Vreća Rima 410. godine

Vreća Rima 410. godine

U avgustu 410. godine n. E. Alaric, gotski kralj je postigao nešto što nije učinjeno više od osam stoljeća: on i njegova vojska ušli su na vrata carskog Rima i opljačkali grad. Iako će grad i jedno vrijeme Rimsko carstvo opstati, pljačka je ostavila neizbrisiv trag koji se nije mogao izbrisati. Alaric i njegova vojska marširali su kroz Salarijska vrata i opljačkali grad koji je ranije pretrpio glad i glad. Iako su crkve poput Svetog Petra i Pavla ostavile netaknute, vojska je uništila paganske hramove, spalila staru senatsku kuću, pa čak i otela sestru cara Honorija Gallu Placidiju.

Goti

Od prvih dana Carstva, Rim se neprestano borio sa zaštitom svojih graničnih granica. Dakle, kada su gotska plemena - Tervingi i Greuthungi - potražila utočište od haotiranih Huna, Rimljani su razmišljali o mogućnostima i na kraju im dozvolili da se nasele na balkanskoj granici, naravno, po cijenu. Savezi su sklopljeni i savezi su raskinuti. Mnogi u Rimu ostali su nezadovoljni odlukom i na Gote su gledali samo kao na varvare, iako je većina njih zapravo bila kršćanka. Novi doseljenici postavljali su nerazumne zahtjeve, a trpjeli su ih beskrupulozni zapovjednici. Suočivši se s gladovanjem zbog neadekvatnih namirnica i dugotrajne gladi, Goti su ustali protiv Rimljana i započeli dugi niz prepada i pljačkanja sela.

Teodosije se ponovno ujedinio (posljednji put) i na istoku i na zapadu i zabranio sve oblike poganskog obožavanja.

Razlike između njih su kulminirale u bitci kod Adrijanopolja 378. godine. Car Valens (r. 364-378. N. E.) Koji je tražio samo ličnu slavu bio je čvrsto poražen. Bio je to poraz koji nije samo koštao života mnogih vojnika veterana, već je otkrio i vojne slabosti Zapada. Teodosije I (r. 379.-395. N. E.) Zamijenio je Valensa za cara, a drugi savez 382. godine n. E. Je potpisan. Ovaj novi savez ponudio je zemlju gotskim seterima u zamjenu za pružanje vojnika rimskoj vojsci. Porazom cara Magnusa Maximusa (r. 383-388 n. E.) U Galiji, Teodosije se ujedinio (posljednji put) i na istoku i na zapadu i odmah zabranio sve oblike poganskog obožavanja. Činilo se da bi Rim i gotsko pleme neko vrijeme mogli konačno biti u miru.

Carevi sjena na Zapadu

Teodozijevom smrću 395. godine, njegova dva mlada sina Arkadije (r. 395.-408. N. E.) I Honorije (r. 395.-423. N. E.) Imenovani su za njegove nasljednike-Arkadije na istoku i Honorije na zapadu. Budući da je Honorius tada imao samo deset godina, Flavije Stilicho, magister militum ili vrhovni komandant, imenovan je za namjesnika. Pokušaj poluvandala polurimca Stilichoa da preuzme regentstvo nad istokom nije uspio. Bilo je to nešto što će ga mučiti godinama koje dolaze.

Na nesreću zapada, carevi od Valensa do Romula Augusta (r. 475.-476. N. E.) Pokazali su se kao vrlo nesposobni, izolirajući se od oblikovanja politike i postajući sve više pod kontrolom vojske. Ponekad su ih nazivali „carevima iz sjene“. Honorije nije ni živio u Rimu, već je imao palaču u Raveni. Istok i zapad počeli su se postupno udaljavati jer je zapad postajao sve podložniji napadima. Slabost Zapada postala je evidentna kada su 406. godine n. E. Vandali, Alani i Suevi prešli zaleđenu Rajnu u Galiju i na kraju marširali južnije u Španiju. Rimske trupe koje su inače branile Galiju povučene su kako bi se suočile s uzurpatorom iz Britanije, uskoro Konstantinom III. S vladom u krizi, konačno je došlo vrijeme da se gotska plemena dignu protiv Rimljana.

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Stilicho

Goti nikada nisu u potpunosti vjerovali Rimljanima koji su se držali obećanja iz 382. godine i nadali su se da će prepisati stari savez sklopljen s Teodozijem. Gotima se posebno nije dopadala klauzula zbog koje su rimskoj vojsci davali vojnike. To je stanje za koje su vjerovali da će ozbiljno oslabiti njihovu odbranu. Razlika između Rima i Gota je rasla, prisiljavajući ih da se vrate u praksu pljačke balkanskog sela. Iako je Rim dugo želio, ovo je područje koje je tehnički bilo dio carstva koje je pripadalo istoku. I dalje se nadajući da će prepisati savez, Goti su promijenili svoju strategiju i planirali su sklopiti novi dogovor s Arkadijem; plan koji bi na kraju propao.

Unatoč razlikama, Stilicho se nadao da će umiriti Alarica novim savezom: pravima u zamjenu za osiguranje granične granice od budućih invazija.

Alaric, koji se borio u bici kod rijeke Frigidus, pa se čak i udružio sa Stilichoom, svoju je pažnju usmjerio prema zapadu i caru Honoriju, što je na kraju dovelo do invazije na Italiju 402. godine. Njegovi zahtjevi za mir bili su jednostavni: htio je da ga imenuju a magister militum - titula koja bi mu dala ugled i pomogla gotski status u carstvu, - subvencije za hranu i postotak usjeva koji se uzgajaju u regiji. Stilicho je, govoreći u ime Honorija, odbio sve zahtjeve. Bez nade u novi savez, dvije strane sukobile su se dva puta bez jasnog pobjednika, obje su pretrpjele velike gubitke. Alaric je bio prisiljen povući se jer mu je odsječeno zalihe.

Unatoč razlikama, Stilicho se nadao da će umiriti Alarica novim savezom: pravima u zamjenu za osiguranje granične granice od budućih invazija. U novom prijedlogu Alaric i Stilicho zajedno će raditi na osiguranju Balkana za zapad. Stilicho je bacio oko na Balkan od kada je imenovan Honorijevim namjesnikom. Vjerovao je da će Balkan pružiti dodatne (i prijeko potrebne) trupe rimskim snagama na zapadu. Alaric je krenuo prema istoku i čekao da stigne njegov novi saveznik. Nažalost, Stilicho nikada nije stigao. Bio je pritvoren; gotski kralj Radagais prešao je Dunav i napao Italiju samo da bi bio poražen i pogubljen, Vandali i njihovi saveznici prešli su Rajnu u Galiju, a Konstantin III, uzurpator iz Velike Britanije, njegova je vojska proglasila carem, a Galiju i Španjolsku su uskoro stavili pod vlast njegovu kontrolu. Stilicho je bio preplavljen i očajnički mu je trebao novac za vođenje rata protiv osvajača. Alaric, koji je još uvijek čekao na istoku, također je tražio novac. Njegov novi saveznik, Stilicho, apelovao je na rimski Senat da odobri mogući mir s Alarihom. Nažalost, jastrebovski rimski senator Olimpij nije se složio i želio je samo rat.

Vreća Rima

Čini se da je za sve probleme kriv Stilicho. Optužbe su takođe bile usmjerene na Stilicha, dovodeći u pitanje njegovu namjeru na istoku. Honorius, koji sada više sluša Olimpa nego Stilicho, složio se s tim, a njegov bivši namjesnik je uhapšen i pogubljen. Jedina prava šansa za mir s Alarihom postupno je nestajala. Alaric je smatrao da je Stilichonova smrt znak budućih događaja i usmjerio je svoju pažnju na Italiju; gradovi kao što su Concordia, Cremona i Aviminum uskoro su pali pod njegovu vojsku. Umjesto da očito zauzme Honoriusov dom u Raveni, on je svoju pažnju usmjerio na Rim, vjerujući da bi to bio prikladniji talac. Opkolio je svih 13 vrata. Opskrbe u gradu ubrzo su nestale: hrana je bila racionirana, leševi su bili razbacani po ulicama, smrad je ispunjavao zrak, ali Honorije nije htio pomoći. Tiber je bio odsječen od pristupa luci Ostia i zaliha žita iz Sjeverne Afrike. Rim je postao "grad duhova".

Dolaskom Alarihova brata Athaulfa s dodatnim snagama Gota i Huna, Rim, koji se zavjetovao da će se boriti do kraja, shvatio je da se primirje mora postići. Alaric se složio da ukine opsadu u zamjenu za 12 tona zlata, 13 tona srebra, 4.000 svilenih tunika, 3.000 runa i 3.000 funti papra. Rimski senat bio je očajan: kipovi su se morali otopiti, a riznica se potpuno isprazniti, ali opsada je završena i zalihe su počele stizati.

Iako su Alaric i njegov brat imali bogatstvo, ipak su se nadali da će s Honorijem pregovarati o novom savezu. Senat se složio i nevoljni car je izgledao voljan da razgovara. Predstavnici Senata poslati su u Ravenu. U stvarnosti, međutim, razgovori su bili samo odgađajuća taktika sve dok rimske trupe nisu stigle s istoka. Alarik će uskoro saznati za izdaju cara i njegovog zapovjednika Olimpija. Iako se Honorius načelno složio s većinom saveza, složio se s Olimpijom da bi bilo kakvo dodjeljivanje zemlje značilo katastrofu za Rim. Dotacije za zemlju ne bi značile nikakav prihod za carstvo, nijedan prihod ne znači da nema vojske, niti jedna vojska ne znači da nema carstva. Iako se činilo da ima još nade, Alaric i njegova vojska povukli su se iz grada.

Honorius je iskoristio odlazak gotske vojske da pošalje 6.000 vojnika u Rim. Alaric je uočio Rimljane, progonio ih i zbrisao svih 6.000 vojnika. Otprilike u isto vrijeme, Rimljane su pod vodstvom Olimpija napali Athaulf i njegovu gotsku silu. Izgubivši više od 1.000 ljudi, Athaulf se reorganizirao i napao rimske snage, zbog čega se Olimpij povukao u Ravenu. Honorije je bio očajan i brzo je otpustio Olimpija koji je pobjegao u Dalmaciju.

Honorije se obratio svom vrhovnom zapovjedniku Joviusu koji je pozvao Alarika i Athaulfa u Ariminium kako bi pregovarali o novom savezu. Jovius je imao ključnu ulogu u stvaranju saveza između Stilichona i Alaricha. Rimljani nisu imali alternativu. Ako su se borili protiv Gota, suočili su se s mogućnošću smanjenja rimskih snaga i na taj način otvorili vrata za invaziju Konstantina. Iako je imao malo povjerenja u careva obećanja, Alaric se ipak nadao nagodbi. Alarikovi uslovi su bili jednostavni: godišnja uplata zlata, godišnja zaliha žita i zemlje za Gote u provincijama Venecija, Norik i Dalmacija. Osim toga, želio je generalstvo u rimskoj vojsci. Odgovor je bio da na opskrbu žitom, ali ne na zemlju i generalstvo. Alaric je napustio sastanak, prijeteći da će opljačkati i spaliti Rim. Nakon nekoliko dana kako bi se pribrao, Alaric je želio okončanje rata i rekao da bi bio voljan zadovoljiti se zemljom u Noriku. Honorije je potpuno odbio, ostavljajući razjarene Gote s malo alternative osim marša na Rim.

Uz malu pomoć iz unutrašnjosti grada, otvorena su salarijska vrata, a Alaric i njegova vojska od 40.000 ljudi ušli su u grad.

Iznenadni napad rimskog zapovjednika Sarusa ostavio je malo nade za primirje. Uz malu pomoć iz unutrašnjosti grada, otvorena su salarijska vrata, a Alaric i njegova vojska od 40.000 ljudi ušli su u grad. Ostavljajući kršćanske crkve netaknutima i one koji traže utočište sami, Goti su izvršili pretres poganskih hramova i domova bogatih, tražeći zlato i srebro. Spaljene su mnoge kuće bogataša i neke, ne sve, javne zgrade. Istoričar Peter Heather u svojoj knjizi Pad Rimskog carstva tvrdi da Alaric nije htio opljackati grad. Mjesecima je bio izvan grada i mogao ga je otpustiti u bilo koje vrijeme. Njegov jedini cilj bio je, kao što je uvijek bio, pregovaranje o novom savezu, prepisivanju onog sklopljenog 382. godine. Drugi su, međutim, pljačku grada vidjeli u drugačijem svjetlu. Heather je napisala da su mnogi nekršćani vjerovali da je pad grada posljedica napuštanja carske religije, dok je sveti Augustin, govoreći u ime Crkve, to vidio kao pokazatelj vjekovne želje carstva da dominira.

Posljedice

Naredne dvije decenije donijele bi drastične promjene na zapadu. Goti bi napustili Rim i na kraju pronašli stalni dom u Galiji. Ubrzo nakon što je napustio grad, Alaric bi umro od bolesti - njegovo grobno mjesto nije poznato - ostavljajući svog brata da vodi Gote. Promijenilo bi se i vodstvo zapada: Honorije će umrijeti 423. godine prije Krista, dok će uzurpator Konstantin III biti poražen od Konstantina. Athaulf neće dugo voditi Gote. Nakon što se oženio Gallom Placidia, umro bi (vjerovatno ubijen) 415. godine. Galla bi se vratila bratu u oproštajne ruke. Morala bi da se uda za Konstantina. Njihov sin bio bi Valentinijan III (425.-455. N. E.), Budući car na zapadu. Ona će služiti kao namjesnica njenog sina. 476. godine varvar Odoakr i njegova vojska uletjet će u Italiju i svrgnuti mladog cara Romula Augusta. Čudno, osvajač ne bi preuzeo titulu cara. Iako je proizvoljna, većina istoričara priznaje 476. godinu prije Krista da označava pad Zapada, ali je pljačka grada 410. godine pala na koljena i nikada se nije oporavila. Vizantijsko carstvo na istoku će, međutim, opstati sve do pada pod Osmanske Turke 1453. godine.


Alarikova vreća u Rimu 410


Alaric I bio je kršćanski kralj Vizigota od 395. godine pa do svoje smrti 410. godine. Pojavio se na sceni kao vođa šarene grupe Gota koja je napala Trakiju 391. godine, ali ga je zaustavio polu-vandalski rimski general Stilicho. Alaric se tada pridružio rimskoj vojsci, služeći pod vođstvom gotskog generala Gainasa. 394. godine n. E. Predvodio je gotsku vojsku od 20.000 ljudi koja je pomogla Teodoziju da pokori uzurpatora Flavija Eugenija u bitci kod Frigidusa. Alarihova je bila nešto poput Pirove pobjede, izgubio je četvrtinu svojih trupa. Da doda još uvrede ozljedama, Teodozije nije bio izrazito impresioniran Alarihovim doprinosom njegovim ratnim nastojanjima, pa je Alarik napustio vojsku i izabran za reike (vođu plemena ili kralja) Vizigota 395. godine. Te iste godine Teodosije je umro od zatajenja srca. carstvo je bilo podijeljeno između njegova dva sina: Flavija Arkadija na istoku i Flavija Honorija na zapadu. Arkadije nije pokazivao interes za izgradnju carstva, dok je Honorije bio još maloljetan - Teodosije je imenovao Flavija Stilihona magistrom ekvituma i čuvarom Honorija. Honorije je učvrstio vezu tako što se oženio Stilihonovom kćerkom Marijom. Razočaran i ljut Alaric prešao je u nadi da će trajno komandovati rimskom vojskom. Alaric je bio jedan od onih obrazovanih i pametnih Gota koji su postali Rimljani u karijeri, briljirali su u rimskoj vojnoj hijerarhiji, zauzeli su stranu po potrebi, pobijedili sve ili izgubili sve. Alaric je ipak bio drugačiji, jer su njegove težnje da se približi Rimu bile toliko veće nego što je to bilo tipično za varvara.

Nadajući se da će osvojiti svoju stalnu rimsku komandu, Alaric je krenuo na Carigrad s vojskom koja se povećavala dok je napredovao, na isti način na koji je Fritigernova imala prije njega. No, Konstantinopolj je bio preveliki izazov i Rimljani su ga ipak blokirali. Zatim se preselio u Grčku, gdje je opljačkao ranjiviji Pirej i opustošio Korint, Megaru, Argos i Spartu. Atina je kapitulirala i pošteđena je razaranja. Da bi spriječio daljnju smrt i uništenje, Arkadije je postavio Alaric magister militum u Iliriku. Alaric je konačno dobio naredbu za kojom je žudio.

Godine 401. AD Alaric je napao Italiju i opsjedao Milano, ali ga je kasnije porazio Stilicho, prvo u Pollentiji (današnja Pollenza), a zatim, optužen za kršenje ugovora potpisanog nakon Pollentije, u bitci za Veronu sljedeće godine. Među Stilichovim zatvorenicima bili su Alarikova žena i djeca, te desetogodišnji plijen u vrijednosti. Honorije je premjestio zapadni glavni grad iz Rima u Ravenu, vjerujući da je tako sigurniji od napada Gota.

Alaric je, kako se dogodilo, bio nešto poput romanofila i, kao što smo vidjeli, gajio je nade da će se približiti gradu - vojno i politički. U tome mu je pomogla njegova vojna komanda. Invazija bi mu dodatno pomogla. On je čak ohrabrivao upotrebu latiniziranog imena Alaricus. Zbog Alarikove kasnije invazije, glavni grad je premješten iz Mediolanuma (Milano) u Ravenu (premješten je iz Rima u Mediolanum 286. godine nove ere) Legio XX (Valeria Victrix) opozvan je iz Britanije. Alaric i Stilicho postali su svojevrsni saveznici.

Tenzije između rimskog zapada i istoka naglo su porasle: Stilicho je predložio da se Alarikova vojska ostvari kako bi Honorius ostvario pravo na prefekturu Ilirik. Alaric, koji se sada nalazi u Noriku, zaprijetio je da će se suzdržati od rata s Rimom samo ako mu se isplati iznuđivačka svota od 4000 funti zlata kao odšteta. Rimski senat pristao je platiti, pod pritiskom Stilichona, koji nije želio dodati svoju listu ratobornih neprijatelja. U Galiji je bilo problema s Konstantinom, koji je prešao La Manche iz Britanije, i sa Vandalima, Suevesom i Alanom koji su prešli Rajnu i izvršili invaziju.

408. godine poslije Krista Arcadius je umro nakon kratke bolesti. Stilicho i Honorius su se prepirali oko toga tko bi trebao otputovati na istok kako bi riješio nasljedstvo Istočnog Carstva. U inostranstvu su se pričale da je Stilihon želio postaviti svog sina Euherija na istočno prijestolje. Kad mu je umrla prva žena Marija, Stilicho je insistirao da se car oženi njegovom mlađom kćerkom Thermantijom. Ali Honoriju je bilo dosta. Ubrzo nakon toga, Olimpij, njegov uporište, izazvao je pobunu vojske tokom koje je većina Stilichonovih ljudi ubijena Olimp je uvjerio Honorija da je Stilicho neprijatelj države i da je imenovan za magistralu. Stilicho se sklonio u crkvu u Ravenni, ali je, do kraja vjeran Honoriju, uhapšen i pogubljen, a njegov sin je također ubijen. Honorije je zapalio rimski narod da pobije desetine hiljada žena i djece Gota koji su služili u rimskoj vojsci. Nije iznenađujuće da je ovaj zločin doveo do toga da je oko 30.000 gotskih vojnika prebjeglo u Alaric, pridruživši mu se u maršu na Rim preko Julijskih Alpa kako bi osvetili svoje ubijene porodice. Honorije je odbio Alarikov zahtjev za sumom zlata i razmjenom zarobljenika. Na putu je Alaric opljačkao Akvileju i Kremonu i opustošio zemlje uz Jadran. U septembru 408. godine AD, Alaric se prijeteći utaborio izvan rimskih zidina, odakle je započeo opsadu grada i blokirao Tiber. U potrazi je za žrtvenim jarcima, a jedna od žrtava bila je Stilichova udovica, Serena, zadavljena u činu obdukcije.

Alarihov najveći saveznik bilo je gladovanje. Nije prošlo mnogo vremena kada je Senat kapitulirao, složivši se u zamjenu za hranu da pošalje svog izaslanika Honoriju u Ravenu da zatraži mir. Alaric se složio, ali tek prije neuspjelog pokušaja Senata da uznemiri Alarica, njihove mlitave prijetnje naišle su na podsmijeh i glasnu gomilu kada su Goti uzvratili: 'Što je sijeno deblje, lakše se siječe!' Rimljani su se na kraju složili s velikom otkupninom od 5.000 funti zlata, 30.000 funti srebra, 4.000 svilenih tunika, 3.000 koža obojenih grimizom, 3.000 funti papra i 40.000 gotskih robova. Prema Gibonnu, „Senat je pretpostavio da će skromnim i preklinjućim tonom pitati:„ Ako je tako, o kralju! su vaši zahtjevi, šta nam namjeravate ostaviti? ” "Vaši životi", odgovorio je oholi osvajač. "Koliko god izgledalo nevjerojatno, otkupnina vjerojatno nije bila izvan dubokih džepova nekih bogatijih senatora u Rimu. Oni su dali mali doprinos - račun je plaćen službenim pljačkanjem poganskih hramova.

Kao što smo vidjeli, Alaric se nadao da će se uvući u rimsku političku mašinu i osvojiti zemlju unutar rimskih granica. Senat je poslao izaslanike, uključujući papu Inoćentija I, u Ravenu da ohrabre cara da sklopi dogovor s Gotima. Alaric je ovaj put bio mnogo pomirljiviji i otišao je u Ariminum, gdje je razgovarao o uslovima sa Honorijevim diplomatama. Zahtijevao je, sasvim razumno, pokrajine Retiju i Norik kao domovinu Vizigota - pojas teritorije dug 200 milja i 150 milja širok između Dunava i Venecijanskog zaljeva. On je takođe tražio žito i-od svih njih nagradu-čin magisterium utriusque militae, vrhovnog komandanta Carske vojske, baš kao što je bio i Stilicho. Jovius, vođa carske delegacije, složio se s tim, ali je Honorius predvidljivo odbio vidjeti dugoročnu sliku i odbio je. Nije želio drugog varvara u carskoj hijerarhiji, a zatim je pokušao infiltrirati jedinicu ilirskih vojnika u Rim. Alaric je presreo vojsku i, bijesan ovim uvredama, jednako je predvidljivo reagirao opsjednuvši Rim drugi put, ovaj put uništavajući rimske žitnice u Portusu. Ponovno se nadvio izgladnjivanje: visoka cijena olakšanja ovoga puta bila je dozvola Senata Alaricu da Honoriju postavi suparničkog cara - grčkog Priscus Attalus, prefekta grada (praefectus urbi), nešto poput zvijezde u Rimu. Alaric je zarobio Gallu Placidiju, Honorijevu sestru. Uzurpatori su uvijek bili siguran način koncentriranja carevog uma.

Alaric je od Attalasa naredio da magistrira utriusque milicium, a njegov šurjak Ataulf, koji je stigao s pojačanjem, dobio je čin comes domesticorum equitum. Zatim su krenuli na Ravenu da sruše Honorija i postave Atala na carsko prijestolje.

Alariku je pobjeda bila na dohvat ruke: Honorije je bio na tački predaje kada je vojska iz Istočnog carstva stigla da brani Ravenu. Heraklijan, koji je bio guverner Afrike, isključio je opskrbu Rima žitom, prijeteći gradu još glađu. Jerome je pričao o kanibalizmu unutar zidova. Alaric je htio poslati skromnu gotsku silu od 500 ljudi da napadne Afriku i osigura hranu za Rim, ali je Atalus na to stavio veto, strahujući da će Goti sami sebi zauzeti Afriku. Atal je krenuo na Ravenu s Alarikom i uspio natjerati Honorija da predloži neki oblik dogovora o podjeli vlasti-jasan pokazatelj nemoći legitimnog cara. Atal je tvrdoglavo insistirao da Honorije bude svrgnut i ode u egzil na ostrvo. To nije bilo u Alarihovom scenariju, pa je reakcionarnog i nedjelotvornog Attala smijenio i ponovno otvorio pregovore s Honorijem.

Ovaj put zbunio ga je neugodan izlazak na scenu zlonamjernog gotskog generala Sarusa. On je bio iz Amalisa, klana koji je gajio vječno neprijateljstvo prema Alarikovom narodu. Njegova intervencija u ovom kritičnom trenutku može se objasniti mogućnošću da se sada osjećao ugroženim od Alarica. Osetivši dvoličnost Honorija, ogorčeni Alaric zagrmio je sa svojom vojskom na jug i projurio kroz Porta Salariju da ugrozi samo postojanje grada. Neki kažu da je Alaric podmitio starije senatore iznutra obećanjem gotskih robova ako mu otvore vrata. U svakom slučaju, Rim je zauzet. Jerome se žalio: 'Glas mi se zaglavi u grlu i, dok diktiram, jecaji me guše. Grad koji je zauzeo cijeli svijet sam je zauzet. ’Alaric, kršćanin, bio je zauzet skrnavljenjem kršćanskog grada sa svojim kršćanskim Gotima.

Čini se da oružani udar na Rim 410. godine n. E. Nije bio ni približno tako katastrofalan i užasan kao što je mogao biti. Zaista, to se smatra jednim od najbenignijih i najmanje destruktivnih od ključnih otpuštanja u povijesti. Postoje priče o pomilovanju, crkve (na primjer, bazilike sv. Petra i sv. Pavla) koje su spašavane poštedom onih koji traže utočište u njima, čak i u mjeri u kojoj su svete žene tamo ispratile na sigurno, na primjer jednu Marcellu, prije sistematskog pljačkanja njihovi domovi posude sa zlatom i srebrom i drugi liturgijski sudovi ostali su netaknuti jer su 'pripadali svetom Petru' i matrona koja se uspješno dopala boljoj prirodi Gota koji ju je htio silovati. Jedna časna sestra je dobila pomoć da vrati zlato i srebro, Božje zlato i srebro, u svoju crkvu, koja je to sakrila od pljačkaša. Ipak, to je i dalje bila katastrofa prvog reda, s tri dana nemilosrdne pljačke i silovanja. Među žrtvama su bili Augustov i Hadrijanov mauzolej, gdje je pepeo mnogih rimskih careva i njihovih porodica i prijatelja bio razasut na četiri vjetra. Goti su iz Lateranske palate uklonili i veliki srebrni ciborijum težak 2.025 funti, poklon cara Konstantina. Većina vandalizma dogodila se oko Salarijskih vrata, gdje su stara senatska kuća i Vrtovi Sallusta uništeni zajedno s bazilikama Aemilia i Julia.

Rastavljanjem pokretnih stvari, većina veličanstvenih rimskih zgrada pobjegla je neoštećena, u direktnoj suprotnosti s galskom pljačkom Rima 390. godine prije nove ere, gdje je preživio samo Kapitol. Zašto je onda Alaricin napad naizgled bio tako bezglasan i nije uspio opravdati stereotip koji imamo o Gotima koji divljaju u orgiji neprestanog silovanja i pljačke? Već smo primijetili da je Alaric bio nestrpljiv da se zahvali Rimu i stekne neku vrstu vojne i političke pozicije tamo. Alaric je bio civiliziran čovjek, uvijek se ponašao suzdržano i strpljivo kada ga je zbunio događaj nad kojim je imao malu kontrolu, tvrdoglavi Honorije i nepomirljivi Stilicho. Bio je dovoljno pronicljiv da se odluči za kratkoročni kompromis u svojoj dugoročnoj misiji naseljavanja Gota. Alaric je nevoljko otpustio Rim jer je morao barem u određenoj mjeri zadovoljiti apetit i očekivanja svoje vojske za plijenom, ali više kao signal Honoriju, nadajući se da će ga car instalirati i smjestiti u neko ili drugo svojstvo. On je iskoristio svoj napad na grad kao pult za kockanje, u uvjerenju da će Honorija biti ubijeđen da ga dovede u svoj krug prijetnjom koja mu je prijetila. Alarik je, međutim, potpuno pogrešno protumačio situaciju: Rim više nije bio Honorijev grad - Ravena. Za pragmatičnog Honorija, Rim je bio politička istorija, a ne više moćno središte koje je bilo vekovima. Tako Alaric nije uspio nigdje i Rim je manje -više bio spašen od uništenja. Alaric nije uspio: možda je posjedovao Rim, ali nije ni izbliza osvojio unutarnju poziciju unutar rimskog establišmenta. Nije imao stalnu carsku komandu i sada će zauvijek biti isključen iz carskog dvora. Jednako važno, Goti su i dalje bili raseljeni narod koji nije imao gdje otići i nije imao gdje da se javi kući. Tek 417. godine poslije Krista Vizigoti su uspjeli osnovati vlastito autonomno kraljevstvo unutar granica Zapadnog Carstva. Alarikova žarka ambicija da za Gote pronađe stalnu, održivu domovinu konačno je ostvarena.

Nakon Rima, Alaric se uputio u Kalabriju s nacrtima o invaziji na Afriku, korpu za hljeb Rima i Italije. Njegove planove zbunila je oluja koja je razbila njegovu flotu, a mnoge njegove trupe su se udavile. Alaric je ubrzo umro u Cosenzi. Prema Jordanesu, njegovo tijelo i neki dragocjeni plijen zakopani su ispod korita rijeke Busento u skladu s pogrebnom praksom Vizigota. Potok je privremeno zatvoren dok mu je grob iskopan, a rijeka je vraćena u prirodni tok. Zatvorenici koji su obavili posao bili su ubijeni tako da je lokacija kraljevog posljednjeg počivališta ostala što je moguće više tajna. Alarikov zet Ataulf ga je naslijedio, oženio se Honoriusovom sestrom Gallom Placidiom tri godine kasnije.

Rim je ubrzo odgovorio da je u roku od dvije godine od otpuštanja došlo do iste nestašice starog žita, a povratak galskog plemića Rutiliusa Namatiana vidio je ono što je opisao kao ordo renascendi - hrabri novi svijet. Dvije godine nakon Alarikove smrti, Ataulf je odveo Vizigote u jugozapadnu Galiju, gdje je Honorius 418. godine poslije Krista bio prisiljen priznati njihovo kraljevstvo u Toulouseu. 423. godine, Honorius je umro, a naslijedio ga je Valentinian III, iako je tada još bio dijete. Vandali su napali sjevernu Afriku, porazili Rimljane i 439. godine poslije Krista zauzeli Kartaginu, koju je njihov vođa Genserik učinio prijestolnicom. 451. godine, Atila i Huni, već toliko moćni da im je Rim plaćao godišnji danak, napali su Galiju s Vandalima. U bici kod Châlonsa porazili su ih Vizigoti pod vodstvom Flavija Aecija, vojnog zapovjednika Zapada. Godine 455. poslije Krista, smrću Valentinijana III, Vandali su ušli u nebranjeni Rim, koji su pljačkali na slobodi dvije sedmice. Ako je Alarikova vreća bila sputana, to je bilo još više, unatoč trajanju pljačke. Vandali su ipak pobjegli s blagom iz Hrama mira i podigli pozlaćene brončane pločice iz Hrama Jupitera Optimusa Maximusa. Ovaj bijes daje nam riječ "vandalizam". Uzeli su Licinia Eudoxia (422–462) i njene kćeri kao taoce, ona je bila kći rimske carice istočnog cara Teodozija II. Njeni muževi bili su zapadni carevi Valentinijan III i Petronije Maksim.

Rim je vladao u mediteranskoj regiji oko 600 godina. Grad je ostao netaknut 800 godina. Alarikova smjena otkrila je sve veću ranjivost Zapadnog Rimskog Carstva i vojnu krhkost. Politički i kulturni talasi šoka morali su biti snažni za sve one koji su na Rim gledali kao na vječni grad. Rim je bio dom najbogatijih senatorskih plemićkih porodica i centar njihovog civilizovanog, kulturnog sveta za pagane, to je bilo sveto poreklo carstva, a za hrišćane sedište naslednika svetog Petra, pape Inoćentija I, vodećeg biskupa Zapad. Jeronim je to sažeo za mnoge kada je upitao: ‘Ako Rim može propasti, šta može biti sigurno?’ Mnogim Rimljanima uništenje njihovog grada viđeno je kao božanska odmazda za odbacivanje tradicionalnih poganskih bogova za kršćanstvo. To je dalo poticaj svetom Augustinu da napiše Božji grad, dovodeći u pitanje ulogu poganskih bogova kao stvaratelja povijesti. Nekršćani su se držali uvjerenja da je Rim podlegao jer su stari bogovi povukli svoju zaštitu. Ali Augustin nije bio uvjeren. Gdje su bili bogovi kada Rimljani nisu mogli slomiti opsadu Veii? Gdje su bili bogovi kada su Gali opljačkali Rim pod Brennom? To su bila samo dva od vodećih pitanja koja je postavio. I Orozije je u svojoj Povijesti protiv pogana dokazao da je Rim pretrpio mnoge katastrofe prije Hristovog dolaska. Na više svjetovnom nivou, krivi su i Stilichovi vojni propusti. Možda je Alarihovo najveće naslijeđe bilo to što je on, kroz katastrofu koju je posjetio grad Rim i Rimljane, bio čovjek koji je omogućio Gotima da uđu u historiju, dok su prije bili samo učesnici u tuđim historijama.


Vreća u Rimu, 410

David Jones opisuje kako su romanizirani gotski i vandalski vođe nadvladali prijestolnicu propadajućeg Carstva u petom stoljeću.

Opljačkanje Rima od strane Alarika i njegove gotske vojske izazvalo je užas u starom svijetu. Dva puta u protekle dvije godine Goti su se utaborili pred gradskim vratima, ali 24. avgusta 410. dogodilo se nezamislivo, nemoguće. Prema Gibonnovim riječima, 'jedanaest stotina šezdeset i tri godine nakon osnivanja Rima, carski grad, koji je pokorio i civilizirao tako veliki dio čovječanstva, predat je razuzdanom bijesu njemačkih i skitskih plemena'.

Grad je lako zauzet i njegova okupacija nije imala strateški značaj. Gotima je trideset godina ranije car Teodosije dodijelio zemlju u sjevernoj Grčkoj i Bugarskoj: Alaric je većinu svog života proveo unutar granica Rimskog carstva. He was no savage barbarian chief, but had held high command in the imperial forces.

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Looting and pillaging

I went to look for evidence at the northern walls of Rome, still almost intact for long stretches after nearly two millennia.

There is a gap marking the site of the former Salarian Gate just across the road from a modern department store. Alaric's army took the Via Salaria - the so-called salt road - linking the city to the Adriatic Sea.

When the city gates were opened by slaves, Alaric's ragtag army rushed inside to loot and pillage. The sack lasted for only three days, after which Alaric withdrew and marched south to set sail for North Africa, an important and wealthy Roman province.

But Alaric never made it. His ships were destroyed in a storm and he died shortly afterwards.

Many Romans fled to North Africa for safety. There, in Hippo, an important coastal town in what is now Algeria, the local bishop, Saint Augustine, was inspired to write one of his seminal works, The City of God.

Augustine, just like Jerome, felt he had lost his bearings with news of the collapse of Rome. Once Rome had gone, what sense was to be made of the world?


Sack of Rome 410 CE - History

Internet Ancient History Sourcebook:

See Main Page for a guide to all contents of all sections.

  • Rimski stoicizam
  • Neoplatonism
  • Demeter and Eleusis
  • Cybele
  • Isis
  • Mithras
  • Catastrophe?
  • Continuity?
  • See MEGA Late Antiquity in the Mediterranean [Website-ORB]
  • See MEGA Byzantium: Byzantine Studies on the Internet [Website]
  • See WEB Internet Medieval Sourcebook for this period
  • WEB Visual Tour of Late Antiquity [Website-ORB]
  • WEB Historical Atlas of Late Antiquity [Website]
  • Diocletian (r.284-305 CE): Prices Edict, 301 CE in Latin [At Bib.Augustana]
  • Diocletian (284-305 CE) and Constantine (308-337 CE): Efforts to Stabilize the Economy [This Site]
  • Map: The Fourfold Division of the Empire [At Citrag]
  • The Tetrarchs [At Bluffton]
  • Notitia Dignitatum (Register of Dignitaries), c. 400 [At this Site]
  • 2ND Ralph W. Mathisen: Diocletian (284-305 A.D.) [At Roman Emperors]
  • 2ND Michael DiMaio, Jr.: Constantine I (ca.272 or 273-336, C.E.) [At Roman Emperors] 2ND M. Grant, M. Kitzenger, Diocletian and Constantine [At Southwestern] -->
  • Sozomen (d. c. 450 CE): Constantine Founds Constantinople, 324 CE, from Ecclesiastical History 2.3 [At this Site] 2ND Michael DiMaio: Constantine I [At DIR] -->
  • 2ND James O'Donnell: Liberius the Patrician [At UPenn]
    On a late antique patrician, b. 465 CE.
  • Ammianus Marcellinus (330-395 CE): The Battle of Adrianopole, 378 CE [At this Site]
  • Ammianus Marcellinus (c.330-395 CE): History, XIV.16: The Luxury of the Rich in Rome, c. 400 CE [At this Site]
  • Procopius of Caesarea (c.500-after 562 CE): Alaric's Sack of Rome, 410 CE, History of the Wars [written c. 550 CE], III.ii.7-39 [At this Site]
  • Procopius of Caesarea (c.500-after 562 CE): Gaiseric & The Vandal Conquest of North Africa, 406 - 477 CE, History of the Wars [written c. 550 CE], Book III, chapters iii-vii [At this Site]
  • Rutilius Numantius: On His Return, I.xi.47, The Greatness of Rome in the Days of Ruin, 413CE [At this Site]
  • Jordanes (fl.c.550 CE): History of the Goths Chap. 38: The Battle of Chalôns, 451 CE [At this Site]
    The Defeat of Attila.
  • 2ND Edward Gibbon: On the Fall of the Roman Empire [At this Site][added 7/2/98 to Rome page]
  • 2ND Bruce Bartlett: How Excessive Government Killed Ancient Rome, Cato Institute Journal 14: 2, Fall 1994 [At Cato.org]
    An example of ancient history being seen through distinctly modern eyes! [Be wary of all such "explanations" which do not consider the survival of the Eastern Empire.]
  • Rimski stoicizam
    • 2ND Eclecticism, Cicero. Epictetus [IEP Articles]
    • Cicero (98-c.55 BCE): The Dream of Scipio [At WSU] and in Latin [At IPA]
    • Seneca (c.4 BCE-65 CE): On Tranquillity of Mind 9:4ff and in Latin [At Upenn]
    • Tacitus (b.56/57-after 117 CE): The Death of Seneca, 65 CE (Annals 15:64) [This Site]
    • Epictetus (50-c.120 CE): Enchiridion, c.135CE [At MIT]
    • Epictetus (50-c.120 CE): The Discourses [At Then Again]
    • Marcus Aurelius Antonius (b.121-r.161-d.180 CE): Meditations, 167 CE [At this Site][One HTML file]
    • Marcus Aurelius (b.121-r.161-d.180 CE): Meditations [At EAWC][Full Text][Chapter files]
    • Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE): Meditations excerpts. [At MIT]
    • 2ND George Long: Philosophy Of Antoninus [At this Site]
      A discussion of Stoic philosophy and Marcus Aurelius.
    • WEB Neoplatonism, Plotinus, Emanation [IEP Articles]
    • Plotinus (c.205-c.270 CE): Six Enneads [At MIT][Full Text][Chapter files]
    • Plotinus (c.205-c.270 CE): Six Enneads [At this Site, formerly ERIS][Full Text][Ascii Text in one file]
    • Plotinus (c.205-c.270 CE): On Beauty Ennead I:6.1 [At EWAC]
    • Porphyry (232/3-c.305 C.E.): On Cult Images [At MIT]
      Drawn from fragments in Eusebius (c.260-340 CE).
    • Porphyry (232/3-c.305 CE): On Images [At MIT][Full Text]
    • Iamblichus (c.250-c.325 CE): On the Arts and Effects of Ecstasy, On the Mysteries III, 4-6 [At enteract.com]
    • The Emperor Julian: Mispogon (or "Beard-Hater")[At this Site]
    • Julian ("the Apostate") (b.332-r.361-d.363): Letter to Arsacius, c. 360 [At Then Again]
    • Symmachus (c.340-c.402): Relation 3, 384 CE [At Calgary]
      Symmachus was the most prominent opponent of Christianity at his time. Here is his request to the Christian Emperors to restore the altar of victory to the Senate.
    • Ambrose of Milan (c.339-4 April 397): Response to Symmachus [ep. 17 and 18] [at Calgary]
    • Zosimus: Historia Nova [At Then Again]
      Theodosius II (r.375-95) bans the pagan rites and sacrifices.
    • 2ND James O'Donnell: The Demise of Paganism, Traditio 35 (1977):45-88 [At UPenn]

    Dates of accession of material added since July 1998 can be seen in the New Additions page.. The date of inception was 4/8/1998.

    Links to files at other site are indicated by [At some indication of the site name or location]. Locally available texts are marked by [At this Site].

    WEB indicates a link to one of small number of high quality web sites which provide either more texts or an especially valuable overview.

    The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook is part of the Internet History Sourcebooks Project

    The Projekat izvornih knjiga istorije interneta nalazi se na Odsjeku za historiju Univerziteta Fordham u New Yorku. Internet Medieval Sourcebook i ostale srednjovjekovne komponente projekta nalaze se u Centru za srednjovjekovne studije Univerziteta Fordham. IHSP prepoznaje doprinos Univerziteta Fordham, Odsjeka za istoriju Univerziteta Fordham i Centra za srednjovjekovne studije Fordham u pružanju web prostora i serverska podrška za projekat. IHSP je projekat nezavisan od Univerziteta Fordham. Iako IHSP nastoji slijediti sve važeće zakone o autorskim pravima, Univerzitet Fordham nije institucionalni vlasnik i ne snosi odgovornost kao rezultat bilo koje pravne radnje.

    & kopiraj Koncept i dizajn web stranice: Paul Halsall kreiran 26. januara 1996.: posljednja revizija 20. januara 2021. [Curriculum vitae]


    The growing power of Holy Roman Imperator Charles V alarmed Pope Clement VII, who perceived Charles as attempting to dominate the Catholic Church and Italy. The army of the Holy Roman Emperor defeated the French army in Italy, but funds were not available to pay the soldiers.

    Alaric died of illness at Consentia in late 410, mere months poslije the sack. According to legend, on was buried with his treasure by slaves in the bed of the Busento river. The slaves were then killed to hide svoje lokacija. The Visigoths elected Ataulf, Alaric’s brother-in-law, as njihove new king.


    But it turns out the Vandals, a Germanic tribe that managed to take over Rome in 455, may not deserve that connotation. The first known written reference to the tribe was in A.D. 77, when Pliny the Elder mentioned “Vandilii.” However, the Vandals ‘ roots are uncertain, and their early history is contested.

    After sacking Rome, the Goths had vacillated between fighting against and then for the imperial authorities, and after carving a swathe through the Vandals, Alans, and Sueves in Spain, were granted a settlement in southwestern Gaul.


    The Visigoths were one of the groups crossing Roman borders and marching down their roads to sack their cities, while the Vikings were the sea farers were who weren’t keen to share their Brittons with the Romans – to Rome England was the scary end of the world and the Vikings were on the other side.

    There are no Visigoths left anywhere we all have a micropiece of Visigoths in us, no one enough to be called that. There are no Visigoths they were completely absorbed by the Spanish people. They were not that many either, they were some 80.000 against 2.5-3 million Roman Spaniards.


    The Sack of Rome in 410 AD: The Event, Its Context and Its Impact. Palilia, Bd 28

    This handsome volume of papers by many of the leading scholars of Late Antique Rome is based on a conference sponsored by the German Archaeological Institute in Rome in 2010 to mark the 1600th anniversary of the sack of Rome by Alaric’s Visigoths. The goal of the conference was to reexamine the evidence for what actually happened in those fateful three days in August 410 and, more importantly, what impact those events had on the development of the city in the fifth century. While the editors disavow any claim to present a comprehensive inventory of the evidence or a definitive assessment of the events of 410, in fact the collected papers make substantial progress on both counts. The result is a volume that is essential reading not just for scholars interested in 410, but for anyone engaged in research on a wide variety of topics in the history, topography, and archaeology of Rome in the fifth century CE.

    The volume begins with an introductory section (3 essays) in which methodological concerns are front and center. Philipp von Rummel emphasizes the need to allow archaeology to proceed independently of literary sources and divides the possible archaeological evidence into three types: direct evidence (e.g. a destruction layer), indirect evidence (e.g. restoration inscriptions), and medium-term changes that may point to social consequences of the sack (e.g. changes in topography) (20). In practice, however, as the subsequent essays make clear, each of these types is less than conclusive. It is usually impossible to determine what caused a fire, and fires happened routinely in Rome for all sorts of reasons. Likewise, the restoration inscriptions that date to the years after 410 are often considered as offering evidence of damage suffered in the sack, but as Silvia Orlandi points out, this becomes a circular argument: instead of furnishing information about the sack, the sack ends up being used to interpret the inscriptions (343), many of which are frustratingly vague about the reason for the damage being repaired. Lastly, it is not easy to determine whether changes in the topography of an area should be attributed to a specific, external catalyst or to gradual, organic processes (as Franz Alto Bauer prefers). Riccardo Santangeli Valenzani notes the tendency in older scholarship for the sack of 410 to be singled out much more frequently than those of 455 or 472 because of the fame of the literary sources that mention it (37). For him, in contrast, the relative lack of physical evidence for 410 suggests that however badly Rome was damaged (which is essentially impossible to discover), it quickly recovered from the sack as the population returned and rebuilt, much of the evidence of the destruction was necessarily removed and thereby rendered invisible to archaeologists (38). Along similar lines, Bauer argues that the damage caused by the Goths consisted primarily in the looting of valuable objects in gold and silver, not in the destruction of physical structures, which explains why it is difficult to find archaeological evidence of the sack (266).

    The rest of the volume is divided into three sections: a short one on context (three essays), followed by much longer ones on the event (12 essays) and its repercussions (11 essays). The longest essay in the context section is Carlos Machado’s attempt to situate the sack of 410 within a broader prosopographical study of the composition of the Roman aristocracy and its relations with the imperial court between 380 and 440. By looking one generation before and after the event, Machado seeks to measure the impact of the events of 408-10 on both groups. He finds that Rome’s aristocracy was more socially and politically “open” (51) in the late fourth century than it was after the sack, when the most important offices were more closely monopolized by the highest-ranking families and aristocrats tended to be more Italy-centric in their backgrounds and career patterns. Michael Kulikowski’s paper includes an innovative reading of Alaric in the light of postcolonial theory he suggests that Alaric mimicked the normative career path of an ambitious Roman general but could not overcome his subaltern, barbarian origin (80-1). This image of Alaric as a liminal figure is not shared by other contributors – Ralph Mathisen asserts that he would have been viewed by contemporaries as a Roman general in revolt (94), while Peter Heather emphasizes his non-Roman origins and demands (433-37) – but it may help to explain why some ancient sources (e.g. Zosimus, Orosius) appear to be relatively favorable toward him.

    The longest section in the volume surveys the physical evidence for the sack in a number of different locations in the city. The dominant finding that emerges from these papers is that traces of the sack are difficult to detect archaeologically even at sites where destruction has been detected, there is little to tie it specifically to the Goths. Still, as von Rummel aptly observes in his introductory essay, this conclusion is only disappointing if one is expecting the opposite (26). Although connections with the sack of 410 are difficult to establish, the papers in this section are far from disappointing on the contrary, they provide useful, up-to-date surveys of some of the most important archaeological work conducted on late-antique Rome over the last couple of decades. Deserving of special mention here is the paper by Johannes Lipps concerning the Basilica Aemilia, precisely because this building—with its coins melted into the floor—has long been assumed to exhibit clear evidence of the Visigothic sack. Even here, however, the gun is revealed to be less smoking than sfumato. While the roof did indeed burn in the early fifth century, there is no way to determine the cause, though the presence of coins strewn across the floor might suggest that the fire was the result of an unexpected accident (103). In addition, the old assumption that the sack prompted a rebuilding of the portico in front of the Basilica depends on a single restoration inscription, which, as it was found in the Forum of Caesar, may not belong to the portico at all, especially since the evidence of the brickstamps points instead to a rebuilding of the portico in the early fourth century, not the early fifth (111).

    Across the river, the main threats to the inhabitants of Trastevere seem to have been floods and earthquakes rather than Goths, and the physical evidence presented by Fedora Filippi points toward continuity of settlement (148). While the density of settlement declined in the fifth century, the truly dramatic changes, such as the appearance of burials in formerly residential areas, do not occur until the sixth and seventh centuries (158). Similarly, Axel Gering argues for the continued vitality of the Forum at Ostia up until the time of the Vandal sack of 455 (226). Carlo Pavolini’s paper summarizes the results of recent excavations on the Caelian hill. He sees evidence that a number of different buildings were abandoned in the course of the fifth century and suggests that the Visigothic sack, by damaging the aristocratic establishment in this quarter, may have been the trigger for wider changes that trickled down the socio-economic ladder (179). The picture of the Aventine traced by Paola Quaranta, Roberta Pardi, Barbara Ciarrocchi and Alessandra Capodiferro is mixed. Although one of the four sites discussed shows clear evidence of a destructive event in the early fifth century, the buildings along the via Marmorata attest continuity of use up until the end of the fifth or beginning of the sixth century (196).

    Franz Alto Bauer and Paolo Liverani contribute papers in which topographical changes are considered through the lens of church construction. Concerning the titulus Pammachii, Bauer contends that the underlying domus was bought by Pammachius (whom he identifies with the senatorial correspondent of Jerome) as a site for the church and that the church must have been built before 410. This would then be an example of gradual transformation of the urban landscape, rather than a sudden rupture caused by the Visigoths (265). Liverani allows for a greater but still indirect role for 410 in relation to the foundation of S. Maria Maggiore here too the church was built on top of earlier houses, which may represent property that had become abandoned after 410 (284).

    The third and final section of the volume is devoted to the wider impact of the sack. Michele Salzman’s paper on the pagan response to 410 challenges the thesis of Alan Cameron’s Last Pagans of Rome (2011). In contrast to Cameron, who argues that paganism was defunct as a religious and intellectual system by 400, Salzman argues that “we can discern a particular set of identifiable ‘pagan’ emotions and attitudes in response to the fall of Rome, the memory of which was part of an ongoing dialogue over the nature of divine power and religious tradition in relation to the Roman state” (296). The fact that Christian leaders as late as the middle of the fifth century still felt the need to combat the pagan critique suggests to Salzman that it continued to resonate with elements of their audience. The papers of Mischa Meier and Neil McLynn seek to revise and upgrade our estimation of Orosius. Both scholars suggest that the contemporary situation in Spain, where the Goths were now fighting on the Roman side against the Vandals and Sueves, exerted a larger influence on Orosius’ narrative than the sack of 410. This optimistic outlook is shared by Christine Delaplace, who argues that the Empire retained the upper hand over the Visigoths in the years after 410. Their settlement in Aquitaine was thus very much in the Roman military tradition of receptio, and did not entail any recognition of an independent Gothic kingdom (428-30).

    Returning to Rome, two excellent papers argue that the arrival of the Goths had discernible consequences on the ground. First, Bryan Ward-Perkins and Carlos Machado, drawing on the results of their “Last Statues of Antiquity” project, conclude that the years from approximately 407-17 are marked by a noticeable interruption in the dedication of statues in the city. The sack “did not kill the statue habit in Rome, though it dented it” (354), but in the rest of Italy, it definitively pricked “the bubble of civic self-confidence” and “killed off the practice of erecting honorific statuary” (356). While most contributors focus on the sack of 410, Roberto Meneghini’s paper considers the effects of Alaric’s first siege of Rome in 408. In particular, the discovery of a necropolis beneath the piazza on the north side of the Colosseum reveals the degree to which the siege disrupted basic civic norms. The decision to leave these burials in place once the danger receded marks a “decisive step” toward the definitive entry of burials inside the city (407). In contrast, the papers by Elio Lo Cascio and Clementina Panella conclude that 410 did not result in profound changes in the structure and scale of the city’s population or imports both authors instead identify the second half of the fifth/early sixth century as the period that saw the greatest reduction.

    Concluding the volume are a pair of papers by Peter Heather and Walter Pohl. Heather’s well-argued paper summarizes his own views and responds to various criticisms, most prominently, those of Kulikowski, so clearly that it could be usefully assigned to undergraduates. (In brief, Heather believes that the barbarian invasions were mass migrations of people, that the military pressure exerted by these groups severely disrupted the functioning of Roman government, and that the fall of the western Empire had immense political, economic, and cultural consequences Kulikowski believes that the invasions were incursions of fairly small raiding parties, that the sack of Rome in 410 was the result of a tangle of contingent factors and personal decisions, and that the fall of the western Empire was the result of political failures in the Roman system.) Pohl’s essay is more reflective he defends “transformation” as an appropriate and productive umbrella under which a broader range of research questions can find shelter than are usually considered by the “decline and fall” school. Echoing the findings of the archaeological papers in the volume, Pohl concludes that 410 was “no real caesura in the history” of the city (452), but does provide “a focus for the underlying changes in the course of the long transformation of the Roman world” (453).

    In the end, it is not without irony that a conference convened to mark the anniversary of the sack finds little archaeological evidence of it. Nevertheless, this volume successfully exploits the opportunity provided by the anniversary of a famous event to produce a much more complex, nuanced, and thoughtful investigation of its significance. One wonders if a similar conference will be convened in 2055 to consider the impact of the Vandal sack of 455. Such an effort would lack the impetus provided by famous literary sources, but it would also proceed with fewer preconceptions and benefit from additional insights gained by further archaeological research over the coming decades.


    The Sack of Rome in 1527

    Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert, after Martin van Heemskerck, Sack of Rome in 1527 (and the Death of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon), engraving and etching on paper, in Divi Caroli (The Victories of Emperor Charles V), 1555/6, published by Hieronymus Cock (© Trustees of the British Museum). Charles III falls to his death as his Spanish and German (largely Lutheran) troops attack the Borgo (a neighborhood in Rome). Pope Clement VI is imprisoned in the Castel Sant’Angelo, which is on fire in the background. Heemskerck’s image was made almost 30 years after the sack, when Charles V abdicated and was soon to die.

    When night fell and the enemy entered Rome, we in the Castello, and most particularly myself, who has always delighted in seeing new things, stood there contemplating this unbelievable spectacle and conflagration, which was of a magnitude that those who were situated in any other spot but the Castello would neither see or imagine. Benvenuto Cellini, in his autobiography, My Life (composed between 1558 and 1566) [1]

    Forces under the banner of Charles V sack Rome

    On May 6, 1527, the unthinkable occurred. An army of more than 20,000 soldiers invaded Rome—the Eternal City—and violently looted and pillaged it for over a month. During this time, German and Spanish soldiers under the banner of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, the Holy Roman Empire plundered churches and palaces, held cardinals and merchants for ransom, and killed men and women from all walks of life in the streets and in their homes. Rome had not suffered such a humiliating and catastrophic defeat by a foreign army since the sack of the city in 410 C.E. at the hands of the Visigoths.

    For contemporaries, the sack was an “unbelievable spectacle and conflagration”—to use the words of the Florentine goldsmith and artist, Benvenuto Cellini—that left Rome ruined and its population dispersed. For an entire year, civic and cultural life in the city stopped in its tracks. It would take years for Rome to recover.

    Map of the Italian peninsula at the beginning of the Italian Wars (1494–1559)

    It’s important to keep in mind that at that time, Italy was not unified as a nation-state. Rather it was a collection of city-states dominated by the Papal States (the lands of the papacy), the Republic of Venice, the Republic of Florence, the Duchy of Milan, and the Kingdom of Naples.

    Modern scholars see the Sack of Rome as an important turning point in the history of Rome and the papacy . Many have interpreted the event as ending the golden age of the High Renaissance, embodied by the works of Raphael and Michelangelo, and hastening the onset of the Counter Reformation and its emphasis on piety and morality.

    Regardless, the Sack of 1527 was a traumatic event that displaced artisans, artists, and humanists of the papal court and city and imprinted a painful memory on the generation that experienced it.

    Part of the Italian Wars

    The Sack of Rome occurred amid the Italian Wars which saw French, Spanish and Imperial armies (the armies of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V) fight for dominance over the cities and states of the Italian peninsula. Once independent city-states and kingdoms, most of the Italian powers, such as the Republic of Florence , the Duchy of Milan , and the Kingdom of Naples , had come under the control and influence of Charles V.

    Resentful of Charles’s power in the peninsula, Pope Clement VII organized the League of Cognac in 1526 with France, Venice, Milan, and Florence to counter-balance the influence of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in Italy. This alliance between the papacy, France, and many Italian city-states opened a new phase of the Italian Wars called the War of the League of Cognac (1526–30).

    Charles V’s forces, numbering more than 20,000 Spaniards, Italians, and Germans quickly asserted itself in northern Italy, delivering several losses to the forces of the League of Cognac near Milan. However, the army was poorly equipped and even lacked the heavy artillery necessary to besiege walled cities.

    The landsknechts were German mercenaries who fought in the Imperial armies during the first half of the sixteenth century. They were famed for their ferocity and skill with pikes. The landsknechts were known for their outlandish attire, which inspired fear on the battlefield. Daniel Hopfer, Landsknechte, c. 1530, etching, 20.2 × 37.7 cm (The Art Institute of Chicago)

    To make matters worse, the soldiers had not been paid for months and had taken to living off the land to survive. Consequently, they mutinied and forced their general, Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, to march on Rome. Many of the Germans soldiers—mercenaries soldiers called landsknechts—were Protestants who eagerly looked forward to attacking papal Rome as a religious calling and to pillaging the famed wealth of the popes.

    The assault

    In the early morning of May 6, 1527, Charles III, Duke of Bourbon and his forces began their assault on Rome. Despite Rome’s massive walls (built in the third century C.E. by the Roman emperor Aurelian), the Imperial army found the city ill-prepared for the attack. Besides a contingent of Swiss guards , the city’s defenders could only muster 5,000 militiamen, composed of artisans, artists (like Cellini), and priests. In a bold move, the Duke of Bourbon personally led his men as they scaled the walls of Rome at the district of Trastevere. Wearing his characteristic white cloak, Bourbon was shot dead early in the attack by Cellini—if we are to believe his recounting of the sack.

    In this engraving of the sack, the siege of Castel Sant’Angelo is portrayed. The pope and two other prelates look upon the action from a balcony. Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert, after Martin van Heemskerck, Lansknechte in Front of Castel’Angelo in 1527, copper engraving in (The Victories of Emperor Charles V), 1555/6, published by Hieronymus Cock, 15.6 × 23.2 cm (Rijksmuseum)

    Despite the loss of their general, the imperial forces breached the wall and swarmed into Rome, finding to their disbelief that none of the bridges connecting Trastevere to Rome had been destroyed. Quickly, the motley collection of Spaniards and Germans marched over Ponte Sisto, through the Banchi , and across Ponte Sant’Angelo to the Vatican, “killing everyone in their path.” [2]

    Cardinals, prelates, and citizens all stumbled over one another in their mad rush to flee the massacre. Much of the court hid inside Castel Sant’Angelo ( the ancient mausoleum of the Roman emperor, Hadrian, which had been converted into a fortress and a prison in the fourteenth century) , the tall fortress on the Tiber that protected the entrance to the district around the Vatican.

    Pope Clement VII, who had been praying in his private chapel, had to be rushed by cardinals and servants to the fortress through a secret pathway. Witnesses later recounted the pope’s narrow escape. According to one account, if he “had tarried for three more creeds, he would have been taken prisoner in his own palace.” [3] For an entire month, the imperial forced besieged the fortress as more than a thousand courtiers and prelates survived on dwindling supplies. Finally, on June 6, Clement VII surrendered agreeing to pay a ransom of 400,000 ducats for his freedom.

    The ruin of the Eternal City

    “Hell was a more beautiful sight to behold.” Marin Sanuto [4]

    So wrote the Venetian chronicler, Marin Sanuto, in describing the destruction wrought by the imperial army on the city and people of Rome. Numerous other diaries, letters, and contemporary histories attest to the violence and looting that took place during the sack. According to these accounts, the soldiers pillaged churches and palaces, tortured merchants to discover where they kept their fortunes, ransomed cardinals and prelates for thousands of ducats, and murdered men and women indiscriminately.

    The engraving shows a German soldier dressed as the pope being paraded through the streets of Rome. In the background, fighting and pillaging ensues. In the distance, Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo can be seen. Mattäus Merian, “Sack of Rome,” engraving in Johann Ludwig Gottfried’s Historiche Chronica (Frankfurt 1630–34), p. 33.

    Much of this violence took on an anti-clerical and anti-Catholic tone with the Lutheran landsknechts stripping churches of all their valuables and mocking the relics found in their treasuries. Contemporaries described how the relics of Saints Peter and Paul were trampled underfoot, the Sudarium of Christ was sold in taverns, and a priest was killed for not administering the sacraments to a mule dressed in ecclesiastical vestments. One group even elected Martin Luther as pope and carried one of their own in his stead, dressed as the pope in ritual derision of the pope and the papacy—a moment visualized in a seventeenth-century engraving by Mattäus Merian.

    The aftermath of the Sack

    Clement VII and his court, despite surrendering, were held prisoners in Castel Sant’Angelo until he paid the 400,000-ducat ransom. The pope paid a few of these installments before escaping on December 7, 1527 to Orvieto, a nearby city on the border between the Papal States and Tuscany. Here, Clement held court until October 7, 1528, when it was deemed safe to return to Rome. He came back to a ruined city. The population of Rome, which before the sack numbered about 55,000 in habitants, had been reduced to a quarter of its previous size. Much of this population loss can be attributed to merchants, artists, and other temporary visitors fleeing the city. Although exact numbers are hard to come by, scholars estimate that at least ten percent of Rome’s population died in the sack and occupation of the city by the Imperial forces. It would take thirty years for Rome to reach its pre-Sack population.

    Giorgio Vasari, Pope Clement VII in Conversation with Charles V, c. 1560. This painting by the Florentine painter and art critic, Giorgio Vasari, depicts the pope and emperor in conversation as equals. Note that Clement VII was beardless before the sack. He grew the beard as a form of mourning on account of the sack and his time spent in “exile” at Orvieto. The papal court soon followed his example and started to grow beards, helping to further popularize an already growing fashion for keeping beards in the sixteenth century.

    Soon after the sack, Pope Clement VII and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, publicly reconciled when the emperor met the pope in Bologna, where the emperor was crowned by the pope in 1530. Although the traditional coronation ceremony long emphasized papal authority over the Empire, this time the ritual belied Charles V’s domination of Italian affairs. In the months of negotiation leading up to the coronation, Clement VII had to accept the emperor’s influence in secular and ecclesiastical affairs, most notably Charles’s leading position in the Italian peninsula and his call for a council to reform the church—what would later evolve into the Council of Trent . For the next two centuries, popes had to navigate between their own aspirations to power and the demands of secular leaders such as Charles V.

    The impact of the Sack of Rome on art

    The Sack of Rome also had a long-lasting impact on the cultural and artistic life of papal Rome. The sack displaced many artists and humanists working at the papal court. The art historian André Chastel has called this displacement of artists a “diaspora.” [5] A diaspora is a forced dispersal of a large group of people, often entire populations, from their homeland. The term originally applied to the forced displacement of Jews, especially after the Jewish-Roman Wars (66–73 C.E.). The term has since been applied to any large-scale displacement of people.

    Long an artistic center that attracted the likes of Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo, Rome was not the same after the sack. Many artists, finding it hard to secure patronage in Rome, moved to courts in France and the Holy Roman Empire. The painter, Rosso Fiorentino, who suffered at the hands of German soldiers during the sack, found employment at the royal court of King of France in order to escape “a certain kind of wretchedness and poverty.” [6] In transferring to these courts, artists helped disseminate the burgeoning Mannerist style beyond Rome and Florence.

    It has been suggested that the events of 1527 brought an abrupt end to the High Renaissance —although a rguments like this might be a little too strong since Clement’s successor, the popular Roman pope, Paul III , initiated a restoration of Rome’s glory through a program of reform, city-planning, and art patronage.

    The Sack of Rome in art

    A new spirit infused art commissioned by the popes and prelates of the church after the sack. This art was inspired by the reform movements within the church and emphasized piety and doctrine, erasing any of the “pagan” elements of the High Renaissance (most famously embodied by the painter Giulio Romano’s erotic images, I Modi). These trends were already in motion prior to the sack, but some scholars emphasize the role of the events of 1527 in hastening this change. Popes after Clement VII tended to commission works of art that glorified the Church, proclaimed papal supremacy, and educated the faithful in proper doctrine.

    Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert, after Martin van Heemskerck, Sack of Rome in 1527 (and the Death of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon), engraving and etching on paper, in Divi Caroli (The Victories of Emperor Charles V), 1555/6, published by Hieronymus Cock (© Trustees of the British Museum).

    In the years after 1527, humanists and chroniclers wrote about the Sack of Rome and its consequences. However, Italian artists did not produce any works that grappled with the sack itself in its immediate aftermath—perhaps the memory of the event was too painful for the generation that witnessed it to process it through art. One of first portrayals of the sack appeared in 1556 with a series of twelve engravings, The Victories of Charles V, based on the drawings of the Dutch painter, Martin van Heemskerck. The engravings, printed in the Netherlands, celebrated the emperor’s reign after his abdication of the Spanish throne in favor of his son, Philip II.

    Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert, after Martin van Heemskerck, Lansknechte in Front of Castel’Angelo in 1527, copper engraving in (The Victories of Emperor Charles V), 1555/6, published by Hieronymus Cock, 15.6 × 23.2 cm (Rijksmuseum)

    Although Charles V was personally embarrassed by the Sack of Rome, the publisher who commissioned the engravings, Hieronymus Cock, thought it worthy enough to include among the images of the emperor’s victories in the Italian Wars and in his battles against Protestants in Germany. The engravings proved popular and were printed seven times between 1556 and 1640, prolonging the memory of the Italian Wars and the Sack of Rome, and serving as inspiration for artistic depictions of these events.

    Workshop of Guido Durantino, also known as Guido Fontana, maiolica plate, An Episode from the Sack of Rome, 1527: The Assault on the Borgo (the district where the Vatican was located), c. 1540. The plate depicts the Duke of Bourbon leading the imperial forces to the walls of Rome. Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo can be seen in the background.

    Meanwhile, one of the first Italian depictions of the sack oddly occurred in the most mundane of all places—a colorful maiolica plate produced by the workshop of Guido Durantino around 1540 in Urbino. The details of the plate’s commission are unknown, but its patron surely wanted the memory of sack to live on while entertaining dinner guests.

    [1] Benvenuto Cellini, My Life , trans. Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella (Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 62.

    [2] Luigi Guicciardini, The Sack of Rome, trans. James H. McGregor (Italic Press, 1993), p. 96.

    [3] Judith Hook, The Sack of Rome, 1527 (Palgrave, 2004), p. 165.

    [4] Judith Hook, The Sack of Rome, 1527 (Palgrave, 2004), p. 167.

    [5] André Chastel, The Sack of Rome, 1527 , trans. Beth Archer, Princeton University Press, 1983, p. 3.

    [6] Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artists, trans. Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella (Oxford, 1991), p. 353

    Dodatni resursi:

    André Chastel, The Sack of Rome, 1527 (Princeton University, 1983)

    Jessica Goethals, “Vanquished Bodies, Weaponized Words: Pietro Aretino’s Conflicting Portraits of the Sexes and the Sack of Rome,” I Tatti: Studies in the Italian Renaissance 17 (2014): pp. 55–78

    Kenneth Gouwens, Remembering the Renaissance: Humanist Narratives of the Sack of Rome (Brill, 1998)

    Luigi Guicciardini, The Sack of Rome (Italica Press, 1993)

    Judith Hook, The Sack of Rome, 1527 (Palgrave, 2004)

    Bart Rosier, “The Victories of Charles V: A Series of Prints by Marteen van Heemskerck, 1555-1556,” Simiolus: Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art 20 (1990–1991), pp. 24–38

    Idan Sherer, “A Bloody Carnival? Charles V’s Soldiers and the Sack of Rome,” Renaissance Studies 34 (2020): pp. 784–802


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