“Where is salvation if Rome perishes?” cried St. Jerome (epistle 123.16), thus capturing most Latins’ love of their eternal city. On August 24, 410, the Visigoth leader, Alaric, and his troops marched uncontested into Rome and plundered the great city for days. Since Rome was by then more a matter of legend and nostalgia than of political power (the imperial seat of western rule had moved to Ravenna in 402), Alaric represented a symbolic end to the Pax Romana. Nevertheless, his storming of the walls still caused many wealthy Romans to flee, finding safe havens in the eastern provinces as well as in Latin North Africa. There, far from sharing Jerome’s sentiment upon hearing of Rome’s collapse, Augustine preached …

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Meconi, David. "De Civitate Dei". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 February 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5703, accessed 29 September 2016.]