Facts and Events
Flavius Stilicho (occasionally written as Stilico) (ca. 359–408) was a high-ranking general (magister militum) in the Roman army who became, for a time, the most powerful man in the Western Roman Empire. Half Vandal and married to the niece of the Emperor Theodosius, Stilicho’s regency for the underage Honorius marked the high point of German advancement in the service of Rome. After many years of victories against a number of enemies, both barbarian and Roman, a series of political and military disasters finally allowed his enemies in the court of Honorius to remove him from power, culminating in his arrest and subsequent execution in 408. Known for his military successes and sense of duty, Stilicho was, in the words of historian Edward Gibbon, “the last of the Roman generals.”
Stilicho was born in Germany the son of a Vandal father and a Roman mother. Despite his father's origins there is little to suggest that Stilicho considered himself anything other than a Roman, and he was probably not Arian like many of Germanic Christians and probably Nicene Orthodox because of his high rank within the empire.