The great historical importance of Ravenna begins early in the 5th century, when Honorius, alarmed by the progress of Alaric in the north of Italy, transferred his court hither.
The Saxon fort of Alaric was replaced by a Norman castle built by William de Mohun, first lord of Dunster, who founded the priory of St George.
In 408 we find Rufinus at the monastery of Pinetum (in the Campagna ?); thence he was driven by the arrival of Alaric to Sicily, being accompanied by Melania in his flight.
On the one hand, as a transcriber of the philo-Goth Cassiodorus, he magnifies the race of Alaric and Theodoric, and claims for them their full share, perhaps more than their full share, of glory in the past.
In 39 6 he fought in Greece against the Visigoths, but an arrangement was effected whereby their chieftain Alaric was appointed master of the soldiery in Illyricum (397).