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[[File: Medallion_of_Totila.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left|Totila, King of the Ostrogoths (AD 541-552)]]
Rome is generally viewed as not just one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, but one of the greatest cities of all time. For most of its early history, Rome was as safe as it was prosperous and cultured. It was threatened on numerous occasions by several different armies, but was only sacked three times between the inception of the Roman Republic in 509 BC and the Gothic War of the sixth century AD. The Gauls were the first non-Romans who were able to successfully breach the city’s walls in 390 BC, which led to the Romans taking more proactive measures to defend their city. During Rome’s long, steady decline, it was sacked several more times – in AD 410 by the Visigoths, then less than fifty years later in 455 by the Vandals, and finally in 546 by the Ostrogoths.