But first, as an en route parting shot, they devastated Etruria Tuscany. At its height the Roman Empire stretched from Britain and the Atlantic to North Africa and Mesopotamia. But then the collapsed under the weight of hordes of Vandals, , and Alans who. A , led by the , marched to put them down. Incredibly, even Pope Innocent I agreed to allow those Pagan rituals, as long as they were not done publicly. The sack was nonetheless, by the standards of the age, restrained.
The pontiff persuaded Genseric not to burn the city or murder its inhabitants, and in exchange, the Vandals were allowed to pass through the gates of Rome without a fight. The religious and political attacks on Christianity spurred to write a defense, , which went on to become foundational to Christian thought. There was trouble in Gaul with Constantine, who had crossed the Channel from Britannia, and with the Vandals, Sueves and Alans who had crossed the Rhine and invaded. New York: Macmillan, 1977 , p. In ancient times Rome was sacked by the Gauls in 390 B.
This was the first time the city of Rome had been sacked in almost 800 years, and it had revealed the Western Roman Empire's increasing vulnerability and military weakness. Guiscard easily captured the city and rescued the Pope, but his soldiers were greeted as enemies by the Roman citizenry, many of whom had thrown their support behind Henry. Burns, Barbarians Within the Gates of Rome: A Study of Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians, Indiana University Press, 1994 , page 176. It was also a haven for Gallic … rebels and the like, and so could not be left alone much longer. He demanded that they appoint one of their own as Emperor to rival Honorius, and he instigated the election of the elderly to that end, a pagan who permitted himself to be baptized.
Only 100 managed to escape and reach Rome. It has been said, however, that King Alaric had no intention of conquering Rome, and actually sought to negotiate peacefully. Alaric lost half his men, but saw his sacrifice barely acknowledged by the Emperor. Refugees from Rome flooded the province of Africa, as well as Egypt and the East. Alaric would then resume his alliance with the Roman Empire. Christ softened their hard hearts and even among bloodstained swords natural affection asserted its rights. Many attribute this move to the Huns who came from present day Russia and conquered much of northern Europe.
The Visigoths elected , Alaric's brother-in-law, as their new king. The young Visigoth warrior would have to look elsewhere for status. Alaric was different, though, because his aspirations to get close to Rome were that much higher than was typical for a barbarian. He decided to blockade the city, and relied on hunger and disease to force its citizens to surrender. The political and cultural shock waves must have been overwhelming to all those who viewed Rome as the Eternal City.
Christian Noun people and culture focused on the teachings of Jesus and his followers. The modesty of Alaric was interpreted, by the ministers of , as a sure evidence of his weakness and fear. Honorius consented to the payment of the ransom, and with it the Visigoths lifted the siege and withdrew to in December 408. Were not all ranks and degrees leveled at that time and promiscuously huddled together? But Constantinople was too daunting a challenge and the Romans blocked him anyway. Stilicho marched east at the head of a combined Western and Eastern Roman army out of Italy. Honorius was now firmly committed to war, and Jovius swore on the Emperor's head never to make peace with Alaric. Alaric fortified himself behind a on the plain of , in Thessaly, where Stilicho besieged him for several months, unwilling to seek battle.
He converted them to auxiliary troops, and he took them with him to march on Alaric. Alaric again urged military force against Africa, but Attalus still refused even though his people were starving. To that end, Stilicho named Alaric magister militum of Illyricum in 405. However, by this time Stilicho had suppressed the Vandals. The death of Stilicho weakened the military might of the Western Roman Empire considerably. Alaric in Rome, 1888 by Wilhelm Lindenschmit. Between 700 and 7,000 Gothic soldiers and their families were slaughtered in a riot at Constantinople on July 12, 400.
Alaric was ready to compromise with Rome: he offered to spare the city in return for the promise of an annual payment and a place in the official military of the empire. Where were then the privileges of birth, and the distinctions of quality? The Invasions of Italy and Sieges of Rome Not long after Alaric I was elected king, he lead the Visigoth nation into southern Europe, embarking on a thirteen year orgy of plunder and devastation. Pagans insisted on public rituals, and were refused by authorities. Burns, Barbarians Within the Gates of Rome: A Study of Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians, Indiana University Press, 1994 , page 77. Mediterranean basin Noun land that surrounds the Mediterranean Sea. They entered the empire with their families as refugees from the Huns in 376. It did not have borders; it had frontiers.