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On August 24, 410, Rome was attacked by the Visigoths, led by Alaric I, in what is known as the Sack of Rome. Rome was not the capital of the Western Empire by this point, but it was still the "eternal city" and spiritual center of the Empire. It shocked friends and foes of the empire alike, as it was the first time in 8 centuries that Rome had suffered a defeat to an enemy. It is seen as one of the major landmarks of the fall of the Roman Empire.