Sack of Rome- 410 -- this is a date every schoolchild learned. But what it was like to live in Rome at that time we rarely stopped to think. Nor did we consider the fate of the Roman general of Vandal birth, Stilicho, who halted Alaric for a time, but who was falsely accused and slain by the Emperor Honorius. This story is plotted against these facts of history, and in its course, one learns what Rome was like to a youth sent out from Gaul, Hilary, who became an intimate of the household of Stilicho, whose unwillingness to recognize the decadence of the Rome he'd worshipped almost caught him in its downfall, as his family had been earlier caught by the barbarian hordes in Bordeaux. Here is a story, told with no attempt to recapture the phraseology of period and place but which does capture the mood and tempo, and makes convincing Hilary's slow awakening to the challenge before him to redress the wrong done those he loved by bringing to the barbarians the faith in the one God that had deepened in him.