By the fifth century, Rome is no longer pagan, nor the capitol of an empire.
Barbarian tribes are migrating, provinces are rebelling, and imperial servants are plotting. In a complex world centuries removed from the noble Republic of Cicero and the magnificent Empire of Marcus Aurelius, the young emperor Honorius rules from the safe marshes of Ravenna. Honorius trusts command of his armies to the half-barbarian Stilicho, a brilliant general with a profound Christian faith and unquestioning loyalty to Rome and its tradition.
Stilicho’s own son, Eucherius, is a far less impressive man and a potential rival to the throne. Despite his powerful father and respected mother, Eucherius’s barbarian lineage and dissolute life make him a topic of gossip. After all, history has taught that a gold-drunk army can make an emperor of even the most unworthy boy.
In the summer of 408, a Visigothic army threatens Rome. The Senate considers paying for peace, while the people of Rome begin to associate the barbarians at their gates with the barbarians near the throne. When a military revolt decimates his military staff, the emperor succumbs to the machinations of the imperial court and executes Stilicho.
Fleeing an order of execution, Eucherius seeks allies among the great families, only to discover a lifetime of friendship means little in Christian Rome.
He finds his only friend in Gallus, a beautiful young Greek, educated and given freedoms considered indecent for a slave. Gallus belongs to Eucherius, who both admires his devotion and despises his belief. But this Christian slave may be the only one capable of saving the last imperial pagan in Rome.
Stilicho’s Son has been meticulously researched and written to show a Late Rome unfamiliar to most readers. The themes of religion, racism, and war echo modern life, while the customs of slavery and pederasty define far different mores.
The events and characters are historic, and an epilogue explains their fates after 408.
Start Reading From the Beginning: Prologue: The Fifth Century A.D.