The Roman Empire was probably the greatest bastion of human civilization and achievement of the era. Sure, it would significantly overextend its reach, and the government was absolutely rife with corruption, and Emperor Nero liked to set fire to the city from time to time, but it still had a code of laws, and theater, and roads. This naturally made the nation a target for barbarian hordes, unruly sorts who despised all forms of progress and smelled like a dog that’s rolled around in a refuse pit. The city of Rome would thus be attacked on no less than seven separate occasions.
The first sack occurred in 387 B.C. when Rome was attacked by the Gauls (aka the French). They had just lost the Battle of the Allia, and attempts to flee to the city merely resulted in the enemy following behind. All Roman records were destroyed during the citywide assault, and the city was pillaged horribly. Rome would next be sacked in 410 A.D. by Alaric, King of the Goths. He wasn’t too difficult to deal with, though, because they simply advertised a sale on black nail polish across the sea in Egypt, leading to a hasty departure.
Not so easy was the third sack of Rome in 455 A.D., when the Vandals attacked. As one might surmise, these barbarians liked to deface public property and spent a lot of time carving obscene words into the sides of buildings. The next sack would occur in 546 A.D. when the Ostrogoths decided to invade. Attacking the city was almost an afterthought for them, and occurred while the blonde-haired barbarians were on their way to battle with the Byzantines. It is some small compensation that they would be completely wiped out during the next couple of decades.
By this point, Rome was pretty well sacked, but the attacks were not yet through. The Saracens would attack in 846 A.D., where they successfully managed to loot St. Peter’s Basilica (a public building believed to hold his remains). This would be followed by a sixth sack by the Normans in 1084 A.D., and another in 1527 A.D. by the Roman troops themselves. Apparently they had gotten tired of everyone else looting and plundering all the time, and wanted a chance to sack the city as well. There was very little left worth taking by this point, though, so they were forced to return to duty empty-handed.