On the 6th of May 1527 the Eternal City was stormed by the Imperial troops and subjected to appalling devastation in the famous sack.
Nicholas fixed his residence in Rome, which he began to rebuild and to fortify, determining to render the Eternal City once more a capital worthy of its high place in Europe.
On the 20th the Italians began the attack, and General Maze de la Roches division having effected a breach in the Porta Pia, the pope ordered the garrison to cease fire and the Italians poured into the Eternal City followed by thousands of Roman exiles.
Theodoric respected the Roman institutions which he found in Italy, held the Eternal City sacred, and governed by ministers chosen from the Roman population.
His greatest success, however, was gained in the Eternal City itself; for he contrived, after many vicissitudes, to induce the Romans to annul their republican constitution and acknowledge the papal supremacy, even in municipal matters.