In . 313, the Emperor Constantine (c. 274 – 337; r. 306 – 337), proclaimed ruler by Britiain, issued an edict granting Christians freedom of worship, and he founded the city of Constantinople as the new capital. Even after securing Rome's position as the center of Christianity, its political importance waned in the fifth century, and the city fell to Goths and other invaders. For a while, Rome was reduced to a few thousand residents and little power. But the next couple centuries uncovered a newfound strength. The growing importance of the papacy revived the city and rejuvenated its power. Conversely, ongoing conflict between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor undermined the papacy. The tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries were among the bleakest in Roman history: violent conflict with invaders left Rome poverty stricken, and constant warring tore apart the city. In 1309, the papacy moved to Avignon , leaving Rome to slide further into squalor and strife.
Meanwhile, Rome's legions were in control of the countryside around Carthage, and in the spring of 146 Roman soldiers were finally able to penetrate Carthage's walls. They swarmed into the city and began fighting street by street. First Carthage's harbor area fell to the Romans, then the market area, and finally the citadel in the city-center. Amid suicides and carnage, the Romans demolished and burned the city. They carried off survivors, selling the women and children into slavery and throwing the men into prison, where they were to perish. Then the Romans spread salt across what had been Carthage's farmlands. Carthage was no more.