Lucius Cornelius Sulla  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (Latin: L•CORNELIVS•L•F•P•N•SVLLA•FELIX) (c. 138 BC – 78 BC), or simply Sulla, was a Roman general and politician, holding the office of consul twice as well as the dictatorship.

Sulla's dictatorship came during a high point in the struggle between optimates and populares, the former seeking to maintain the power of the oligarchy in the form of the Senate while the latter resorted in many cases to naked populism, culminating in Caesar's dictatorship. Sulla was a gifted and effective general. His rival, Gnaeus Papirius Carbo, described Sulla as having the cunning of a fox and the courage of a lion - but that it was the former attribute that was by far the most dangerous. This mixture was later referred to by Machiavelli in his description of the ideal characteristics of a ruler.

Sulla used his armies to march on Rome twice, and after the second he revived the office of dictator, which had not been used since the Second Punic War over a century before. He used his powers to enact a series of reforms to the Roman constitution, meant to restore the balance of power between the Senate and the Tribunes.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lucius Cornelius Sulla" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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