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For nearly one thousand years, Rome was the capital city of the enormous Roman Empire, and it was a city that could not be conquered. From the founding of the Roman Republic around 500 B.C.E. until roughly 410 C.E., the Romans did the conquering, not the other way around. However, in 410 C.E., the city was sacked by angry Visigoths and the empire’s demise was near.