The Arabs Sack Rome

In 846 AD, a fleet of Arab raiders, exploiting the weakness of the Frankish Empire, sailed up the Tiber River and sacked Rome. The raiders looted the city, killing many and taking thousands of prisoners. Churches were desecrated, including the Basilica of St. Peter, and many precious relics were stolen, including the bronze roof tiles of the Pantheon and the bones of St. Paul. The attack shocked Europe and served as a stark reminder of the growing power of Islam in the Mediterranean.