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Jerome, Letters 127.12

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In 410 Rome was briefly occupied by the Gothic king Alaric. Jerome, writing a couple of years later, recalls the arrival of the news.

dum haec aguntur in Iebus, terribilis de occidente rumor adfertur obsideri Romam et auro salutem civium redimi spoliatosque rursum circumdari, ut post substantiam vitam quoque amitterent. haeret vox et singultus intercipiunt verba dictantis. capitur urbs quae totum cepit orbem, immo fame perit ante quam gladio et vix pauci, qui caperentur, inventi sunt.

While these things were happening in Jebus [=Jerusalem], a terrifying rumour was brought from the west, saying that Rome was being besieged and the citizens’ safety being bought with gold, and that after being so despoiled they were again being surrounded, so that after losing their property they also lost their lives. My voice is sticking and sobs are interrupting my words as I dictate. That city which took the whole world is taken, indeed it perished from starvation even before it perished by the sword, and barely a few were found who could be taken captive.

Written by aleatorclassicus

August 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Jerome