Visigoths Led by Alaric I Capture and Sack Rome Over Four Day Period Hot

Visigoths Led by Alaric I Capture and Sack Rome Over Four Day Period

Sack of Rome by Alaric and the Visigoths
Source: Wikipedia

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Sack of Rome: Under the leadership of Alaric I, the Visigoths capture Rome and begin four days of looting. This is the first time Rome has succumbed to an enemy in nearly 800 years and is one of the events which forces the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West.

Currently Rome isn't the political capital of the Roman Empire — that status has fallen to Ravenna. Nevertheless, Rome's position as a center of culture and tradition is unmatched, which means that the sacking of Rome by the Visigoths creates significant psychological shocks both in Italy and across the Empire.

The sacking of Rome comes after Alaric's third siege of the city, all part of a protracted conflict between Alaric and Emperor Honorius. Alaric wants more territory for his people and more power for himself.

Many of Rome's major buildings are ransacked, including the mausoleums of Emperors Augustus and Hadrian. Tens of thousands of Romans reportedly flee the city, now economically ruined, in order to find a better life in the countryside. In Bethlehem, St. Jerome writes: "The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken."

Pope Innocent I survives the devastation because he is out of Rome, trying to arrange a peace between Alaric I and Emperor Honorius.

Alaric I of the Visigoths dies later this year and will be succeeded by his brother Ataulf, who by that point will have married Galla Placidia, sister of Emperor Honorius. He leads the Goths north where they settle in Aquitaine.


The Siege of Rome

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