With the emperor dead and two thirds of his army destroyed Adrianople was one of the major setbacks in Roman history. In fact it has often been regarded as one of the decisive battles in the decline and fall of the Roman empire. It was certainly regarded as extremely serious by the people at the time. Accounts of the battle and its aftermath take on apocalyptic tones, almost literally so in the case of Saint Jerome. Jerome is recognised as one of the founding fathers of both the Catholic and Orthodox churches. His writing on the issue comes with a rather biblical tone. He describes the entire area of the Balkans being depopulated, not just human beings but animals as well and even the fish in the rivers leaving nothing between the Earth and the sky but barren wasteland. Serious and harrowing stuff indeed.