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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

THE failure which had attended the designs of Attalus was a source of deep displeasure to the Pagans and the Christians of the Arian denomination. The Pagans had inferred from the known predilections and early education of Attalus, that he would openly maintain their superstitions, and restore their ancient temples, their festivals, and their altars. The Arians imagined that as soon as he found himself firmly established in the possession of power, Attalus would reinstate them in the supremacy over the churches which they had enjoyed during the reigns of Constantius and of Valens; for he had been baptised by Sigesarius, bishop of the Goths, to the great satisfaction of Alaric and the Arian party.

Soon after, Alaric stationed himself among the Alps, at a distance of about sixty stadia from Ravenna, and held a conference with the emperor concerning the conclusion of a peace. Saros, a barbarian by birth, imagining that any treaty formed between the Romans and the Goths would militate against his own private interests, rushed upon Alaric with an army only three hundred strong, but composed of chosen and valiant men. Many of the Goths fell in this encounter, and impelled by rage and terror, Alaric retraced his steps, and returned to Rome, and the city was betrayed into his hands. He permitted his followers to seize the wealth of the citizens, and to plunder the houses; but from respect towards the Apostle Peter, he prohibited the desecration of the large and beautiful church erected around his tomb. This prohibition was the only cause which prevented the entire demolition of Rome; for many had taken refuge within the church, and being permitted to escape with their lives, they undertook to rebuild their city.








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