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Lucius Cornelius Sulla

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Lucius Cornelius Sulla (138-78 BCE) was an ancient Roman statesman and military commander, an emperor, and twice consul in 88 and 80 BCE. He held the position of dictator without term limits from 82 to 79 BCE, after which he voluntarily resigned the title and retired to his estate in Puteoli (now the port city of Pozzuoli on the coast of the bay of the same name in the Gulf of Naples, one of the districts of Naples, Italy) to spend the rest of his life. He was known for organizing proscriptions, which were lists of individuals declared outlaws in ancient Rome. Rewards were offered for handing over or killing individuals listed in these proscriptions, while hiding or protecting them resulted in death. The confiscated property of proscribed individuals was seized, and their heirs and descendants were deprived of all rights and possessions.

Sulla was the first Roman to seize Rome with the help of legions, doing so twice in 88 and 82 BCE. His example of dictatorship may have influenced the establishment of imperial rule in Rome.

Portrait of Sulla. Marble. Copy of the Augustan era (27 BC-14 AD) from a portrait of the II century BC Height 42 cm Inv. No. 309. Munich, Glyptothek.


Lucius Cornelius Sulla was born in 138 BCE. He received his name Lucius in honor of his father.

Salustius provides the following information about Sulla's education and way of life: "Sulla belonged to a noble patrician family, a branch of which had nearly died out due to the inactivity of his ancestors. He was well versed in Greek and Latin literature, was extremely patient, had an insatiable appetite for pleasure, and even more so for glory [In this, he resembled Marius and any distinguished young Roman dreaming of glory]. In his leisure time, he enjoyed indulging in luxury, but carnal pleasures never distracted him from his duties... He was eloquent, cunning, easily made friends, and had an extraordinary ability to be discreet in his affairs. He was generous in many ways, especially with money." Gaius Sallustius Crispus. Works. Translation by V.O. Gorenstein. Publisher: Nauka. Moscow. 1981. Pages 95-96. The Jugurthine War. 95.3.

Plutarch provides information about Sulla's life: "...Sulla himself grew up in a modest family and, from a young age, he lived with others, renting a place for a small fee, which later became the subject of ridicule—his happiness seemed inconsistent with his dignity... As a young and still unknown man, he spent whole days with mimes and jesters, indulging in revelry with them. And when he became the supreme ruler, he would gather the most shameless people from the theater and stage every evening, reveling in their company and competing with them in wittiness..." Plutarch. Selected Lives. Moscow. Publisher: Pravda. 1987. Volume II. Page 37 (II).

Plutarch also informs us about Sulla's appearance, but only in his mature years. He writes: "All the features of Sulla's appearance are portrayed in his statues, except perhaps the look of his light-blue eyes—heavy and penetrating—and his colorful face, which made this already difficult gaze even more intimidating. His whole face was covered with a nervous red rash, under which only patches of white skin could be seen. Therefore, it is said that the name Sulla is a nickname he received because of the color of his face..." Plutarch. Selected Lives. Moscow. Publisher: Pravda. 1987. Volume II. Page 38 (II).

We learn about Sulla's personal life from his biographer, Plutarch. Plutarch tells us that Sulla was married five times. One of his marriages connected him to the influential patrician family of the Caecilii Metelli, who were long-standing enemies of Gaius Marius. From his five marriages, Sulla had children from his first marriage—his daughter Cornelia, who married Quintus Pompeius, son of the consul Quintus Pompeius Rufus, and her daughter became the second wife of Gaius Julius Caesar. From his third marriage, Sulla had a son named Faustus and a daughter named Cornelia Fausta. Faustus Cornelius Sulla later became a relative of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, fought on his side in the civil war against Caesar, but lost and was executed. Sulla also had another daughter named Cornelia Postuma.

Bust of Sulla. Marble. Middle of the first century BC Height 37 cm. Inv. No. 175. Venice, National Archaeological Museum.

Beginning of a military career

In his youth, Sulla was the lover of a wealthy freedwoman named Nicopolis, from whom he inherited her estate upon her death, as reported by Plutarch. In 107 BCE, with the help of his wealth, Sulla was appointed quaestor in the army of Gaius Marius, who was at that time going to war against the Numidian king Jugurtha.

Sallust describes how Sulla conducted himself in Africa: "And so, Sulla, as already mentioned, arrived with his cavalry in Africa, that is, in Marius' camp, initially inexperienced and unknowledgeable in military matters, but in a short time, he became highly skilled in them. Moreover, he spoke amiably with the soldiers, often doing them favors at their request, and sometimes even on his own initiative, repaying debts quicker than they were incurred. He demanded nothing from anyone and tried to have as many people indebted to him as possible. He conversed, both in jest and seriousness, with people of the lowest rank. He consistently participated in labor, campaigns, and guard duty without tarnishing the good name of the consul or any other respected person, as often happens with misguided ambition. He only could not tolerate anyone surpassing him in advice or in deeds, while leaving many others far behind. With these qualities and behavior, he quickly gained the greatest favor of Marius and the soldiers." Gaius Sallustius Crispus. Works. Translation by V.O. Gorenstein. Publisher: Nauka. Moscow. 1981. Page 96. The Jugurthine War.

Marius decided to send Sulla to negotiate with Bocchus, Jugurtha's father-in-law, for the extradition of Jugurtha to the Romans. Sulla successfully fulfilled this mission, managing to persuade Bocchus to hand over Jugurtha. If he had failed, the war would have continued, and he himself would have faced an unknown, dreadful fate. But he succeeded, and Bocchus, as promised, handed Jugurtha over to Sulla, who brought him captive to Marius. This marked the end of the long war, which ended victoriously for Rome.

Marius returned to Rome as a victor, and on January 1, 104 BCE, he celebrated his triumph, in which Sulla also participated.

According to Plutarch, Sulla ordered the depiction of his feat to be carved on the seal of his ring and used it constantly ever since. The seal depicted Sulla receiving Jugurtha from the hands of Bocchus. Plutarch. Sulla. III-IV. Despite the emerging doubts from Marius, Sulla continued to serve under his command and took part in his new military campaign against the Cimbri, Teutons, and their Gallic allies, such as the Helvetii, Ambrones, and Volcae-Tectosages, among others. During this war, in 104-103 BCE, Sulla suppressed the resistance of the Volcae-Tectosages and persuaded the Marsi tribe to form an alliance with Rome. Afterward, due to the growing anger and distrust caused by his successes, Sulla switched to the command of his consular colleague Quintus Lutatius Catulus in 102 BCE.

Portrait of Sulla. Fine-grained white marble. The Epoch of August. Height 0.37 m. Inv. No. 1493. Rome, Vatican Museums, Chiaramonti Museum, XIX. 17.

Beginning of a political career

After the war with the Cimbri, Sulla decided to test himself in the realm of public service, namely politics.

Plutarch informs us that "Sulla thought that he had already distinguished himself enough with his military exploits to venture into the political arena. Immediately after the campaign, he dedicated himself to civil affairs. He ran as a candidate for urban praetor, but failed in the elections. According to him, the blame lay with the plebeians who knew about his friendship with Bocchus and expected, if he were to become an aedile before becoming praetor..." Plutarch. Sulla. V. On his second attempt, with the help of bribery, Sulla managed to become a praetor in 97 BCE, although this date is still disputed by many scholars.

After completing his term as magistrate, Sulla was appointed to the East, typically believed to be Cilicia. The subjugation of this region to Rome began in the late 2nd century BCE and was related to the fight against pirates. However, in this case, the term "province" referred not to an annexed territory but to the area where the commander had to conduct military operations, as the word "province" was understood in earlier centuries. This assignment was not an easy one. Cilicia was known for its pirates, so notorious that the term "Cilician" became a general term for pirate among the Romans. Sulla's main tasks in Cilicia were to combat the pirates and deal with the brigand tribes of the highlands. He was also forced to intervene in the military actions in Cappadocia, where King Mithridates VI of Pontus was at war with the pro-Roman King Ariobarzanes.

At the same time, as the highest-ranking Roman official, he conducted negotiations with Parthia regarding the fate of Cappadocia and the alliance, peace, and friendship between Rome and Parthia. After completing his duties, Sulla returned to Rome, believing that he was known there as the first Roman to establish contact with the Parthians. However, upon his arrival in Rome, he realized that Rome carried on with its own affairs without much interest in the achievements of one of its governors.

Meanwhile, the Social War broke out in Italy in 91 BCE, during which Sulla's star rose as a talented military commander and general. Prior to the war, conflicts intensified between Marius and Sulla over the erection of a statue by King Bocchus on the Capitoline Hill depicting the capture of Jugurtha and Sulla's role in it. Sulla entered this war as the legate of one of the consuls in 90 BCE, namely Lucius Julius Caesar. During this war, there was an incident that vividly demonstrated that the commander began to understand the role of the army in the political life of the state and took it into account.

Plutarch describes this incident: "His legate Albinus was pelted with stones by the soldiers. Sulla left such a serious offense unpunished and even took pride in it, boasting that because of this, his men would become even more militant, redeeming their guilt with bravery." Plutarch. Sulla. VI.

This incident also shows that Sulla began to prepare and cultivate an army personally loyal to him, ready to follow him through fire and water. Thanks to his successes in the Social War, Sulla could now aspire to the position of consul.

Toward the end of the Social War, a new war against Mithridates, who decided to take advantage of Rome's weakness due to the Social War, began to gain momentum. The war with Mithridates promised glory, spoils, and significant growth of political influence for the victor.

Since the war had to be entrusted to one of the consuls, numerous contenders for this position emerged immediately. At this time, Sulla married a representative of one of Rome's influential families, the Metelli-Caecilia, divorcing his previous wife, Clelia, on the pretext of her infertility.

Mint: Eastern Mint. Aureus (Aurelius) 80 BC, gold.

Civil War and the War with Mithridates

In the end, Lucius Cornelius Sulla and Pompey the Great emerged as the winners of the elections. Sulla became consul at the age of 50, although the usual practice was for individuals to hold this position after reaching the age of 43. In Asia, the situation deteriorated as Mithridates captured new territories and massacred Roman inhabitants in Ephesus. Sulla was appointed as the commander in the war against Mithridates. However, his actions were hindered by the plebeian tribune Sulpicius, who saw himself as a second Saturninus, and by Gaius Marius, who wanted to command the war and thus conspired with Sulpicius. As a result, it was decided to transfer the command in the war from Sulla to Marius.

Sulla hurried to his army in Campania, where his legions were besieging the last stronghold of the Social War, the city of Nola. His headquarters were in Capua, where he arrived ahead of the military tribunes sent by Sulpicius from Rome. He called the soldiers to assemble and delivered an inflammatory speech. In it, he accused Sulpicius and Marius of forcibly obtaining a decision from the comitia to transfer power in the upcoming war from Sulla, the legitimate consul, to Marius. Sulla also expressed his uncertainty about whether his soldiers would follow him, suggesting that Marius would send them home and raise a new army, which would mean depriving the soldiers of the rich spoils that awaited them in this war. The soldiers expressed their support for Sulla's plan to march on Rome. They demonstrated their loyalty to Sulla by killing the military tribunes who arrived from Rome and began the march on Rome.

As Plutarch reports, "The Senate, which was no longer free in its decisions but followed the instructions of Marius and Sulpicius, learned that Sulla was approaching the city and sent two praetors, Brutus and Servilius, to stop him from advancing further." Plutarch. Sulla. IX.

Appian provides a conversation between the praetors and Sulla: "On his way, envoys from Rome met Sulla and asked him why he was marching on his homeland with an armed force. Sulla replied to them, 'To free it from tyrants.' He repeated the same answer twice and thrice to other envoys who came to him, adding, however, that if they wished, they should gather the Senate, along with Marius and Sulpicius, on the Campus Martius, and he would act according to the decision made." Appian. Roman History. M. AST Publishers. 2002. p. 421 (B.C. I. 57).

Silver. Denarius. Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix and Quintus Pompeius Rufus. Date of minting 54 BC. e. Mint of Rome.

Shortly after a fierce battle for Rome, Sulpicius fled and was soon killed, while Marius also fled and embarked on his forced wandering.

Sulla apparently did not consider his march on Rome as the beginning of a civil war. He simply wanted to remove the enemy that hindered his goals, and his goal was to go to Asia to fight against Mithridates. By defeating Mithridates, he would acquire great wealth, and his future achievements would overshadow his unlawful act of marching on Rome.

On the following day after the capture of Rome in 88 BC, the consuls convened the Senate and declared Gaius Marius, Sulpicius, and their closest supporters as enemies of the Roman people, outlawing them.

Sulla also enacted new laws, including a law that required all matters to be discussed in the Senate before being presented for consideration in the comitia. Sulla began restoring order in the city, but he was unable to secure the election of his supporters. One of the consuls for 87 BC was his opponent Lucius Cornelius Cinna, while Gnaeus Octavius, a supporter of Sulla, was also elected. In the tribune elections, he managed to get his nephew Marcus Marius Gratidianus elected, but he failed to secure the election of Quintus Sertorius, who seemed suspicious to him and whom he would confront in the future. Not trusting Cinna, Sulla, as Plutarch reports, made Cinna swear to support his cause. After that, Sulla, who had been granted proconsular powers, set off for Asia to wage war against Mithridates.

Plutarch describes the Roman army during the time of Sulla and Marius: "Now the commanders sought primacy not through valor but through violence. They needed the army more for fighting against each other than against the enemies. They had to flatter their subordinates while commanding them and did not realize that, by lavishing money on the soldiers to satisfy their base desires and thereby buying their loyalty, they made both the state and themselves objects of commerce. By seeking to dominate the best, they found themselves enslaved by the worst of the worst. This was what drove Marius into exile and later brought him back to wage war against Sulla, and what turned Cinna into the murderer of Octavius and Fimbria into the murderer of Flaccus. But the primary culprit, who initiated this evil, was Sulla, who, in order to seduce and entice those who served under another commander, bestowed gifts upon his soldiers too generously. In doing so, he corrupted both the foreign troops, leading them to treason, and his own soldiers, making them hopelessly dissolute." Plutarch. Sulla. XII.

Sulla needed funds to initiate the war against Mithridates since the previously collected resources and money had been spent on the fight against Marius and Sulpicius. In the spring of 87 BC, Sulla left Italy.

Appian informs us about the size of the army with which Sulla set out to fight against Mithridates and his actions in Greece: "Sulla, selected by the Romans for the war against Mithridates, had only now crossed from Italy to Hellas with five legions, several maniples, and cavalry squadrons, and he immediately began to collect money, allies, and provisions in Aetolia and Thessaly. When he deemed that he had enough of all these things, he headed to Attica to confront Archelaus." Appian. Mithridatic Wars.

In Athens (Greece), Sulla began besieging two key cities of Greece, Athens, where the Mithridates loyalist tyrant Aristion took refuge, and the port of Piraeus. He divided his army, leading the siege of Piraeus himself.

Sulla besieged Athens and Piraeus for a long time, which required a significant amount of money. At this time, he received news from Rome that his enemies had regained power, which meant an end to the financing of the war and his replacement by a successor from Rome. However, Sulla was not particularly concerned about this since he had already tested his army and knew they would follow him anywhere. To continue the war, he decided to take funds from the treasuries of the Greek sanctuaries. Sulla fought quite successfully against Mithridates himself and his commanders, including Archelaus, Taxiles, Dromichaetes, Dorylaeus, and others in Greece and the province of Asia. He defeated the enemy's forces several times. Sulla entrusted Lucullus with assembling a fleet, and he successfully gathered it, achieving several victories against the Pontic king. Soon, Sulla captured Athens and executed the local tyrant Aristion and his supporters, resulting in a massacre in the city. Shortly thereafter, Piraeus fell as well. After that, Sulla defeated a new Pontic army in Macedonia.

During this time, a new Roman army arrived from Rome, led by Sulla's successor Lucius Valerius Flaccus, the consul of 86 BC. According to Appian and Plutarch, he was sent ostensibly to fight against Mithridates, but in reality, his task was to confront Sulla. However, Flaccus apparently hoped that Sulla's soldiers would defect to him, but that did not happen. Most likely, Flaccus was sent as a kind of assistance to Sulla.

The soldiers disliked Flaccus due to his character—greed and cruelty—and the fact that they were already suffering losses even before the campaign began. Some soldiers switched sides and joined Sulla. However, the rest were held by a man who could communicate with the soldiers—Gaius Flavius Fimbria—who would later kill Flaccus and lead his army. Fimbria negotiated with Sulla about dividing the spheres of action and set off to Macedonia himself, while Sulla headed to confront the new army of Mithridates, whom he defeated at Orchomenus. In this battle, as many ancient authors and historians write, Sulla addressed his wavering soldiers, saying, "Romans, where did you betray your commander? You will have to answer for it at Orchomenus." All of this led to Sulla winning the campaign of 86 BC. Soon, due to Sulla's successes and the threat to the Pontic kingdom, Mithridates requested a truce through Archelaus.

Sulla presented a series of conditions, including compensation for the expenses incurred by Sulla, the withdrawal of Pontic armies from Asia and Paphlagonia, the return of Bithynia to Nicomedes, and the return of Cappadocia to Ariobarzanes.

Мithridates convinced his military commander Archelaus to agree to this. In 85 BC, a peace treaty was concluded, marking the end of the First Mithridatic War (89-85 BC). According to the terms of the peace treaty, Mithridates provided Sulla with 70 triremes, paid a contribution, withdrew his troops from the captured territories, and returned to his hereditary domains. Additionally, he provided Sulla with a detachment of 500 archers.

Meanwhile, in Italy, power was seized by the Marian faction, led by Gaius Marius and Cinna. In January 86 BC, Marius died, and Cinna began persecuting and killing supporters of Sulla. Sulla, after concluding the peace treaty and gathering his loyal and battle-hardened troops, led them back to Rome. In the ensuing civil war (83-82 BC) between Sulla's supporters and those of Gaius Marius, Sulla emerged victorious once again, occupying Rome with his army. Thus, Sulla came to power in 82 BC, and in January 81 BC, he celebrated his triumph for the victory over Mithridates.

After coming to power, Sulla ordered the desecration and destruction of Gaius Marius' tomb in Rome. To give legitimacy to his seized power, Sulla proposed to the Senate the election of an interrex, a temporary magistrate responsible for conducting elections for new consuls, as both previous consuls, who were Marians, had perished in the conflict with Sulla. Lucius Valerius Flaccus, a supporter of Sulla, was appointed as the interrex. Following Sulla's orders, Flaccus began preparations not for the election of new consuls, but for the election of a dictator, as mentioned by Appian: "whose term of authority would be not the traditional six months but until Rome, Italy, and the entire Roman state, shaken by internal strife and wars, became secure." (Appian, Roman History, Civil Wars, I, 98)

As a result, Sulla was elected as dictator. As dictator, he possessed the following powers: the right to execute by death, confiscate property, establish colonies, build and destroy cities, and grant or revoke thrones. The Senate, represented by the senators, declared that all of Sulla's measures, both past and future, were considered lawful.

To maintain the appearance of legality, two consuls were elected for 81 BC. However, Sulla, as dictator, held supreme authority over them. Similarly to Roman kings of the past, Sulla had 24 lictors with fasces in his entourage, rather than the usual six for consuls. Additionally, Sulla was accompanied by many personal bodyguards.

Shortly after assuming dictatorial power, Sulla instituted and conducted proscriptions in November 82 BC.

Plutarch described the introduction of proscriptions and their scale as follows: "Sulla compiled a list of eighty individuals for proscription without consulting any of the magistrates. This was followed by an explosion of general indignation, and a day later, Sulla announced a new list of two hundred twenty individuals, and then a third, no smaller. Afterward, he addressed the people in a speech and stated that he had included only those whom he remembered on the lists, and if anyone had escaped his attention, he would create other lists... The proscriptions raged not only in Rome but in all the cities of Italy. The victims were not spared even within the sanctuaries of the gods, the hearths of hospitality, or their own homes. Husbands perished in the arms of their wives, sons in the arms of their mothers. And those who fell victim to wrath and enmity were just a drop in the ocean among those who were executed for their wealth. The executioners had reason to say that this one was slain for his immense estate, another for his garden, and someone else for his luxurious baths." (Plutarch, Sulla, 31)

By instituting the proscriptions, Sulla pursued two objectives: to increase the revenues of the state treasury and the resources of state lands, as well as to intimidate his opponents. These objectives were achieved during the proscriptions, and many of Sulla's supporters, including Pompey, Crassus, and others, became wealthy. Caesar's name was included in the proscription lists, but his removal was secured by personally persuading Sulla, with the help of Caesar's relatives. Plutarch and Suetonius described this moment of Caesar's salvation as follows:

Plutarch: Sulla said to his associates, "You understand nothing if you fail to see that in this young man there are many Mariuses." (Plutarch, Caesar, 1)

Suetonius: "Sulla yielded, but exclaimed, as if prompted by divine inspiration or his own sharp intuition: 'Take your victory, but know that the one whose salvation you are so eager to secure will someday be the downfall of the optimates' cause we have defended together. In this Caesar, there is much of Marius!"

While in the position of dictator, Sulla implemented several important state reforms:

1) Equality between new citizens and old citizens was recognized.

2) The Senate, in Sulla's view, gained new powers to strengthen the oligarchic rule: the right to hold trials of governors, the right to control state finances, the right to oversee the plebeian tribunes, and the right to conduct censorship.

3) He established his dominance over the popular assembly by including over 10,000 of the youngest and strongest slaves who had previously belonged to the slain Romans as participants in the assembly. Sulla declared all of them Roman citizens and named them Cornelii after his own gens.

4) The popular assembly lost the right to adjudicate legal cases and control finances.

5) A person elected as a plebeian tribune was deprived of the opportunity to hold other public offices. The plebeian tribunes also lost legislative initiative, veto power, and the right to convene the Senate. These restrictions were repealed by Pompey and Crassus, former allies of Sulla, during their consulship in 70 BC.

6) The Law on Magistrates established new age requirements for those wishing to hold high public offices and imposed certain limitations to prevent the rapid advancement of aspiring politicians. It also set a clear order for the progression of public offices, without the ability to skip positions. The same law established a minimum 10-year interval for those seeking the same office consecutively in the case of consulships. It also increased the number of quaestors from 8 to 20 and praetors from 6 to 8. Additionally, quaestors were now immediately admitted to the Senate upon completing their service, rather than at the next census, as was the previous practice.

7) Among the non-state reforms was the resolution of the demobilization issue and the granting of land to his veteran soldiers. His veteran soldiers received land plots of 30 jugera each (1 jugerum equals 2,942 square meters), which led to the growth of veteran colonies and the number of small landowners in Italy.

Sulla proclaimed that all his actions as dictator were aimed at strengthening the republic.

Denarius of 56 BC, minted by the dictator's son Faustus, depicting the scene of the transfer of Jugurtha (right) by Bocchus (left) Sulle (center).

In 81 BC, Sulla was once again elected as consul, following his previous consulship in 88 BC. This was likely done to give finality to his reforms and to demonstrate that a return to the traditional political system and democracy had occurred in the Roman Republic. Although Sulla himself violated his own law on magistrates by being elected consul again before the required 10-year interval had passed (only 8 years had elapsed), no one dared to oppose him. His colleague in office was Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius.

In 79 BC, to everyone's surprise, Sulla relinquished power and declared himself an ordinary citizen of Rome. When announcing his resignation to the Senate, he offered to provide a detailed report on all his actions as head of state, but none of the senators dared to ask a single question. Sulla gave up his security detail and freely attended public assemblies. Every week, he hosted grand banquets in his palace for anyone who wished to attend. Precious half-century-old wine flowed like rivers, and so much food was prepared that the leftovers had to be discarded. Despite lacking any official status, Sulla retained full control over Rome. No decision was made without the tacit approval of the nation's unofficial leader. Even when he withdrew to his distant estate, messengers were sent there daily with important documents requiring Sulla's citizen's signature.

In his estate in Puteoli, Sulla was surrounded by actors and artists, as he had a great love for the theater. There, he organized daily performances and dictated his memoirs to his secretaries.

In 78 BC, Sulla died in his estate in Puteoli. To this day, medical experts debate over the nature of his illness and cause of death. Those who interacted with Sulla in the last months of his life recounted that he was rotting alive. His body was covered with a wriggling mass of lice, which could not be eliminated even with regular baths infused with fragrances.

Plutarch wrote that several servants spent day and night removing parasites from the most powerful man in Rome, but the loathsome creatures still infested his clothing, bed, and food. In addition to lice, Sulla suffered greatly from internal ulcers. Many in ancient times saw this as his punishment for defiling the sanctuaries of Greece during the First Mithridatic War.

Italy was plunged into mourning. Plutarch assures that Sulla's legionaries carried his body throughout the country.

In Rome, the corpse was given royal honors: it was carried on golden litters accompanied by a massive crowd throughout the city, then cremated on a huge pyre, and the urn containing his ashes was buried on the Field of Mars near the tombs of ancient kings.

Sulla himself had prepared the inscription on his own tombstone in advance: "Here lies a man who, more than any other mortal, did good to his friends and harm to his enemies."

Ancient authors had different assessments of Sulla's actions, but they characterized him as a prominent and ambiguous figure. Throughout his life, he enjoyed constant luck until his funeral, which prompted his supporters to persuade him to adopt the agnomen Felix (fortunate).

Sulla was deeply religious throughout his life and was influenced by Eastern magi, healers, soothsayers, and Roman priests. He himself was a member of the Pontifical College.

After Sulla's death, many of his laws were repealed within 12 years.

Related topics

Roman Republic, Gaius Marius, Gaius Julius Caesar, Dictator


Ancient authors:

1. Appian. Civil wars. Book 1.

2. Plutarch. Comparative biographies, Moscow, 1994.

3. Vellei Paterkul. Roman history.

4. Gaius Sallust Crispus. The Yugurta War.

5. Titus Livy. Epitomes of the "history of the city's foundation".

Contemporary authors:

1. Korolenkov A.V. Smykov E. Sulla. ZhZL series. M. Molodaya Gvardiya. 2007

2. Mommsen T. Roman history. T.2. M 1937

3. Utchenko S. L. Drevnyj Rim [Ancient Rome]. Events. People. Ideas, Moscow: Nauka Publ., 1969.

4. Carcopino J. Sylla ou la monarchie manquée. — Paris: L’Artisan du livre, 1931.

5. Keaveney A. Sulla, the last republican. — 2nd еd. — London — New York, 2005.

6. Lanzani C. Lucio Cornelio Silla dittatore: storia di Roma negli anni 82-78 a.c. — Milano: tip. "Popolo d'Italia", 1936.

7. Letzner W. Lucius Cornelius Sulla: Versuch einer Biographie. — Münster, 2000.

8. Lovano M. The Age of Cinna: Crucible of Late Republican Rome. — Stuttgart, 2002.

9. Egorov A. B. The Sulla Party: the Union of aristocrats and Marginals / / Studia historica, 2006, no. 6, pp. 128-152.

10. Egorov A. B. Sotsial'no-politicheskaya borba v Rime v 80-e gg. I v. B.C. (k istorii diktatury Sulla) [Socio-political struggle in Rome in the 80s of the first century BC (on the history of Sulla's dictatorship)]. Sotsial'naya borba i politicheskaya ideologiya v antichnem mire, L., 1989, pp. 108-144.

11. Korolenkov A.V., Smykov E. V. From the latest literature on Sulla //Bulletin of Ancient History. - 2010. - No. 1. - pp. 218-229.

12. Eremin A.V. Dictatorship of Sulla (socio-political and legal foundations of the Sullan regime). Abstract of the dissertation for the degree of Candidate of Historical Sciences: 07.00.03 (St. Petersburg State University). - SPb., 2003.