This was the first time that the city of Rome was sacked, but by no means the last.
One of the many factors that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire was the rise of a new religion, Christianity.
Wave after wave of Germanic barbarian tribes swept through the Roman Empire.
Groups such as the Visigoths, Vandals, Angles, Saxons, Franks, Ostrogoths, and Lombards took turns ravaging the Empire, eventually carving out areas in which to settle down. Romulus, the last of the Roman emperors in the west, was overthrown by the Germanic leader Odoacer, who became the first Barbarian to rule in Rome.
By approving Christianity, the Roman state directly undermined its religious traditions.
Finally, by this time, Romans considered their emperor a god.
The Angles and Saxons populated the British Isles, and the Franks ended up in France. The order that the Roman Empire had brought to western Europe for 1000 years was no more.
Antiquity Online At least five distinctive chapters on the fall of Rome can be found at this history buff's website.
The western half of the empire had a large trade deficit with the eastern half.
The west purchased luxury goods from the east but had nothing to offer in exchange.