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Informational (nonfiction), 1,884 words, Level V (Grade 4), Lexile 950L
For five centuries starting around 27 BC, the leaders of the Roman Empire ruled successfully over large areas of Europe. Eventually, the empire became so vast that it had to be divided between two emperors. This division considerably reduced the power of the empire, which lost control of its borders, leaving them open to attack from invaders. Taking advantage of the weakness and lack of strong leadership, the Visigoths attacked and destroyed the city of Rome. After this devastating blow came an even greater challenge to the empire: A ferocious leader named Attila the Hun attacked the Roman Empire from the east and the west. To save the empire, Aetius, a great Roman general, persuaded several tribes in the empire to join forces and form an army to fight Attila. This huge army defeated Attila at the monumental Battle of Chalons. Photographs, maps, and illustrations support the text.
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