In this book by Niccolo Machiavelli, he writes about the many rises and falls of Rome, among other events in Italy. There were many leaders who were unjust and wanted to plunder Rome for its riches, destroying its people and the city, while there were other leaders who benefited Rome and made it great.
“These migrating masses destroyed the Roman empire by the facilities for settlement which the country offered when the emperors abandoned Rome, the ancient seat of their dominion, and fixed their residence at Constantinople; for by this step they exposed the western empire to the rapine of both their ministers and their enemies, the remoteness of their position preventing them either from seeing or providing for its necessities. To suffer the overthrow of such an extensive empire, established by the blood of so many brave and virtuous men, showed no less folly in the princes themselves than infidelity in their ministers; for not one irruption alone, but many, contributed to its ruin; and these barbarians exhibited much ability and perseverance in accomplishing their object.” Chapter 1
One such leader was Theodorus, king of the Ostrogoths, who became the king of Italy, and was more just and beneficial for Rome, in this long period of unrest. “Theodoric possessed great talents both for war and peace; in the former he was always conqueror, and in the latter he conferred very great benefits upon the cities and people under him. He distributed the Ostrogoths over the country, each district under its leader, that he might more conveniently command them in war, and govern them in peace. He enlarged Ravenna, restored Rome, and, with the exception of military discipline, conferred upon the Romans every honor. He kept within their proper bounds, wholly by the influence of his character, all the barbarian kings who occupied the empire; he built towns and fortresses between the point of the Adriatic and the Alps, in order, with the greater facility, to impede the passage of any new hordes of barbarians who might design to assail Italy; and if, toward the latter end of his life, so many virtues had not been sullied by acts of cruelty, caused by various jealousies of his people, such as the death of Symmachus and Boethius, men of great holiness, every point of his character would have deserved the highest praise. By his virtue and goodness, not only Rome and Italy, but