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Chapter IV.—Truce with Persia. Honorius and Stilicho. Transactions in Rome and Dalmatia.

Although the Persians had prepared to take up arms, they were induced to conclude a truce with the Romans for a hundred years.16261626    Independent; cf. Poems of Claudianus, as above; Olymp. Fragm. 2–11; Zos. v. 4–38; Philost. xii. 1–3.

Stilicho, the general of the troops of Honorius, was suspected of having conspired to proclaim his son Eucherius emperor of the East, and was, in consequence, slain by the army at Ravenna. He had, at a former period, while Arcadius was still living, conceived bitter feelings of enmity against his officers, and was hence impelled to bring the two empires into collision. He caused Alaric, the leader of the Goths, to secure the office of general of the Romans, and advised him to seize Illyria; and, having sent forward Jovian, the appointed prefect, he agreed to join him shortly with Roman troops, and to reduce its subjects under the rule of Honorius. Alaric quitted the barbarous region bordering on Dalmatia and Pannonia, where he had been dwelling, and marched at the head of his soldiery to Epirus; after remaining for some time in that country, he retreated to Italy, without having accomplished anything. For he was about to migrate according to the agreement, but he was restrained by the letters of Honorius. After the death of Arcadius, Honorius projected a journey to Constantinople, in behalf of his nephew, to appoint officers faithful to his security and empire; for he held his nephew in the place of his son, and he was fearful lest the boy might suffer on account of his youth, since he would be exposed to plots; but when Honorius was on the very point of setting out on this journey, Stilicho dissuaded him from his design, by proving to him that his presence was requisite in Italy, to repress the schemes of Constantine, who sought to possess himself of the sovereign power at Arles. Stilicho then took 422that one of the sceptres which the Romans call Labarum, obtained some letters from the emperor, with which he set out, at the head of four legions, to carry on war in the East; but a report having been spread that he had conspired against the emperor, and had formed a scheme, in conjunction with those in power, to raise his son to the throne, the troops rose up in sedition, and slew the prætorian prefect16271627    His name was Longinianus. Zos. v. 32. of Italy and of Gaul, the military commanders, and the chief officers of the court. Stilicho himself was slain by the soldiers at Ravenna. He had attained almost absolute power; and all men, so to speak, whether Romans or barbarians, were under his control. Thus perished Stilicho, on a suspicion of having conspired against the emperors. Eucherius, his son, was also slain.


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