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DOCUMENT 7


Procopius of Caesarea, Byzantine or Eastern Roman historian describing Alaric's Sack of Rome, 410 CE; History of the Wars [written c. 550 CE]
But the Visigoths, . . . at first entered into an alliance with the Emperor Arcadius, but at a later time, under the leadership of Alaric, they became hostile to both emperors, and, beginning with Thrace, treated all Europe as an enemy's land. Now the emperor Honorius had before this time been sitting in Rome, with never a thought of war in his mind, but glad, I think, if men allowed him to remain quiet in his palace. But when word was brought that the barbarians with a great army were not far off, . . . he abandoned the palace and fled in disorderly fashion to Ravenna, a strong city lying just about at the end of the Ionian Gulf, while some say that he brought in the barbarians himself, because an uprising had been started against him among his subjects; . . . And the barbarians, finding that they had no hostile force to encounter them, became the most cruel of all men. For they destroyed all the cities which they captured, especially those south of the Ionian Gulf, . . . And they killed all the people, as many as came in their way, both old and young alike, sparing neither women nor children. . . . They also gathered as plunder all the money out of all Europe, and, most important of all, they left in Rome nothing whatever of public or private wealth when they moved on to Gaul. But I shall now tell how Alaric captured Rome.”







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