Rivalry had already existed between Stilicho and Rufinus, the praetorian praefect of the East, who had exercised considerable influence over the emperor and who now was invested with the guardianship of Arcadius.
He had further anxieties in the guardianship of his nephew.
Insane persons and persons under guardianship are excluded by the constitution, and " all persons convicted of bribery, perjury, larceny or of infamous crime, or who shall make or become directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager the result of which shall depend upon any election," or who shall participate as principal, second or challenger in any duel, are excluded by legislative enactment.
Entrusted to his son Dagobert, subject to the guardianship of Pippin and Arnulf (623-629), and which Dagobert in his turn handed on to his son Sigebert (634-639), under the guardianship of Cunibert, bishop of Cologne, and Ansegisel, mayor of the palace.
Lothair, king of the west Franks, claimed the guardianship, and attempted to make use of his position to serve his own purposes in Lorraine, which would in all probability have been lost to the empire but for the efforts of Adalbero and Gerbert.