The fifth century AD was a period of military turmoil and political upheaval in Western Europe. The career of the Gallo-Roman senator and bishop, Sidonius Apollinaris (c. 430-c. 485), holder of government office under three Roman emperors and later bishop of Clermont Ferrand, vividlyillustrates the processes which undermined Roman rule. A champion of Latin letters and Roman aristocratic values, Sidonius was also for most of his career an advocate of co-operation with the Goths of Aquitaine. Both a career politician and an ardent Christian, Sidonius in his writings reveals boththe confusion of loyalties afflicting an aristocracy under threat and the compromises necessary for survival. This book, the first in English on its subject for sixty years, argues that Sidonius adapted literary conventions and exploited accepted techniques of allusion to explain his dilemmas,justify his own role, and convey his personal understanding of, and response to, the fall of Rome.