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One of many sacks of Rome, that of the year 846 was the only instance of Muslims sacking the city.


During the 8th and 9th centuries, Muslim Arabs (known by medieval Italians as the Saracens) had begun to aggressively expand into Southern Italymarker. These newcomers, sailing from their bases in North Africa, had conquered Sicily and had begun a steady attack of the peninsula.

Spoliation of the churches

Under Pope Paschal I (817-824), all the spoils of the holy martyrs were transferred into the walls of the city. When Rome was finally sacked in 846, Paschal's preparation did not prevent the spoliation of Basilica of Saint Petermarker itself, nor of another major basilica, San Paolo fuori le Muramarker, both of which were outside the ancient fortifications.

To prevent a second such incident, in 852 Pope Leo IV commissioned the construction of another wall (Leonine Wall) around an area on the opposite side of the Tiber from the seven hills of Rome. This enclosure has since become known as the Leonine Citymarker.


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