END OF THE EMPIRE OF THE WEST
A FEW years after the death of the terrible Attila,
Valentinian was murdered; and during the next twenty
years nine emperors reigned, and there were troubles
and wars without end.
The people were very superstitious in those times; and,
as their troubles increased, some one suddenly
remembered that Romulus, the founder of Rome, had seen
twelve vultures. The report was soon spread all over
the country that these twelve vultures represented as
many centuries, and that, as Rome had been founded
about twelve hundred years before, its rule would soon
be at an end.
In the course of these twenty years, Genseric, King of
the Vandals, came over from Africa, captured Rome,
 and allowed his soldiers to sack it for fourteen days.
As his men were very rough indeed, they destroyed many
things which they could not carry away; and when they
departed they took with them the widow of Valentinian,
and her daughters, and reduced many noble Romans to
Romulus Augustulus was the last of these nine
emperors. Soon after his election, Odoacer, the
leader of a tribe of Germans, made himself king of
Italy, deposed Romulus Augustulus, and began to rule in
The empire of the West then came to an end (A.D. 476),
and Rome, which had been founded by one Romulus, was
shorn of its glory under another emperor of the same
name, after having ruled nearly all the known world for
many a year.
The Roman senate, seeing that the Western empire was
ended, now sent the tiara and purple robes to
Constantinople, where the Eastern empire continued
until the city fell into the hands of the Turks in