All Fall Down

Great nations are only great until they fall. Rome fell on August 24, 410.

Who exactly were the Visigoths, the barbarians from the North who marched unopposed into Rome?

Mr Von Rummel says the latest research reveals a very different picture from that held as recently as 50 years ago.

“Today we know the group consisted of different people, it was mainly an army with a successful leader. People joined this group inside the Roman Empire. They sacked a lot of towns but they acted in different ways, they also were a sometime partner of the Romans,” he said.

“The moment the Roman emperor did not pay any more they changed sides and sacked the town just to tell the emperor: ‘You should pay us’.”


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.

We're not Rome, we're not even an empire, and our modern details are very different, but are we not seeing some of our own switch to the side of lawlessness and looting now?