Editor says, what if Flavius Stilicho the last of the high-ranking Roman generals ("Magister Militum") had lived? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Generals thread.
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Editor says, in reality the mutiny was followed by events which John Matthews observed "have every appearance of a thoroughly co-ordinated coup d'état organized by Stilicho's political opponents". Stilicho retired to Ravenna, where he was taken into captivity. Although it was within his ability to contest the charges, Stilicho did not resist, either because of loyalty to Rome or for fear of the consequences to the already precarious state of the Western Empire. He was decapitated on August 22, 408. His son Eucherius was murdered in Rome shortly afterwards.
Without a strong general like Stilicho to control the by-now mostly barbarian army, Honorius could do little to break the siege, and adopted a passive strategy trying to wait out Alaric, hoping to regather his forces to defeat the Visigoths in the meantime. What followed was two years of political and military manoeuvering, Alaric, king of the Goths, attempting to secure a permanent peace treaty and rights to settle within Roman territory. He besieged Rome three times without attacking while the Roman Italian Army watched helplessly, but only after a fourth failed attempt at a deal was Alaric's siege a success. After months under siege the people of Rome were dying of hunger and some were resorting to cannibalism. Then the inevitable happened, a traitor opened the gates to Alaric's troops and they sacked the city in August 410. The removal of Stilicho was the main catalyst leading to this monumental event, the first barbarian capture of the city in nearly eight centuries and a presaging of the final collapse of the imperial west. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.