In AD 410, the Roman world suffered an unprecedented catastrophe. For the first time in 800 years a barbarian army, led by the Visigoth king Alaric, sacked the ancient city of Rome. Alaric carried off Rome's most valuable treasures, but died unexpectedly before he could leave Italy and was buried in a secret tomb laden with part of the plunder; a tomb which has been a temptation for treasure seekers ever since. In "The Lost Gold of Rome", Daniel Costa brings to vivid life the little-known but fascinating story of the deeds, death and mysterious burial of Alaric. Alaric first rebelled against the Romans in 391. Defeated, he and his soldiers were co-opted into the Roman Army and contributed to the victory of Theodosius the Great, a devout Christian, in the battle with the last pagan emperor in the West. Alaric rebelled again in 395 and pillaged Greece. Vanquished repeatedly over the years, he refused to give up and eventually led his people to the very centre of world history. Alaric played a significant role in initiating the dismemberment of the Western Roman Empire, and unintentionally gave papacy their first opportunity to get involved in secular politics.
The life of Alaric is overshadowed by fascination with the mysteries associated with his burial, for instance the belief that sacred furnishings from the Temple at Jerusalem, which the Romans captured in AD 70, may be among the riches buried with him. Countless treasure hunters have tried to discover the 'lost gold of Rome', including the Nazi Heinrich Himmler. Gripping and lively, Daniel Costa's book also encompasses the fall of the Roman Empire, the survival of Rome and the rise of papacy, as well as revealing one of the best-kept secrets of Islam.