Page 0985

985 ROME CONSTANTINE AND HIS SUCCESSORS.

could avail against the restless streams that

poured in ever-increasing volume upon the

South. Gaul was devastated, and Italy awaited

her fate. The passages of the Vosges and the

Cevennes were seized and held by the barbarians. The feeble Honorius shut himself up

at Ravenna, and appealed alternately to the

church and to Stlicho to save him and the

Empire. At this juncture the great general,

as it would appear not without good reason,

fell under suspicion of disloyalty. He was

detected (so it is alleged) in a plot to seize the

royal power and confirm the succession to his

son. He was deposed by Honorius, who in

A. D. 408 conferred the place of minister on

Olympius. The latter gained an ascendancy

not only in the court but over the army. Stilicho sought to save himself by flight. Finding himself abandoned by the soldiers, he took

refuge in a church at Ravenna; but his enemies succeeded in enticing him from the altar

and put him to death. His son also was slain

and the estates of the family confiscated.

Thus in darkness and ignominy was put out

the light of the greatest general of his age.

In the meantime Alaric had again gathered

an army, and was preparing for a second descent

on Italy. While the cloud hovered ominously

in the horizon of the Alps the Emperor, growing smaller with age, was busy with questions