Lucius Cornellius Sulla (138-78 BC) - ancient Roman statesman and military commander, emperor, twice consul in 88 and 80 BC, perpetual dictator 82-79. He was born in the city of Puteoli (now the port city of Pozzuoli on the shore of the Bay of the same name in the Gulf of Naples, one of the districts of Naples, Italy), then voluntarily resigned this title and retired to his estate in Puteoli (now the port city of Pozzuoli on the shore of the Bay of the same name in the Bay of Naples, Italy) to live out the rest of For the extradition or murder of a person listed on these lists, there was a reward, and for concealment-death. The property of the proscribed was confiscated, and his heirs and descendants were deprived of all rights and fortunes).
The first Roman to capture Rome with the help of legions, and twice in 88 and 82 BC. e. Perhaps his example of dictatorship prompted the establishment of imperial power in Rome.
Lucius Cornelius Sulla was born in 138 BC. e. He received his name Lucius in honor of his father.
Here is what Sallust says about Sulla's education and lifestyle: “Sulla belonged to a noble Patrician family, to its branch, which was almost extinct due to the inactivity of his ancestors. In his knowledge of Greek and Latin literature, he was not inferior to the most learned people, was distinguished by great endurance, was greedy for pleasure, and even more so for fame [In this respect, he was like Marius, or any young Roman nobleman who dreamed of glory.] He liked to indulge in luxury at his leisure, but the pleasures of the flesh never distracted him from his work… He was eloquent, cunning, easily made friends, knew how to be unusually subtle in business; he was generous with many things, and even more so with money”" Gaius Sallust Crispus. Works. Translated by V. O. Gorenstein. Publishing house. The science. Moscow. 1981. pp. 95-96. The Yugurta War. 95.3.
Plutarch reports on the life of Sulla: "... Sulla himself grew up in a poor family, and from a young age he huddled with strangers, renting a room for a small fee, which later pricked his eyes - his happiness seemed inconsistent with his dignity..... young and still obscure, he spent whole days with mimes and buffoons, debauching with them, and when he became the supreme ruler, he gathered the most shameless people of the theater and stage every evening and drank in their company, competing with them in wit...". Plutarch. Selected biographies. Moscow. Pravda Publishing House. 1987. Volume Two. Page 37 (II).
Plutarch also tells us about Sulla's appearance, but the truth is only in his mature years. He writes: “All the features of Sulla's external appearance are depicted in his statues, except for the look in his light blue eyes-heavy and penetrating - and the complexion of his complexion, which made this already difficult to bear look even more terrible. His whole face was covered with a nervous red rash, under which only here and there the white skin was visible. So they say that the name Sulla is a nickname that he got for his complexion...". Plutarch. Selected biographies. Moscow. Pravda Publishing House. 1987. Volume two. Page 38 (II).
We learn about Sulla's personal life from his biographer, Plutarch. Plutarch tells us that Sulla was married 5 times. One of his marriages brought him into contact with the influential Patrician family of the Caecilii Metellae, who were long-time enemies of Gaius Marius. From 5 marriages, Sulla had children from the first-a daughter Cornelia, who married the husband of Quintus Pompeius, the son of the consul Quintus Pompeius Rufus, and her daughter became the second wife Gaius Julius Caesar. From his third marriage, Sulla had a son, Faustus, and a daughter, Cornelia Fausta. Facustus Cornelius Sulla later became a relative of Gnaeus Pompey the Great, fought on his side in the civil war with Caesar, but lost and was executed. Sulla also had another daughter, Cornelia Postumus.
As a young man, Sulla was the lover of a wealthy freedwoman, Nicopolis, from whom, Plutarch tells us, he inherited the estate in his will after her death. In 107 BC, with the help of his wealth, Sulla was appointed Quaestor in the army Gaius Marius, who was about to go to war with the Numidian king Jugurtha.
Sallust describes how Sulla behaved in Africa: "And so Sulla, as already mentioned, arrived with cavalry in Africa, that is, in the camp of Maria, at first inexperienced and ignorant of military affairs, in a short time became very skilled in it. In addition, he spoke kindly to the soldiers, rendered services to many of them at their request, and sometimes on his own initiative, but he himself reluctantly accepted them and paid for them faster than paying a debt. He didn't demand anything from anyone and tried to get more people to be in his debt. Sometimes jokingly, sometimes seriously, he spoke to people of the lowest rank. In his labors, campaigns, and sentries, he invariably took part, and did not touch the good name of a consul or other respectable person, as happens with bad ambition - only he did not suffer anyone to surpass him in advice or in business, while he himself left many people behind. By these qualities and behavior, he quickly gained the greatest favor of the Army and soldiers." Gaius Sallust Crispus. Works. Translated by V. O. Gorenstein. Publishing house. The science. Moscow. 1981. p. 96. Yugurta war.
Marius decided to send Sulla to Bocchus, Jugurtha's father-in-law, to negotiate the surrender of Jugurtha to the Romans. With this mission, Sulla successfully coped, managing to persuade Bocchus to hand over Jugurtha, because if he had not done this, the war would have continued, and he himself was waiting for an unknown terrible fate. But he succeeded, and Bocchus, as promised, delivered Jugurtha to Sulla, who brought his prisoner to Marius. This meant the end of such a long war, which ended victoriously for Rome.
Marius returned to Rome victorious, and on January 1, 104 BC, he celebrated his triumph, in which he also took part as Sulla.
According to Plutarch, Sulla ordered the image of his feat to be carved on the signet ring and has been using it ever since. The signet showed Sulla accepting Jugurtha from the hands of Bocchus. Plutarch. Sulla. III- IV. Despite Marius ' initial doubts, Sulla continued to serve under Marius and took part in his new military campaign against the Cimbri, Teutons, and allied Gallic tribes of the Helvetii, Ambrons, and Tectosagian Volcs. During this war, Sulla, in 104-103 BC, suppressed the resistance of the Tectosag Volca and persuaded the Mars tribe to ally with Rome. After this Sulla seeing the anger and distrust of Marius caused by his success passed under the command of Marius colleague in the consulship Quintus Lutatius Catullus in 102 BC
Sulla, after the end of the war with the Cimbri, decided to try himself in the field of public service, namely in politics.
Plutarch tells us that: "Sulla thought that he had already made himself sufficiently famous for his military exploits to enter the public field, and immediately after the campaign he devoted himself to civil affairs; he registered as a candidate for the city praetor, but failed in the election. The culprit was, in his opinion, the mob: knowing about his friendship with Bocchus and waiting - in case he, before becoming praetor, takes the position of aedile ... .". Plutarch. Sulla. V. On his second attempt, Sulla succeeded in becoming praetor by bribery in 97 BC, although this date is still disputed by many scholars.
After completing his master's degree, Sulla was assigned to the East, which is generally considered to be Cilicia. The subordination of this area to Rome began at the very end of the II century BC and was associated with the struggle against pirates. But the province in this case did not mean an area attached to Rome, but the territory in which the military commander was supposed to conduct combat operations - this is how the word "province" was understood “The province " in earlier centuries. The task he was given was not an easy one. Cilicia was known for its pirates - so famous that the ethnonym "Cilician" in the Romans began to denote a pirate in general. The fight against pirates, as well as against the tribes of mountain robbers, was one of Sulla's main tasks in Cilicia. Here he was forced to intervene in the military operations in Capadocia, where King Mithridates VI of Pontus fought with the pro-Roman king of Capadocia Ariobarzanes.
At the same time, as the first Roman official, he negotiated with Parthia about the fate of Cappadocia and the alliance, peace and friendship between Rome and Parthia. Sulla, after the end of his term, returned to Rome thinking that everyone there knew him as the first Roman who came into contact with the Parthians, but when he arrived in Rome, he saw that Rome was living its own life without being interested in the success of one of the governors.
Meanwhile, in Italy, the Allied War begins in 91 BC, in which the star of Sulla will rise as a talented military commander and commander. Before the outbreak of the war, the conflict between Marius and Sulla escalated, due to the Statue installed by King Bocchus on the Capitol, which depicted the capture of Jugurtha and Sulla's role in it. Sulla began this war as the legate of one of the consuls of 90 BC, namely Lucius Julius Caesar. During this war, an incident occurred that clearly shows that the commander already began to understand the role of the army in the political life of the state and began to take this into account.
This incident was described by Plutarch: "His legate Albinus was stoned by the soldiers. Sulla allowed such a grave offense to go unpunished, and even took pride in it, not without boasting that it would make his men even more warlike, redeeming their guilt by bravery.” Plutarch. Sulla. VI.
This incident also shows that Sulla began to train and train a loyal army that would follow him into the fire or into the water. Thanks to his success in the Allied War, Sulla could now count on a consular position.
At the very end of the Allied War, a new war began to gain momentum with Mithridates, who decided to take advantage of the moment - the weakness of Rome due to the Allied War. Success in the war with Mithridates promised glory, loot, and a significant increase in political influence to whoever won it.
Due to the fact that the war was supposed to be entrusted to one of the consuls, many applicants for this post immediately appeared. Sulla at this time marries a representative of one of the most influential families of Rome - Metellus - Cicilia, divorcing his previous wife Clelia on the pretext of her infertility.
As a result, Lucius Cornelius Sulla and Pompey Rufus won the election. Sulla became consul at the age of 50, although in practice it was possible for people who reached the age of 43 to hold this post. In Asia, the situation worsened Mithridates seized all new territories, committed a massacre of the Roman inhabitants in Ephesus. Sulla was appointed commander in the war with Mithridates. But here he was prevented by the actions of the Plebeian tribune Sulpicius, who thought himself a second Saturninus, and Gaius Marius, who wanted to take command in the war and therefore conspired with Sulpicius. This led to the resulting force deciding to transfer command of the war from Sulla to Marius.
Sulla hastened to join his army in Campania, where his legions were besieging the last stronghold of the allied war, the city of Nola, and his headquarters were at Capua,where he arrived before the military tribunes sent from Rome by Sulpicius. He called the soldiers to a meeting and gave them an inflammatory speech. In it, he accused Sulpicius and Marius of forcing the Comitii to make a decision on the transfer of power in a future war from Sulla, the legitimate consul, Marius. Sulla also said, not being sure that his soldiers would follow him, that Marius would dismiss them to their homes and raise a new army himself, which would mean depriving the soldiers of the rich spoils that awaited them in this war. The soldiers told Sulla to lead them to Rome. The soldiers proved their loyalty to Sulla by killing the military tribunes from Rome when they arrived and marching on Rome.
As Plutarch tells us “ " The Senate, which was no longer free in its decisions, but was guided by the instructions of Marius and Sulpicius, when they learned that Sulla was marching on the city, sent two praetors, Brutus and Servilius, to forbid him to move any further.” Plutarch. Sulla. IX.
Appian cites conversations between the praetors and Sulla: "On the way, Sulla was met by ambassadors from there and asked him: why is he going to his homeland with an armed force? Sulla answered them: free her from the tyrants. He repeated the same thing twice and thrice to the other ambassadors who came to him, adding that if they wished, they should assemble the Senate on the Champ de Mars, together with Marius and Sulpicius, and then he would act according to the decision passed.” Appian. Rimskaya Istoriya [Roman History], Moscow, AST Publishing House, 2002, p. 421 (GV. I. 57).
Sulpicius fled and was soon killed after a hard-fought battle for Rome, while Marius also fled and went on his forced wanderings.
Sulla did not seem to think that his march on Rome would be the beginning of a civil war. He simply wanted to remove an enemy who interfered with his goal, and his goal was to go to Asia to fight Mithridates, by defeating whom he would gain a lot of wealth, and his future exploits would have to cover up his anti-law, which was expressed in his campaign against Rome.
The day after the capture of Rome in 88 BC, the consuls assembled the Senate and outlawed Gaius Marius, Sulpicius, and their closest supporters, calling them enemies of the Roman people.
Sulla also introduced new laws. The law on mandatory preliminary discussion of all issues in the Senate before they are submitted for consideration in the comitia. Sulla began to restore order in the city, but he could not get his supporters to vote. Lucius Cornelius Cinna, his opponent, and Gnaeus Octavius, his supporter, were elected as one of the consuls for 87 BC. In the election to the tribune, he defeated his nephew Marcus Marius Gratidianus, but failed in the election, which he found suspicious Quintus Sertorius, with whom he will have to face in the future. Not trusting Cinna, Sulla, as Plutarch tells us, made Cinna swear to support his cause. After that, Sulla, who received proconsular powers, went to Asia for war with Mithridates.
Plutarch on the Roman army of the time of Sulla and Marius:“.... Now it was not by valor, but by violence, that the generals gained the first place; and, needing an army more to fight against each other than against their enemies, they were forced to curry favor with their subordinates in command, and they did not notice how, by throwing money to the soldiers to satisfy their base needs, and thereby buying their labors, they made the country itself an object of sale, and That's what drove Marius out and then brought him back to fight Sulla, that's what made Cinna the assassin of Octavius and Fimbria the assassin of Flaccus. But perhaps the main culprit who initiated this evil was Sulla, who, in order to seduce and entice those who served under someone else's command, too generously endowed his soldiers; thereby he corrupted both other soldiers, pushing them to treachery, and his own, making them people hopelessly licentious.” Plutarch. Sulla. XII.
Sulla needed money to start a war with Mithridates, and he begins collecting it, since he spent the previously collected funds and money on fighting Marius and Sulpicius. And in the spring of 87 BC, Sulla leaves Italy.
Appian tells us about the number of troops with which Sulla went to fight Mithridates and his actions in Greece: "Sulla, chosen by the Romans for the war with Mithridates, only now crossed from Italy to Hellas with five legions and several manipuli and cavalry detachments and immediately began to collect money, allies and food in Aetolia and Thessaly, when he decided that he had enough of all this, he went to Attica against Archelaus.” Appian. Mithridatics.
Sulla in Aticca (Greece) began to besiege two key Greek cities of Athens, where the Mithridatic tyrant Aristion took refuge, and the port of Piraeus. At the same time, he divided his army and himself moved to the siege of Piraeus.
Sulla had long besieged Athens and Piraeus, and this required a lot of money. Then news came to him from Rome that his enemies were back in power there, which meant an end to the financing of the war and his replacement by a successor from Rome, but Sulla didn't really care about the latter, since he had already tested his army and knew that they would follow him anywhere. Money for the further continuation of the war, he decided to take from the treasures of the sanctuaries of Hellas. Sulla quite successfully fights with Mithridates himself and his generals-Archelaus, Taxila, Dromichetes, Dorilaus, etc.in Greece and the province of Asia. He destroys enemy troops several times. Sulla instructed Lucullus to assemble a fleet and he assembled it, and the fleet also manages to win a number of victories over the Pontic king. Sulla soon took Athens and executed the tyrant Aristion and his followers, causing a massacre in the city. Soon after, Piraeus also fell. After this, Sulla again defeats a new Ponitian army in Macedonia.
At this time, a new Roman army arrives from Rome, led by Sulla's successor, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, consul of 86 BC.e. He was sent, as Appian and Plutarch write, that in words his task was to fight Mithridates, but in practice with Sulla. But Flaccus apparently expected Sulla's soldiers to cross over to him, but they didn't. Most likely, Flaccus was sent as if to help Sulla.
The troops disliked Flaccus for his character-self-interest and cruelty, and the fact that the campaign had not yet begun, and the troops were already suffering losses. Some of the soldiers went over to Sulla's side. But the others were held back by a man who could find a common language with the soldiers - Gaius Flavius Fimbria, who in the future would kill Flaccus and lead his army. He negotiated with Sulla about the division of zones of action and went to Macedonia himself, and Sulla went to fight the new army of Mithridates, which he defeated at Orchomenus - in this battle, as many ancient authors and historians write, Sulla said to his trembling soldiers: "Romans, to the question where did you betray your emperor? You'll have to answer in front of Orchomenus." All this led to Sulla winning the campaign of 86. Soon, due to Sulla's success and the threat to the Pontic kingdom, Mithridates requested a truce through Archelaus.
Sulla put forward a number of conditions, including compensation for Sulla's monetary expenses, the withdrawal of the Pontic armies from Asia and Paphlagonia, the return of Bithynia to Nicomedes, and the return of Cappadocia to Ariobarzana.
Mithridates was persuaded to agree to this by his general Archelaus. In 85, peace was concluded, marking the end of the First Mithridatic War (89-85 BC). Under the terms of the peace, Mithridates provided Sulla with 70 triremes, paid an indemnity, withdrew troops from the occupied territories and returned to his hereditary possessions, and also provided Sulla with a detachment of 500 archers.
At this time, the Marians seized power in Italy, led by Gaius Marius, who died in January 86 BC and Cinna. The persecution and murder of Sulla's supporters began. Sulla, having made peace and gathered his own troops of seasoned warriors, led them back to Rome. Then in the ensuing civil war (83-82 BC) between the supporters of Sulla and Gaius Marius, Sulla won again, with the help of the army, occupying Rome. Sulla thus came to power in 82 BC, and in January 81 BC he celebrated his triumph for defeating Mithridates.
After coming to power, Sulla ordered the destruction of the tomb of Gaius Marius in Rome. To give legitimacy to the power he had seized, Sulla suggested that the Senate elect an interrex, a temporary magistrate, to elect new consuls, since the old ones, both Marians, had died in a confrontation with Sulla. The interrex was a supporter of Sulla, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, who, on Sulla's orders, began preparations for the election of not new consuls, but a dictator, as Appian writes “ " whose term of office will not be the traditional 6 months, but until Rome, Italy, the entire Roman power, shaken by internecine strife and wars, is strengthened”" Appian. Roman history. Civil Wars, I, 98.
As a result, Sulla was elected dictator. As dictator, he had the following powers: the right to execute by death, confiscate property, establish colonies, build and destroy cities, give and take thrones. Also, the Senate, represented by senators, announced that all Sulla's activities, both in the past and in the future, are recognized as legal.
To enforce the rule of law, two consuls were elected in 81 BC, but Sulla, as dictator, stood over them, having the highest authority. Just like the Roman kings, Sulla had 24 lictors with fasces, not 6 as consuls. Sulla was also accompanied by many of his personal bodyguards.
Shortly after gaining dictatorial power, Sulla instituted and conducted proscriptions in November 82 BC.
Plutarch describes the introduction of proscriptions and their scope as follows: "Sulla compiled a proscription list of eighty people, without consulting any of the magistrates. There was an outburst of indignation, and a day later Sulla announced a new list of two hundred and twenty people, followed by a third list of no fewer. Then he made a speech to the people and said that in the lists he had entered only those whom he remembered, and if anyone escaped his attention, he would make other such lists.… Proscriptions were rampant not only in Rome, but in all the cities of Italy. Neither the temples of the gods, nor the hearth of hospitality, nor the father's house were protected from murder. Husbands died in the arms of their spouses, sons in the arms of their mothers. Those who fell victim to anger and hostility were only a drop in the bucket among those who were executed for their wealth. The executioners had reason to say that so — and — so was destroyed by his huge house, this one by his garden, and another by his warm baths.” Plutarch. Sulla. 31.
Beginning with the proscription, Sulla had two goals: to increase the revenues of the state treasury and the resources of public lands, and to intimidate opponents. In the course of the proscriptions, these goals were achieved, as well as many of his supporters (Pompey, Crassus, etc.) were enriched.Caesar was also included in the proscription lists, but he was removed from them by personally convincing Sulla, Caesar's relatives. On the rescue of Caesar, Plutarch and Suetonius described this moment as follows::
Plutarch: Sulla said to his companions, " You don't understand anything if you don't see that there are a lot of Marys in this boy." Plutarch. Caesar. 1.
Suetonius: "Sulla surrendered, but exclaimed, either by divine suggestion or by his own instinct:' Your victory, take it! but know this: the one whose salvation you are trying so hard to save will one day be the undoing of the Optimate cause that you and I have championed: there are many Marys in one Caesar!"
During his time as dictator, Sulla carried out a number of important state reforms:
1. The equality of new citizens with old ones was recognized;
2. The Senate, in his opinion, in order to strengthen the power of the oligarchic government, received new powers: the right to exercise judgment over the governors; the right to control public finances; the right to control the tribunes of the people; the right to conduct censorship;
3. He also established his rule over the assembly of the people by including over 10,000 of the youngest and strongest slaves who had belonged to the Romans who had been killed earlier, among the participants of the assembly of the people. Sulla declared all of them Roman citizens, calling them Cornelius after his family name.;
4. The People's Assembly has lost the right to hear court cases and control finances;
5. A person elected as a people's tribune was deprived of the opportunity to hold other public positions. The tribunes of the people were also deprived of legislative initiative, as well as the right of veto and the right to convene the Senate. These restrictions are former associates of Sulla – Pompeii and Crassus, the opening of his consulate in 70 BC will be canceled;
6. The Law on Magistrates, which established new age limits for those who want to occupy the highest public positions and created some restrictions so that the career of novice politicians does not develop too quickly, as well as a clear procedure for passing public positions, without the right to jump through positions. The same law established a break for those who wanted to hold the same position in a row for at least 10 years in the case of consulates. He was already increasing the number of Quaestors from 8 to 20 and praetors from 6 to 8. In addition, Quaestors were now enrolled in the Senate immediately after the end of service, and not at the next qualification, as was previously accepted.;
7. Non-State reforms include resolving the issue of demobilization and awarding land to veteran soldiers. His veteran soldiers received land plots of 30 jugers each (1 juger - 2942 sq. m.), which led to an increase in veteran colonies and the number of small landowners in Italy.
The dictator declared all his actions aimed at strengthening the republic.
In 81 BC, Sulla was again elected consul after 88 BC, apparently to complete his reforms and show everyone that there was a return to the traditional political system, the democracy adopted in the Roman Republic. Although Sulla himself, having been elected consul, violated his own law on magistrates, since another 10 years did not pass between his 1st and 2nd consulships, but only 8, but who would refuse him? His colleague in office was Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius.
In 79 BC, unexpectedly for everyone, Sulla gave up power, and declared himself a simple citizen of Rome. Announcing his resignation to the Senate, he offered to give a detailed account of all his actions as head of state, but none of the senators dared to ask a single question. Sulla refused to be guarded, and went to the people's meetings with ease. Every week in his palace, he threw a grand feast for everyone. Precious half-century-old wine flowed in rivers at the tables, and so much food was prepared that the remnants of the unknown had to be thrown out. Despite the lack of any official status, Sulla did not let go of the threads of Rome's governance. Not a single decision was made without the approval of the unspoken leader of the nation. Even when he had retired from the city to his distant estate, messengers were sent there every day with important documents that required a Sulla citizen's visa.
At his estate in Puteoli, Sulla was surrounded by actors and artists — he was very fond of the theater. There he gave daily performances and wrote his memoirs, dictating them to his secretaries.
In 78 BC, Sulla died at his estate in Puteoli. Doctors are still debating what caused Sulla's death. Those who came into contact with Sulla in the last months of his life said that he was rotting alive. His body was covered with a shifting mass of lice, which even regular baths of incense couldn't cure.
Plutarch wrote that several servants removed parasitic insects from the most powerful man in Rome day and night, but the vile creatures still swarmed in his clothes, bed and food. In addition to lice, Sulla also suffered from internal ulcers. Many in ancient times saw this as his punishment for the desecration of the sanctuaries of Greece during the first Mithridatic War.
Italy went into mourning. Plutarch claims that the dictator's body was carried across the country by his legionnaires.
In Rome, the corpse was given royal honors: the body on a golden stretcher, accompanied by a huge crowd, was carried through the city, cremated on a huge bonfire, and the urn with the ashes was buried on the Champ de Mars next to the graves of ancient kings.
The inscription on his tombstone was written in advance by the deceased himself: "Here lies a man who, more than any other mortal, has done good to his friends and evil to his enemies."
Ancient authors gave different assessments of Sulla's activities, but characterized him as a bright and ambiguous personality. In particular, he was lucky all his life, right up to his funeral, which is probably why shortly before his death he adopted the agnomen Felix (happy), which his supporters convinced him to accept.
Sulla himself was very religious all his life and was influenced all his life by Eastern magicians, healers, fortune tellers and Roman priests, while also being a member of the College of pontiffs.
After Sulla's death, many of his laws were repealed within 12 years of his death.
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