Officially, the Western Roman Empire ended on September 4th, 476 AD when Odoacer deposed Emporer Romulus Augustulus. These sorts of coups had happened many times before, but what made this one different is that Odoacer didn't call himself the new emperor. Instead, he declared himself the King of Italy. That's a pretty minor deviation from the normal pattern of coups in the Roman Empire and thus a pretty arbitrary boundary for "The Fall of Rome." The actual story of what brought down the Western Roman Empire is much more complex and cannot be understood without taking the roles of climate change and infectious disease into account. In this episode of the podcast, KMO and guest discuss two books: The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease & the End of an Empire by Kyle Harper and Are We Rome? by Cullen Murphy.