The Romans once had an incredible army, consisting of many well trained, strong soldiers. Yet, as times passed and the Empires' population grew increasingly smaller, the Romans began accepting Barbarians into their army. Once these Barbarians, such as Germans began infiltrating, the Romans lost more and more control. Furthermore, these new soldiers were not as strong as the previous ones or as devoted and dedicated to Rome.
The disintegration of the Roman army from the day of it's founding by Augustus, to its downfall, is a slow process. When the empire began to first expand, the army expanded with it, flourishing and growing. It was sustained by volunteers, motivated by the governments' offer of citizenship to all those who enlisted. Legionaries who risked their lives were provided with citizenship immediately in contrast to the auxiliaries who acquired this only after 25 years of service. Citizenship was greatly valued and opened many doors to the soldier and his family. Since all children born to citizens are automatically citizens themselves, as the years pass, less and less volunteers can be found because citizenship was no longer such a commodity. Furthermore, this new generation felt very disconnected from their government. Consequently, causing them to feel it is not their responsibility to risk their lives for this empire that ran without their input or involvement. Therefore the government had to resort to conscription, which had been previously used. Yet even with conscription there were still problems due to the lack of soldiers in the army and the second-rate quality of the few that did exist. For one, this option is always secondary for conscripted soldiers were never as devoted as the volunteers because they had been forced to come and not joined by choice. Eventually, the army found it compulsory to accept anyone who was willing to fight. Thus causing the army to be composed of lowlifes from very uncivilized backgrounds and Barbarians. These newly enlisted soldiers whose views differed immensely from those of the government caused conflicts and turmoil; since the army is generally the backbone of government.
As a result of these problems, civil wars broke out in the third century causing life in Rome to become very unpleasant. A last effort to regain control and raise the standard of soldiers in the army was made by the government. It offered higher pay, free rations, more booty and the right to legal wedlock to all those who enlisted. This attempt failed miserably; the soldiers remained inadequate and uncivilized, due to their low social classes. These soldiers just wanted to fight and were not really interested as to against who they were fighting-even themselves. It was at this time that the Barbarians saw their chance to attack and they seized this opportunity. These attacks eventually led to the fall of the military and consequently that of the entire empire. "An empire whose defenders were few in quantity and poor in quality must have been tempting bait to the outer Barbarians." It is for this reason that the Barbarians seized Rome and were successful in defeating the once invincible army.