Ancient Rome, Marius and Sulla

From Vototo

Version ID# 1289 by 198.51.100.18
Press the "Improve" button to call for a new round of election and submit a challenging revision.
Jump to: navigation, search

Summary

]]

Details

Gaius Marius, a novus homo, started his political career with the help of the powerful Metelli and soon become a leader of the Republic, holding the first of his seven consulships (an unprecedented number) in 107 BC by arguing that his former patron Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus was not able to defeat and capture the Numidian king Jugurtha. Marius then started his military reform: in his recruitment to fight Jugurtha, he levied very poor men (an innovation), and many landless men entered the army – this was the seed of securing loyalty of the army to the General in command.

At this time, Marius began his quarrel with Lucius Cornelius Sulla: Marius, who wanted to capture Jugurtha, asked Bocchus, son-in-law of Jugurtha, to hand him over to the Romans. As Marius failed, Sulla – a legate of Marius at that time – went himself to Bocchus in a dangerous enterprise and convinced Bocchus to hand Jugurtha over to him. This was very provocative to Marius, since many of his enemies were encouraging Sulla to oppose Marius. Despite this, Marius was elected for five consecutive consulships from 104–100 BC, because Rome needed a military leader to defeat the Cimbri and the Teutones, who were threatening Rome.

After Marius's retirement, Rome had a brief peace, in which the Italian socii ("allies" in Latin) requested Roman citizenship and voting rights. The reformist Marcus Livius Drusus supported their legal process, but he was assassinated and the socii revolted against the Romans in the Social War. At one point both consuls were killed; Marius was appointed to command the army together with Lucius Julius Caesar and Sulla.

By the ending of the Social War, Marius and Sulla were the premier military men in Rome and their partisans were in conflict, both sides jostling for power. In 88 BC, Sulla was elected for his first consulship and his first assignment was to defeat Mithridates of Pontus, whose intentions were to conquer the Eastern part of the Roman territories. However, Marius's partisans managed his installation to the military command, defying Sulla and the Senate, and this caused Sulla's wrath. To consolidate his own power, Sulla conducted a surprising and illegal action: he marched to Rome with his legions, killing all those who showed support to Marius's cause and impaling their heads in the Roman Forum. In the following year, 87 BC, Marius, who had fled at Sulla's march, came back to Rome while Sulla was campaigning in Greece. He seized power along with the consul Lucius Cornelius Cinna and killed the other consul, Gnaeus Octavius, achieving to his seventh consulship. In an attempt to raise Sulla's anger, Marius and Cinna revenged their partisans conducting a massacre (Marian Massacre) and having impaled the heads of Sulla's supporters (as earlier Publius Sulpicius Rufus was impaled similarly by Sulla on the rostra).

Marius died in 86 BC, due to his age and poor health, just a few months after seizing power. Cinna exercised absolute power until his death in 84 BC. Sulla after returning from his Eastern campaigns, had a free path to reestablish his own power. In 83 BC he made his second march in Rome and started a more sanguinary time of terror: thousands of nobles, knights and senators were executed. Sulla also held two dictatorships and one more consulship, which established the crisis and decline of Roman Republic.

Copyright: Attribute—Share Alike

External Links

  • WikipediaAncient RomeHistory of ancient RomeGallery of the Ancient Art: Ancient RomeLacus CurtiusLivius.Org

Space reserved for Vototo Advertising Program

Content specific ad placement

Voicing the ONLY opinion that counts

System Design by Penpegraphy Tool+Die — Silicon Valley U.S.A.

Check out the Vototo Advertising Program

(VAP)

Personal tools