This spring, a landmark documentary, Monumental will hit theaters across America. The film, starring Kirk Cameron, centers on the rediscovery of the matrix of liberty carved into a 180 ton granite monument. The Forefathers Monument stands on a forgotten hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The central figure of the Forefathers Monument is: Faith.
Faith is the heart of the monument. She is a large 36 ft., classically draped female standing with one foot on Plymouth Rock. Her right hand is pointing to heaven and her left hand holds a Geneva Bible, the Bible of the Pilgrims. This signifies that America’s forefathers had faith in the God of the Bible which was the very core of their liberty. The star on Faith’s forehead illustrates the divine light imparting biblical wisdom to every area of life. Faith was the precedent and inspiration for the Statue of Liberty.
Why is Faith so important in the struggle to restore liberty and prosperity to America? It is crucial because man is inescapably religious. All cultures are built upon some form of religious faith.
In comparison to biblical Christianity, what have other faiths produced throughout history? Is it true, as the multi-cultural advocates suggest that many religious faiths created the modern western world as we know it? Historian Rodney Stark gives us a realistic picture of what the world would be like if it were dominated by other religions such as the polytheistic gods of Greece or Rome, or the non-theistic gods of Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism. He says, “Christianity created Western Civilization…without a theology committed to reason, progress, and moral equality [Christianity], today the entire world would be about where non-European societies were in, say, 1800. A world with many astrologers and alchemists but no scientists. A world of despots, lacking universities, banks, factories, eyeglasses, chimneys, and pianos. A world where most infants do not live to the age of five and many women die in childbirth – a world truly living in the dark ages.” A host of other brilliant historians agree.
This is why faith is so important. As the Bible teaches, our faith determines our eternal relationship with God. It also determines whether our life will bring liberty or tyranny to men and nations. Christianity was the primary source of all of our institutions. Author Dinesh D’Souza says, referring to Europe (and the roots of America), “Slowly and surely, Christianity took this backward continent and gave it learning and order, stability and dignity…Where there was once wasteland they produced hamlets, then towns, and eventually commonwealths and cities. Through the years the savage barbarian warrior became a chivalric Christian knight, and new ideals of civility and manners and romance were formed that shape our society to this day…Christianity is responsible for the way our society is organized and for the way we currently live. So extensive is the Christian contribution to our laws, our economics, our politics, our arts, our calendar, our holidays, and our moral and cultural priorities that historian J. M. Roberts writes in The Triumph of the West, ‘We could none of us today be what we are if a handful of Jews nearly two thousand years ago had not believed that they had known a great teacher, seen him crucified, dead, and buried, and then rise again.’”
The American people’s daily choices determine their ultimate allegiance or faith. Will they choose the State as God, one of a panoply of non-Christian alternative gods, or will Americans galvanize to the right choice – the God of their ancestors, the biblical God, the only true God? That is the ultimate decision which determines the future of generations to come.
The above decisions cannot be forced. If the American people, for example, determine that they want to continue down the road of secular humanism or the worship of man, then they are free to do so and face the consequences. Friedrich Nietzsche, the founder of modern Nihilism and Atheism, states that if society rejects Christianity then that will mean the end of any hope of maintaining human equality and rights. Nietzsche said, “Another Christian concept, no less crazy: the concept of equality of souls before God. This concept furnishes the prototype of all theories of equal rights.” The civilizing influence of Christianity brings all men equal and accountable before a loving God.
Biblical Christianity is proven to be historically accurate. The Bible is inerrant. It is the only book in all of history that claims one true God. Its predictive history has been proven over thousands of years. The Bible’s structure of the institutions of the family, the church, and the state are incomparable. They bring liberty, stability, and charity like no other faith.
It must be proclaimed that Biblical Christianity has blessed the world with equal rights, free enterprise prosperity, scientific discovery, inventions, etc. Most importantly it saves us from eternal separation from God through the grace and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Stark says it well. “The modern world arose only in Christian societies. Not in Islam. Not in Asia. Not in a “secular” society – there having been none. And all the modernization that has since occurred outside Christendom was imported from the West, often brought by colonizers and missionaries.”
The above statements regarding the superiority of the Christian faith to all other religions are but a drop in the ocean of historical proof that rings down to us clearly through the ages. Faith in the God of the Bible brings liberty. Those who desire to be blessed personally and nationally must first bow in Faith, and accept the first proclamation of God to Moses on Mt. Sinai, “Thou shall have no other gods before me.”
British historian Niall Ferguson documents the point that it is not our external enemies or the existential fears of our current malaise that are driving our culture into decline. He says. “…the real threat posed is not by the rise of China, Islam, or CO2 emissions, but by our own loss of faith in the civilization we inherited from our ancestors.”
If we desire to rediscover the strategy that produced the most prosperous and free civilization in all of human history, then we must first personally commit ourselves to the Faith of our ancestors as seen in the central figure in the Forefathers Monument. As we look to God and study His infallible Word, we can expect to be given wisdom for our present day and solutions to our growing national crisis.
There is good news in America. Our hope as a nation shining above all others is that our forefathers brought to our shores a national treasure. They unloaded this treasure at Plymouth Harbor in November of 1620. It was not in chests that could be lost at sea like a pirate’s booty. The treasure was indelibly planted into the hearts and minds of every suffering man, woman, and child who came. It enabled them to create out of a wilderness the most free and prosperous nation in human history.
The value of this national treasure and the cost of losing it was described by Daniel Webster in 1820. Speaking of the Pilgrims, he said, “Our fathers were brought here by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence though all their institutions, civil, political, or literary [the media of their time].”
He also said, “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.” Could this be the reason that Americans are facing the possible loss of our freedoms and prosperity?
Our ancestors left us a plan, a roadmap back to freedom and prosperity knowing that we might lose our way. They built a magnificent monument, now hidden away in a small village in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was lovingly planned and built over the course of 70 years, from 1820-1890. Yet today the Forefathers Monument stands neglected and almost forgotten.
The Forefathers Monument, the largest granite monument in America, stands 86 feet high and weighs 180 tons. The center of the monument is a classically draped female entitled Faith. Her right hand is raised pointing to heaven and her left hand holds a Bible. Facing out from Faith are four smaller statues (about 20 tons each). The first of these is Morality. Morality is represented by a seated female statue holding the Ten Commandments in one hand and the scroll of Revelation in the other. These represent the standard of Morality which comes from both the Old and New Testaments. Images carved on both sides of the statue are that of a Prophet and an Evangelist. These indicate that the power of morality comes from the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This internal Morality, character, or virtue that is essential for liberty includes: self-government, patience, faith, diligence, courage, long-suffering, godliness, kindness, and Christian love. The noble and simple story of the Pilgrims at Plymouth portrays the true meaning of Morality and virtue.
U.S. Senator George Hoar addressed the State House in Boston in 1897. He had become convinced that Pilgrim Governor William Bradford’s history Of Plymouth Plantation was “the most precious on earth” with the exception of the four gospels. In the presence of a large gathering of government representatives and rulers he said that the Bradford diary was the only authentic history of what we have a right to consider the most important political transaction that has ever taken place on the face of the earth.
“There is nothing like it in human annals since the story of Bethlehem. These Englishmen and Englishwomen going out from their homes in beautiful Lincoln and York, wife separating from husband and mother from child in that hurried embarkation for Holland, pursued to the beach by English horsemen; the thirteen years of exile; the life at Amsterdam ‘in alley foul and lane obscure’; the dwelling at Leyden; the embarkation at Delfthaven; the farewell of Robinson; the terrible voyage across the Atlantic; the compact in the harbor; the landing on the rock; the dreadful first winter; the death roll of more than half the number; the days of suffering and of famine…the building of the State on those sure foundations which no wave or tempest has ever shaken; the breaking of the new light; the dawning of the new day; the beginning of the new life; the enjoyment of peace with liberty, – of all these things this is the original record by the hand of our beloved father and founder.”
Governor Wolcott then said that the Pilgrims in Plymouth suffered greatly for a great cause, “but their noble purpose was not doomed to defeat, but was carried to perfect victory. They established what they planned. Their feeble plantation became the birthplace of religious liberty, the cradle of a free commonwealth. To them a mighty nation owns its debt…they have made the civilized world their debtor.” He then spoke of the “conscience, courage, and faith, set in the web by that little band. May God in His mercy grant that the moral impulse which founded this nation may never cease to control its destiny.”
Today, as Christians we must help answer the above prayer. We have nearly spent this immeasurable inheritance. It is time for us as Christians to work and sacrifice for our children and grandchildren as “forefathers” did for us. There is great hope for the future if we return much of our focus to the bottom-up strategy of victory which our forefathers left us. Our founders were united in the belief that morality and virtue were absolutely essential for freedom.
Our second President John Adams once stated, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice [greed], ambition, revenge… would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
His cousin, Samuel Adams was the leader of the patriot revolution. He said,
“A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. If virtue and knowledge are di used among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.”
“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.
“He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.”
The bottom-up, internal to external strategy of liberty is found in the Forefathers Monument. The strategy of liberty beginning with faith, morality, and self-government is our great hope!
What would football be without rules? It would be mayhem and chaos. Millions of Americans know the rules/laws of football very well. But do they even know or have as much passion for the laws that affect all of their wealth, their children, and everything they do in the biggest game of all – the game of life?
For centuries America’s laws were the foundation of a liberty never before known. These laws were few, just, and merciful. They were based upon what was referred to as the Divine Law, the Laws of God, the Laws of Good and Evil, the Ten Commandments, or what George Washington called the Eternal Rules of Order and Right.
Our forefathers knew the historical proven truth that only a society following God’s precepts can be truly blessed. Our ancestors left us a strategy to restore our nation if we were ever to fall away from this truth. This matrix of liberty is portrayed on the Forefathers Monument in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It teaches us that a restoration of a just society under the rule of law is the only hope of maintaining liberty and avoiding tyranny.
America’s liberty and lasting constitutional republic was the fruit of 1,000 years of development of Christian civil laws based upon the Scriptures. Living in the 9th century, Alfred the Great, England’s greatest King was a devout and wise believer. He wrote many of the laws of Moses beginning with the Ten Commandments and selections of the gospels as the First laws of the Common Laws of England.
Three centuries later, in 1215, Magna Carta carried on this development of the rule of law based on the same Biblical foundations as the English Common Law. This document became the cornerstone of the constitution of England. It was written to limit the wicked King John and all other future rulers from controlling the church, imprisoning any of the people without due process, and taking their wealth from them through over-taxation and oppressive regulations.
Four centuries later, after many struggles and much persecution, the story of liberty emerged again in England. The Bible began to be translated and distributed for all people to read. It is at this moment that the Pilgrims from Scrooby, England, entered the stage of history. They became the conduit of freedom that birthed our blessed nation of liberty under law.
Coming to America in 1620, the Pilgrims followed the common law legal tradition of England. They wrote the Mayflower Compact in which they agreed to establish just laws in a new land. Their civil laws reflected their Biblical faith and were voted in by free elections of the people. The settlers who immigrated in the coming decades followed the compact theory of law of the Pilgrims. As early as 1638, the Connecticut Constitution, which was the model for the U.S. Constitution, stated, “The choice of public magistrates belongs unto the people, by God’s allowance…The privilege of election…must not be exercised according to their humors [whims], but according to the blessed will and law of God.”
As the colonies grew and charters and laws were written, each one of the Ten Commandments was adopted as law by 12 of the 13 original colonies. Even Rhode Island, the only exception, established the last six of the Ten Commandments in its legal structure.
The Ten Commandments and the “rule of law” were the people’s choice as the foundation of law for America’s founding generation. America’s 6th president, John Quincy Adams, says, “From the day of the Declaration… they [the American people] were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct.”
The United States Constitution was also based on these unchanging principles. The Constitution derives its fundamental, world-changing concepts from the Hebrew republic and Laws of God. These Biblical principles include the three branches of government, the separation of powers, checks and balances, the right of trial by jury and equality of all people before the law. The Constitution also severely limits the power of the national government and directs almost all powers in the nation down to the states and the people.
Only after the Civil War, and the founding of Harvard Law School with its first dean, Christopher Columbus Langdell, did America’s legal system begin to shift away from its Biblical foundations. Harvard jettisoned 900 years of Christian legal theory and the wisdom of William Blackstone’s Commentaries which were the standard of the age. Langdell, a devout evolutionist, applied Darwin’s theory to law, creating a new religious foundation for “justice.” He taught an ever-changing, evolutionary set of laws, adjusted by the judges to fit the whims of their own religious preference. Case law, not divine wisdom and justice, was the new plumline of truth. Judges and legislatures, especially in the 20th century, slowly began to reinterpret and pervert justice based on a new religion, secular humanism (man is god).
John Jay, America’s first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, clearly stated the solution for our downward spiral into humanistic law and tyranny. He said, “No human society has ever been able to maintain both order and freedom, both cohesiveness and liberty apart from the moral precepts of the Christian Religion applied and accepted by all the classes. Should our republic ere forget this fundamental precept of governance, men are certain to shed their responsibilities for licentiousness and this great experiment will then surely be doomed.”
We need not give up. The future is not in the hands of elite humanists or even in the hands of “the people,” our hope rests in the unstoppable force of the covenant people of God – the church – awakened and empowered by the “King over all the earth” (Ps. 47:2). As Samuel Johnson said, “the hidden origin of all power, all [per]suasion, and all purpose, is the assemblage of the covenant people: the church.”
I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith…utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level – preschool day care or large statue university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new – the rotting corpse of Christianity together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism [man is God], resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of “love thy neighbor” will be finally achieved.
August 16, 2012
America is facing a crisis so severe that many people are beginning to compare our cultural deterioration to the fall of the mighty Roman Empire. A survey of the symptoms that led to Rome’s demise, which parallels America’s downward trends, should be a wakeup call for all of us.
Rome’s decline, many scholars agree, began when the decentralized regions of the empire lost their local control to an all powerful government. Augustus Caesar declared himself to be god on earth, and every decision then flowed down from Rome from an oppressive government bureaucracy. In the empire, crushing taxes on the middle and upper classes drove them out of business and out of Rome. The empire was bankrupt.
The out of control government attempted to calm the masses with an ever increasing welfare state in which the citizens survived on free bread and increasingly violent sports and entertainment in their coliseums. The monogamous family disintegrated in an empire-sanctioned orgy of sexual immorality, suicide, abortion and infanticide. With decreasing demographics, the empire increasingly imported immigrants who did not share their culture and soon became the majority.
By the time that Rome was burned and her citizens plundered and raped on September 4, 476 A.D., the above depravities had drained the empire of any will to survive. But as we ponder the similarities between Rome and America we should remember one fundamental difference between the two. Rome was founded on a culture of death including false gods of manmade stone, human sacrifice and the plunder of the nations. Their ignominious, self-destructive collapse was inevitable.
Read more at World History Institute.
The Fall of Rome & Lessons for Today
Bill Federer – American Minute
THE FALL OF ROME was a culmination of several external and internal factors.
GREAT WALL OF CHINA: By 220AD, the Later Eastern Han Dynasty had extended the Great Wall of China along its Mongolian border, which resulted in the Northern Huns attacking west instead of east. This caused a domino effect of tribes migrating west across Central Asia, and overrunning the Western Roman Empire.
OPEN BORDERS: Illegal immigrants poured across the Roman borders: Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Franks, Anglos, Saxons, Alemanni, Thuringians, Rugians, Jutes, Picts, Burgundians, Lombards, Alans, Vandals, as well as African Berbers and Arab raiders.
Will and Ariel Durant wrote in The Story of Civilization (Vol. 3-Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p. 366): “If Rome had not engulfed so many men of alien blood in so brief a time, if she had passed all these newcomers through her schools instead of her slums, if she had treated them as men with a hundred potential excellences, if she had occasionally closed her gates to let assimilation catch up with infiltration, she might have gained new racial and literary vitality from the infusion, and might have remained a Roman Rome, the voice and citadel of the West.”
LOSS OF COMMON LANGUAGE: At first immigrants assimilated and learned the Latin language. They worked as servants with many rising to leadership. But then they came so fast they did not learn Latin, but instead created a mix of Latin with their own Germanic, Frankish and Anglo tribal tongues. The unity of the Roman Empire began to dissolve.
THE WELFARE STATE: “Bread and the Circus!” Starting in 123 BC, Emperor Caius Gracchus began appeasing citizens with welfare, a monthly hand-out of a free dole (handout) of grain.
Roman poet Juvenal (circa 100 AD) described how Roman emperors controlled the masses by keeping them ignorant and obsessed with self-indulgence, so that they would be distracted and not throw them out of office, which they might do if they realized the true condition of the Empire: “Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who ONCE UPON A TIME handed out military command, high civil office, legions – everything, NOW restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.”
The Durants wrote in The Lessons of History (p. 92): “The concentration of population and poverty in great cities may compel a government to choose between ENFEEBLING THE ECONOMY WITH A DOLE or running the risk of riot and revolution.” Welfare and government jobs exploded, as recorded in Great Ages of Man-Barbarian Europe (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 39), one Roman commented: “Those who live at the expense of the public funds are more numerous than those who provide them.”
VIOLENT ENTERTAINMENT: The Circus Maximus and Coliseum were packed with crowds of Romans engrossed with violent entertainment, games, chariot races, and until 404 AD, gladiators fighting to the death.
Gerald Simons wrote in Great Ages of Man-Barbarian Europe (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 20): “In the causal brutality of its public spectacles, in a rampant immorality that even Christianity could not check.”
CLASS WARFARE: City centers were abandoned by the upper class, who bought up farms from rural landowners and transformed them into palatial estates.
The Durants wrote in The Story of Civilization (Vol. 3-Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p.90): “The Roman landowner disappeared now that ownership was concentrated in a few families, and a proletariat without stake in the country filled the slums of Rome.”
Inner cities were destabilized, being also plagued with lead poisoning, as water was brought in through lead pipes. (“plumb” or “plumbing” is the Latin word for “lead.”)
The value of human life was low. Slavery and sex-trafficking abounded, especially of captured peoples from Eastern Europe. “Slavs,” which meant “glorious” came to have the inglorious meaning of a permanent servant or “slave.” (Great Ages, p. 18).
TAXES: Taxes became unbearable, as “collectors became greedy functionaries in a bureaucracy so huge and corrupt.” Tax collectors were described by the historian Salvian as “more terrible than the enemy.” (Great Ages, p. 20).
Arther Ferrill wrote in The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation (New York: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1986): “The chief cause of the agricultural decline was high taxation on the marginal land, driving it out of cultivation.”
There was a loss of patriotism, wealth began to flee the Empire, and with it, the spirit of liberty. President William Henry Harrison warned in his Inaugural Address, 1841: “It was the beautiful remark of a distinguished English writer that ‘in the Roman senate Octavius had a party and Antony a party, but the Commonwealth had none’…
The spirit of liberty had fled, and, avoiding the abodes of civilized man, had sought protection in the wilds of Scythia or Scandinavia; and so under the operation of the same causes and influences it will fly from our Capitol and our forums.”
More recently, John F. Kennedy observed, January 6, 1961: “Present tax laws may be stimulating in undue amounts the flow of American capital to industrial countries abroad.”
OUTSOURCING: Rome’s economy stagnated from a large trade deficit, as grain production was outsourced to North Africa.
Gerald Simons wrote in Great Ages of Man-Barbarian Europe (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 39): “As conquerors of North Africa, the Vandals cut off the Empire’s grain supply at will. This created critical food shortages, which in turn curtailed Roman counterattacks.”
DEBT PRECEDED FALL: Rome was crippled by huge government bureaucracies and enormous public debt. The Durants wrote in The Lessons of History (p. 92): “Huge bureaucratic machinery was unable to govern the empire effectively with the enormous, out-of-control debt.”
In Great Ages of Man-Barbarian Europe (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 20), Gerald Simons wrote: “The Western Roman economy, already undermined by falling production of the great Roman estates and an unfavorable balance of trade that siphoned off gold to the East, had now run out of money.”
SELF-PROMOTING & CORRUPT POLITICIANS: The Durants wrote in The Lessons of History (p. 92): “The educated and skilled pursued business and financial success to the neglect of their involvement in politics.”
Richard A. Todd wrote in “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (Eerdmans’ Handbook to the History of Christianity, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Co., 1977, p. 184): “The church, while preaching against abuses, contributed to the decline by discouraging good Christians from holding public office.”
CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS: Roman families had fewer children. Some would sell unwanted children into slavery or, up until 374 AD, leave them outside exposed to the weather to die.
The Durants wrote in The Story of Civilization, Vol. 3-Caesar and Christ (Simon & Schuster, 1944, p. 134): “Children were now luxuries which only the poor could afford.”
IMMORALITY: There was court favoritism, the patronage system, injustice in the legal system, infidelity, perverted bathhouses, sexual immorality and gymnasiums (“gym” being the Greek word for naked). 5th-Century historian Salvian wrote: “For all the lurid Roman tales of their atrocities…the barbarians displayed…a good deal more fidelity to their wives.” (Great Ages, p. 13.)
Salvian continued: “O Roman people be ashamed; be ashamed of your lives. Almost no cities are free of evil dens, are altogether free of impurities, except the cities in which the barbarians have begun to live… Let nobody think otherwise, the vices of our bad lives have alone conquered us… The Goths lie, but are chaste, the Franks lie, but are generous, the Saxons are savage in cruelty…but are admirable in chastity… What hope can there be for the Romans when the barbarians are more pure than they?
Samuel Adams wrote to John Scollay of Boston, April 30, 1776: “The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals. ‘The Roman Empire,’ says the historian, ‘must have sunk, though the Goths had not invaded it. Why? Because the Roman virtue was sunk.'”
MILITARY CUTS: Though militarily superior and marching on advanced road systems, the highly trained Roman Legions were strained fighting conflicts from the Rhine River to the Sassanid Persian Empire. Roman borders were over-extended and the military defending them was cut back to dangerously low ranks.
The Durants wrote in The Story of Civilization (Vol. 3-Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p.90): “The new generation, having inherited world mastery, had no time or inclination to defend it; that readiness for war which had characterized the Roman landowner disappeared.”
TERRORIST ATTACKS: Visigothic King Alaric first sacked Rome in 410AD, followed by Vandal King Genseric in 455. Attila the Hun, “The Scourge of God,” committed terrorist attacks, wiping out entire cities, such as the city of Aquileia in Italy, which had been listed as the 9th greatest city in the world.
Residents fled to lagoons by the sea and hammered trees into the watery mud to create ground, founding the city of Venice. Pope Leo rode out to meet Attila in 452AD, and persuaded him not to sack Rome, delaying the inevitable a few more decades.
Finally the barbarian Chieftain Odoacer attacked, and Rome is considered to have officially fallen on SEPTEMBER 4, 476