An unstable climate was probably a major cause of the fall of the Roman empire. Tree-ring analysis shows that Europe'...

on May 17, 2020

Why is B and C incorrect?

It looks like for answer choice B, it is trying to remove an alternative explanation as to why something is/is not occurring. While C can also provide an explanation.

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Skylar on May 17, 2020

@nikkim, happy to help!

We are asked to find the answer choice that most strengthens the argument made in the passage. The argument made in the passage is that climatic fluctuation and instability was a major cause of the Roman empire's fall because it hurt food production.

(B) "The areas of the Roman empire that had the greatest climatic instability between 250 A.D. and 550 A.D. did not experience unusual levels of unrest during that period."

This shows the cause identified in the passage- climatic instability- without the effect identified in the passage- empire unrest and fall. Therefore, (B) casts doubt on the argument made in the passage and is incorrect.

(C) "Poor farming practices led to depleted soil in many parts of Europe during the last years of the Roman empire."

You are correct that this provides another explanation. However, in doing so, it casts doubt on the argument made in the passage. Remember, we are looking to support the passage's argument. By suggesting that poor farming practices- rather than climatic instability- caused the damage, (C) is offering support for a different explanation than that suggested in the passage. Therefore, it is incorrect.

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any other questions!