The historian [[Procopius]] recorded the following satire: the feeble-minded Emperor Honorius was informed by a [[eunuch]] that "Rome was destroyed" and, thinking the reference was to his favorite hen named "Roma", cried out in great consternation: "How could it be? She just ate out of my hand." Upon being informed of his mistake, the hapless emperor was greatly relieved.
== Aftermath ==
After the sack, Alaric and his forces journeyed south, where they expected to take ships to Africa. The ships were destroyed, however, in a storm and Alaric died around the same time. [[Ataulf]] took command of the Goths, leading them north into Gaul, where they settled in [[Aquitaine]].
This was the first time the city had been sacked in 800 years, and it had revealed the Western Roman Empire's increasing vulnerability and military weakness. It was shocking to people across both halves of the Empire who viewed Rome as the and the symbolic heart of their country. [[Jerome]] wrote, "If Rome can perish, what can be safe?"ref Many Romans felt the sack was divine punishment for turning away from the [[Religion in ancient Rome|traditional pagan gods]] to Christianity. This spurred [[Saint Augustine]] to write [[The City of God]].ref