emperors that brought down the empire like Nero who used his power for himself and not the people or Caligula who had hundreds of people killed for his amusement, but what is there were no horrible rulers of they just stayed a republic. Internal conflicts would have accrued much less and the praetorian guard might have never been formed. If this was so they could have focused a lot more on external conflicts to the north and east and continued growing and progressing their military might. My real question is that if they didn't fall apart from the inside would there have been any major civilizations that could have rivaled or even beaten the Romans at their new strength.
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
I do not believe this could have happened for economic reasons....
If this was so they could have focused a lot more on external conflicts to the north and east and continued growing and progressing their military might.
It is a lesson in history that might benefit the US. In the beginning, governments are supported by resources, such as gold mines, oil wells, forests full of timber. People get the benefits of their government without paying taxes. When the resources are consumed, it becomes necessary to support the government and military force with taxes and this makes people unhappy and strangles the economy.

Rome made a huge mistake by drafting men into their wars and keeping them involved in wars for so long, they lost their farms. To make matters worse, Rome brought home slaves so the men who defended Rome and lost their farms, had no jobs either! Cicero was a pretty smart guy, but he totally blew it when it came to understanding Rome's economic disaster.

Constantine moved the capital of Rome closer to the gold mines in the east and Rome in the west was dumped because it exhausted the known gold mines that supported Rome in the west. As the US military action has been defined by where the oil is, Rome's military action was defined by where the gold was, until the barbarians brought war to Rome and then it was the Chruch that had to pay the barbarians to not invade, because the government of western Rome did not have the money for defense.
 
Jan 2018
2
United States of America
But what if they didn't have economic issues, what other major power would have been able to defeat them
 

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,578
Australia
This should be on the speculative history forum. Obviously the answer is a lot longer, but there are too many what ifs involved because the changes to history that would be required for the scenario to happen would also have changed the events that would have created potential rivals. For instance; Europe (eventually) modernized guns and cannons. If Rome is united and controls Europe, does that means they are the power who develops and modernizes guns by default? If so, everyone else is screwed. Just too speculative though.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,479
Dispargum
But what if they didn't have economic issues, what other major power would have been able to defeat them
Persian, later the rise of Islam.

If we postulate that Rome has no economic problems, then we must assume Rome is even wealthier than in OTL. The wealthier Rome becomes, the more attractive it is to outside invaders.

While Rome did have its economic problems, in my opinion Rome had a bigger moral problem. With increasing wealth, Romans became less willing to work for the benefit of the empire and became increasingly selfish. They switched from a culture of empire builders to a culture of consumption. They consumed themselves until the empire was just a hollow shell unable to withstand outside pressure.

Since the problem of Rome is bigger than internal conflict, economic problems, or even moral problems, my answer to the OP is that Rome would not have lasted much longer than in the OTL. Rome rose and fell because what goes up must come down. No society survives becoming wealthy.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2015
865
Europe
Roman Empire rarely went long without a civil war. Longest period was 69 to 193.
In 4th century, there was an open civil war basically each generation.

And that hampered Roman responses to external threats in 5th century.
 
Apr 2017
1,640
U.S.A.
Rome would have to survive the invasions of Germanic peoples, huns, various other Eurasian nomads (patzinaks, bulgars, cumans, avars, Khazars, Magyars, others), Vikings, Persians (remember the Persian-Byzantine wars), Arabs/Muslims and ultimately turks/Mongols. All these are a continuous major challenge for this new Rome. If they expanded and created buffer states it would help.
 
Aug 2015
1,896
Los Angeles
Sometime it wasn't even internal conflicts, but plagues and natural disasters and perhaps dare I say it climate change. A lot of time Romans were stretched thin not because Romans fought Romans, but because diseases did what Hannibal could not have done.
 

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
Most people know that when Rome became an empire there were many bad emperors that brought down the empire like Nero who used his power for himself and not the people or Caligula who had hundreds of people killed for his amusement, but what is there were no horrible rulers of they just stayed a republic. Internal conflicts would have accrued much less and the praetorian guard might have never been formed. If this was so they could have focused a lot more on external conflicts to the north and east and continued growing and progressing their military might. My real question is that if they didn't fall apart from the inside would there have been any major civilizations that could have rivaled or even beaten the Romans at their new strength.
Till modern times and probably we would have a single Nation of the whole Europe like In china .
 
Oct 2012
812
Impossible to know, but it would have kept its main terriotory for much, much longer than it did, that's for sure. It would be unnatural, of course, as internet conflicts are part of any state history, especially in those times.