Today in the Middle Ages: May 6, 1527

Rebellious unpaid soldiers of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sacked Rome on May 6, 1527.

The pillaging troops were under the command of Charles de Bourbon, who had not received the financial support he needed to pay them. The Pope had supported the Emperor's opponent in the war he was fighting. Historians disagree on whether the Emperor was embarrassed or pleased by the sack, but he did offer the Pope an apology.

An extensive power shift followed the sack, and the date is considered the end of the Roman renaissance.