In 408 AD, on this day seven senior imperial officers were killed during a mutiny of the Roman army at Ticinum.
Magister MilitumThreatened with collapse as never before by the greater man-power of her enemies, Rome had been thrown into confusion by the recent death of Byzantine Emperor Arcadius. During the ensuing power struggle, sinister forces had attempted to turn his brother the Western Roman Emperor Honorius against his principal general, Flavius Stilicho (pictured), who was successively Honorius's guardian (during his childhood) and his father-in-law (after the emperor became an adult). Fortunately, Honorious discovered that Stilicho's political opponents had organized the revolt and he ordered the General to return from self-imposed retirement in Ravenna.
His recall was vital to the future of the Empire. Because within two years, the Visigothic warlord Alaric would cross the Alps with a huge army. Nevertheless, Stilicho was able to prevent the barbarians from rampaging through Northern Italy. Negotiating from a position of weakness short of military defeat Honorious was forced to permit Visigoth settlement on the Italian peninsula. This sanction triggered the slow economic decline of the Roman Empire into a client state of the Goths. Ironically, Stilicho, a half Vandal himself, had permitted the Roman Civilization to survive, in some recognizable form, into the fifth century.