The defeat and sacking of the capital of the Western Roman Empire in 476 C.E. This brought approximately 1200 years of Roman domination in Western Europe to its end. The actual term, "the fall of Rome" was not coined until the eighteenth century. There are numerous theories as to why Rome "fell." The city was first sacked in 410 C.E. by the Visigoths, led by Alaric I. Then, on September 4, 476, Odoacer, a Germanic chief, engineered the abdication of the last emperor in the West, Romulus Augustus. The Fall of Rome was a defining moment in the history of Western Europe. It led to the Church emerging, under the Popes, as the dominant authority and to the creation of a feudal society. The Eastern Empire, with its capital at Constantinople, or New Rome, survived until 1453.