Today in the Middle Ages: August 24, 410 C.E.

On August 24, 410, King Alaric the Goth sacked Rome. This event is sometimes regarded as the beginning of the Middle Ages.

Alaric had served Emperor Justian as a leader of foederati, Germanic troops in Roman service. Possibly disappointed when he did not gain a promotion after Justinian's death in 395, Alaric allowed the Visigoths to proclaim him their king. He struck first at the eastern provinces of the Empire and finally at Rome itself.