In August 410, Rome was sacked by Goths led by Alaric. The news soon arrived in North Africa, brought by the stream of refugees. St Augustine, bishop of Hippo, reacts to the news, to the climate of anxiety that is felt throughout the empire and also to the accusations made by the pagans that Christianity was responsible for the downfall of Rome. In these sermons, which he preached throughout the following year, Augustine formulates a series of responses and arguments, later organized into the De excidio Vrbis Romae sermo. Here, despite Augustine’s ‘patriotism’ towards Rome, the myth of Roma Aeterna crumbles before the evidence that civilizations also come to an end, and the idea is born of two cities, the ephemeral terrestrial city, and the eternal city, founded in the divine filiation of man. A pilgrim in the first world, man yearns for the second. Thus, these Augustinian sermons can be read as the genesis of his monumental work City of God.