Copyright (c) 2023 Maria Lubello
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Eight letters of Symmachus’s correspondence are the only sources for the senatorial embassy that in 402, in the middle of Alaric’s first invasion of Italy, arrived at the court of Milan. The motivations and the outcomes of this legatio are unknown. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the historical and social setting that led the Roman aristocracy to feel the urgency to talk with the emperor Honorius and his regent Stilicho. Besides Symmachus’ letters, two sources are examined: Claudian’s verses on the Gothic invasion and the epigraphic evidence for the restoration of the Aurelian wall.