Society / Sack or Destruction of City

546AD Dec. 17

Event #329: Sack of Rome by Totila

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Geographical sites:

  • Rome (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #423025)
    Pleiades_icon Roma urban, settlement, temple Geocontext: Roma/Rome
    Description: The capital of the Roman Republic and Empire.


Text #416

Zachariah of Mitylene. The Syriac Chronicle
[Bk. 10 Ch. 15 p. 316]

In the eighteenth year of Justinian, which is the year eight hundred and fifty-seven of the Greeks1, the barbarians took Rome, the chief city of Italy; and since they could not guard it, they established themselves in the camp by the side of it, while they left the city deserted and empty.

    1. This was the twentieth of Justinian, and the fact that the same misreckoning is found twice in 12. 4 and once in 12. 5 tends to show that this sentence is derived from our author. [OF]

Text #417

Procopius of Caesarea. History of the Wars. Series: Procopius. Vol. 4
[Proc. BHist. 7.17.4--7.17.5. Translated by H. B. Dewing. William Heinemann. 1962. (7 Vols.) p. 325]


Thus it came about that four Isaurians who were keeping guard by the Asinarian Gate did as follows: having waited carefully for that part of the night during which it always fell to the lot of the soldiers next them to sleep while the guarding of that portion of the wall devolved upon them, they fastened ropes to the battlement long enough to reach down to the ground, and laying hold of these with both hands got outside the fortifications; then they went before Totila and agreed to receive him and the Gothic army into the city; for, as they declared, they were able to do this without any trouble…

Text #6352

"Sack of Rome (546)", in Wikipedia.

The Sack of Rome in 546 was carried out by the Gothic king Totila during the Gothic War of 535–554 between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantine Empire. […] Totila finally entered Rome on 17 December 546,1 after his men scaled the walls at night and opened the Asinarian Gate.

  1. Barker, John W (1966) Justinian and the Later Roman Empire, University of Wisconsin Press (p. 160) [OF]

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