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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
VIII. THE GERMANS TO 476 A.D.
» Contents of this ChapterPage 14
END OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE IN THE WEST, 476 A.D.
Rome escaped a visitation by the Huns only to fall a victim, three years later, to the Vandals. After the capture of Carthage, these barbarians made that city the seat of a pirate empire. Putting out in their long, light vessels, they swept the seas and raided many a populous city on the Mediterranean coast. So terrible were their inroads that the word "vandalism" has come to mean the wanton destruction of property.
SACK OF ROME BY THE VANDALS, 455 A.D.
In 455 A.D. the ships of the Vandals, led by their king, Gaiseric, appeared at the mouth of the Tiber. The Romans could offer no resistance. Only the noble bishop Leo went out with his clergy to meet the invader and intercede for the city. Gaiseric promised to spare the lives of the inhabitants and not to destroy the public buildings. These were the best terms he would grant. The Vandals spent fourteen days stripping Rome of her wealth. Besides shiploads of booty the Vandals took away thousands of Romans as slaves, including the widow and two daughters of an emperor.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy