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Sulla’s Acts Against Roman People and Senate Essay

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Updated: Feb 12th, 2021

How did Sulla earn the secret dislike of the senate?

Sulla’s quarrel with Marius was the starting point in further events that happened between the Senate and Sulla. Once Marius fled from the city, Sulla called the senate and sentenced Marius and his supporters to death, including Sulpicius. However, a servant who gained freedom from Sulla killed the latter. Sulla himself threw the servant down the Tarpeian Rock. Further, the Roman general set a reward to those who would bring the head of Marius. This act was also considered impolitic and ungrateful. However, despite the cruelty and disrespect for Marius, Sulla was aware that, had Marius the opportunity to kill Sulla, he would do so immediately. In this respect, Plutarch writes, “but given him up to death at the hand of Sulpicius, he might have been an absolute master in Rome; …and when after a few days he had given him the same opportunity, he did not obtain like mercy” (29, 327). In such a way, the Senate expressed his secret dislike toward Sulla who realized this as soon as he noticed discontent among the Roman people.

After his second march on Rome, briefly describe three acts by Sulla that gave offense to the senate and Roman people

The first act of Sulla was against the Roman people. Sulla gathered Romans near the temple of Bellona and ordered them to cut them to pieces. But before this horrible massacre, the Roman general promised safety to some inhabitants in case they harmed the rest of the rivals before they came to him (Plutarch, 30, 328). To emphasize the cruelty of Sulla, Plutarch provides examples of Sulla’s multiple murders and accuses him of slaughter against the city.

The second act of Sulla that gave offense to the Romans and the Senate was unjust reforms against the citizens. In particular, Plutarch remarks that the most severe punishment to the Romans was the removal of the civil rights from “…from the sons and grandsons of those who had been proscribed, and confiscated the property of all” (31, 329). His unlimited power did not allow him to establish just and democratic control in the city and, as a result, most of the citizens rebelled. These prescriptions were affected not only in Rome but also in other regions of Italy.

Apart from his cruelty and massacres, Sulla proclaimed himself dictator. The act was followed by the immunity granted him for all his previous deeds. Moreover, his future acts, including confiscation, the right to depriving people of life, colonization, and cities demolishing (Plutarch 33, 329). Therefore, despite great improvements and innovation Sulla introduced in Roma, much of his deeds could not be accepted.

Works Cited

Plutarch. “Life of Sulla”. Periclean Athen and Augustan Rome, Ed. Jennifer Kendal US: Academic Readers, 2012. 323-330. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Sulla's Acts Against Roman People and Senate." February 12, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sullas-acts-against-roman-people-and-senate/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Sulla's Acts Against Roman People and Senate'. 12 February.

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