The impressionable Late Roman emperor Honorius was mostly dominated by his best general, the Magister Militum Flavius Stilicho.
Stilicho was an effective commander and, with limited resources, managed to defend the Western Empire egregiously.
His increasing influence at the Roman court of Ravenna however procured him lots of enemies.
One of these was Olympius, a cunning courtier with a staunch anti-barbarian view of roman society.
Stilicho was technically “half barbarian” and had used foreign war prisoners and alloer to strenghten the regular roman legions.
Olympius started to plot against Stilicho and convinced Emperor Honorius that the powerful general would eventually have him murdered.
Honorius was all ears and sent a company of the Scholae Palatinae, the imperial guards, in order to assassinate his best general in Ravenna.
Stilicho had failed to talk to Honorius about Olympius and took refuge in a church, which was promptly sorrounded by the imperial guards.
An imperial officer had a document signed by Honorius which guaranteed the life of the general if he came out.
Stilicho went out of the church doors but the same imperial officer showed another document which condemned Stilicho to death.
The general was promptly beheaded and, as soon as his his head touched the ground, Olympius descended on Stilicho’s germanic troops, slaughtering them and putting them to flight.
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