On this day in AD 455: the beginning of the end for Rome

On 2 June AD 455, Gaiseric and his Vandals arrived at Rome’s gates. What followed was two weeks that shook the world.

At least that’s how it’s often told. In fact, it was a lot less dramatic.

The Vandals were the second group of “barbarians” to sack Rome. The first attack had come on 24 August 410, when Alaric the Visigoth had looted the city for three days. Even though Alaric was a Christian, and the capital of the Western Roman Empire had moved to Ravenna, his assault had genuinely sent shock waves around the Mediterranean and throughout the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. So by the time of Gaiseric and his Vandals in 455, people had seen it all before.

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