BARBARIANS AT THE GATE? OR INSIDE THE KEEP?
Technical problems with Google indexing have made it desirable to re-post all of our material. I hope you will find interest in reflecting with me, on the history of the Church over the centuries and during the life of the Blog which began on 14th December 2009. This post first appeared on 8thNovember 2010.
1,600 Years ago, and 42 years before Attila, Rome HAD been sacked by Alaric and the Visigoth hordes he led – something that had not happened in the preceding 800 years. The overrunning and sacking of cities was not uncommon in the ancient world. But not Rome – this was the great trauma of Civilisation! “The city that had conquered the world, was itself conquered….” says Roman citizen St.Jerome
As the shock waves and consequences spread around the civilized world, St. Augustine recalled seeing the weekly pay parade of the Roman soldiers from his residence. With casual interest at first, his attention became more compelled as he noticed they became restless in their ranks and in time broke up in a disorderly fashion when their pay did not arrive.
Rome was no longer the Capital of the Empire. The seat of the Imperial Government had been moved to Ravenna. But make no mistake, Alaric had shocked and sickened the civilized world. The long, slow descent into the so-called Dark Ages was underway
How different is our situation today! There is no modern equivalent of the Rome of those days. No, not Washington, not London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, let alone Beijing has the status Rome then held. But , just as the military onslaughts of the barbarians and even more so , their assimilation as citizens undermined and finally toppled the Empire, first in the West and 1,000 years later in the East when Constantinople fell to the pagan Mohammedans, so our Western civilization, is suffering not only “Barbarians at the Gate” but its own peculiar enemies within. But who are they, that they could undermine and topple our civilization?