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LAST GUARDIAN OF A UNITED EMPIRE,
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This review is from: Stilicho: The Vandal Who Saved Rome (Hardcover)
Stillicko was the last western roman general of a united empire before the collapse of the rhine frontier in the last day of 406 AD when the vandals, sueves and the alans defeated a frankish roman-federated army and poured in to gaul and never retreated. This date is usually known as the fall of the western roman empire in the countries beyond the alps but the rest of the empire collapsed not at that time BUT many centuries later (The date 476 AD given as the end of the western empire is a MYTH). In the west the empire ended in 887 AD with the deposition of the last real western roman emperor charles the fat and in the east in 1453 AD with the death of constantine XI palaiologus and the capture of new rome by the ottomans.
Stillicko lived in troubled times and in a period of decadence which helped the barbatians to prevail in the west and although many of them served rome as federates they never axcepted fully romanization a factor which brought chaos in the western empire.
Stilicko was hated by the romans and that's why he was executed in 408 AD cause he had plans to give alaric a high roman rank although alaric invaded italy three times and eventually sacked rome 2 years after stilicko died.
We don't really know if stilicko was a traitor BUT we do know that if it was in his hands the west romans would have fought the east romans for the possesion of illyricum.
The reason for the execution of stilicko was that after the death of arcadius in the east in 408 stilicko was accused that he wanted to place his own son eucherius in the east throne but that was never proved.
All in all stilicko FAILED TO PROTECT ROME cause he may have repulsed radagaisus in 406 but radagaisus ravaged north italy for 3 months and he may have beated alaric in battle three times nut HE NEVER DESTROYED ALARIC'S ARMY WHEN HE HAD THE CHANCE AND ROME PAID FOR THAT AFTER STILICHO'S DEATH.
ANCIENTS ROMANS SHOWED NO MERCY IN THEIR ENEMY BUT STILICKO DID EXACT THE OPPOSITE. Same goes with aetius 40 years later when he allowed attila to escape the battlefield alive after his defeat in 451 in gaul and it was this close for italy to be destroyed 2 years later by attila's invasion if it was not for pope's intervention and a plague which forced attila to retreat and die a few months later in his bed.
Generally the 5th century is the beginning of destruction in the western part of the empire and although justinian recovered most of the west the next century the ancient roman empire did not lasted for long united for after the 800 AD events (coronation of charlemagne as a western emperor) was divided in east and west PERMANENTLY and after the 887 AD events the roman empire was a thing of the past in the west and in the east lasted a few centuries longer.
After stilicko the last roman generals who reigned in the west until 476 AD where CONSTANTIUS, FELIX, AETIUS, RICIMER, GUNDOBUD, ORESTIS AND ODOACER who in 476 deposed romulus augustus from the throne of rome and send an embassy of the senate to new rome to acknowledge the eastern emperor zeno AS THE SOLE RULER OF THE EMPIRE which remained united until 800 AD.