Stilicho review ↠ 104

characters ð PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ´ Ian Hughes

StilichoThe period of history in which Stilicho lived was one of the most turbulent in European history The Western Empire was finally giving way under pressure from external threats especially from Germanic tribes crossing the Rhine and Danube as well as from seemingly ever present internal revolts and rebellionsIan Hughes explains how a Vandal actually Stilicho had a Vandal father and Roman mother came to be given almost total contr. The end of the Western Roman Empire is a hard subject to get a real grasp on Ian Huges' book about one of the final magister militums of the western empire does a lot to explain conditions during the beginning of the 5th CenturyStilicho has generally been a controversial figure either vilified or celebrated by most histories this book's subtitle The Vandal Who Saved Rome is a direct reference to that latter tradition and Huges' intent is to do a evenhanded account which I think ends up giving him credit than is due in a few placesThe story starts with Theodosius defeating a western 'pretender' Eugenius reuniting the Roman Empire and then dying a few months later leaving the Empire to his two children who were both underage Stilicho was one of Theodosius' generals and was married to his adopted daughter and claimed authority over the Empire as legal guardian parens principum of both emperors This was never accepted in the East and led to a strained relationship between the two imperial courts for the duration of his rule In the West Stilicho followed the arc of so many regencies starting with a good amount of power then falling into political power struggles with the court and the maturing Emperor and in this case executedThe book provides a very good overall study of his thirteen years in power which is a pretty impressive amount of time for someone at the top of Roman politics in an unstable reign maintaining a mostly chronological account but dividing things up into specific subjects which are each examined in turn sometimes round robin style; coming back to previous subjects in the next year etc I would have much preferred that a few things were handled in greater detail like his relationship with the Gothic general Alaric but presumably there isn't enough in the sources to say At the same time there are ideas introduced like the attitude of the Senate in Rome that I'd like a better idea of where he's pulling it from of if it is all assumptionThe good news for the Kindle version of this book is that there's a lot of maps scattered throughout the book generally close to where they're needed; I could wish for better uality or focus on some but they are there The bad news is that it seems the formatting did not entirely make it into the Kindle version All the section headers are presented in normal text with no bolding extra space around them or anything else to set them apart from the text

Ian Hughes ´ 4 review

Is also the individual who helped maintain the integrity of the West before the rebellion of Constantine III in Britain and the crossing of the Rhine by a major force of Vandals Sueves and Alans both in AD 406 set the scene for both his downfall and execution in 408 and the later disintegration of the West Despite his role in this fascinating and crucial period of history there is no other full length biography of him in print. A well written biography peppered with way too much auxiliary informationStilicho was a gifted politician and an competent general for the time His uniue position in as Guardian of one Emperor and his claim of 'Parens' over the other Emperor was the first in the empires history and he juggled the responsibilities of state and military adeptly at least initiallyUnfortunately in The West the stodgy and out of touch Roman senate still held significant sway Unwilling to provide to provide manpower unwilling to raise taxes and unwilling to have 'barbarians' fighting in Roman legions the Senate would prove to be Stilicho's undoingIt was interesting to learn Theodosius' bumbling lack wit sons were both a blessing and a curse to Stilicho's fortunes If they were headstrong and competent his influence would have never risen to such heights but because of this reason they were putty in the hands of any advisor with a drop of charisma If event's had turned out differently and Stilicho's claim in the East was recognised than perhaps the Western Empire may have survived longer as part of the single entity of the Roman EmpireThe author does a great job amalgamating information based on the sources available but includes significant amount of 'fluff' relating to armor weaponry and the origins of some tribes While interesting in small doses this makes up about one third of the book making many chapters tedious to get throughWorth a read but some chapters can be skipped without conseuence

Free read Stilicho

Stilicho review ↠ 104 ð The period of history in which Stilicho lived was one of the most turbulent in European history The Western Empire was finally giving way under pressure from external threats especially from Germanic tribes crossing the Rhine and Danube as well as from seemingly ever present internal revolts and rebellionsIan Hughes explains how a VaOl of the Western Empire and describes his attempts to save both the Western Empire and even Rome itself from the attacks of Alaric the Goth and other barbarian invadersStilicho is one of the major figures in the history of the Late Roman Empire and his actions following the death of the emperor Theodosius the Great in 395 may have helped to divide the Western and Eastern halves of the Roman Empire on a permanent basis Yet he. From the Foreword by Adrian GoldsworthyIt is a frustrating and intriguing challenge to write the history of this period Ian Hughes sets himself an even difficult task in writing a biography of Stilicho where the central thread is the career of just one man It is well worthwhile for it is always good to remind ourselves that men like Stilicho Honorius and Alaric were just human beings Historians rightly concern themselves with wider social trends where the successes and failures of individuals are seen principally as illustrations of broader patterns Yet this is not how people actually live their lives and it is very dangerous to remove this human element from historyThe lead up to and fall of the Western Roman Empire the Eastern Roman Empire continued for another 1000 years as Byzantium in the 4th and 5th Century is a time of turmoil Primary sources are fragmented and sometimes contradictory giving the novelist lots of leeway but making the historianbiographer's job tough Stilicho is one of the major figures of this time Born of a Vandal father and high born Roman mother he married Theodosius the Great's niece and adopted daughter Serena and spent his life fighting for the empire After Theodosius' death he raised the emperor's son Honorius and daughter Galla Placidia He effectively ruled the Western Empire during Honorius' minority putting down usurpers and fighting barbarian incursions while balancing the politics of the Roman Senate He eventually falls afoul of the anti barbarian faction in Western Roman politics not because of his own parentage but because he incorporates barbarians into the Roman army Stilicho faced enormous challenges both external and internal while trying to save the Empire SPOILERHis death on the orders of the Emperor he dedicated his life to was poor recompense for his years of dedicated serviceSPOILER In his final chapter Hughes turns to his title and asks the uestion Did Stilicho save Rome given its dissolution decades laterI've read and reviewed several biographies in the past year both for pleasure and research Those authors blessed with a plethora of primary sources can tell their subjects' story in their own words and those of contemporaries Those without have addressed the challenge in different ways Schiff in ICleopatra a LifeI speculated on emotions and even put thoughts in her subjects' heads A choice that made the book highly readable but was troubling to me Hughes presents what is known takes sides in the historical controversies but is also not afraid to say we don't know when there is no evidence This is a dense book both in pages and information The style is a bit dry but a wonderful resource for anyone interested in this time period