- Sulla's first civil war
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict= Sulla's first civil war
Roman Republican civil wars
caption=Bust of Sulla in the
date= 88 BC - 87 BC
casus= Sulla's command in Asia
result= Victory for Sulla
Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Sulla's first civil war was one of a series of
civil wars in ancient Rome, between Gaius Mariusand Sulla, between 88 and 87 BC.
Prelude - Social War
The Social War (91–
87 BC) was fought against the "Socii", Roman allies in Italy, and was the result of Rome's intransigence in regarding the civil liberties of its own citizens (Romans) as superior to those of the citizens of the rest of Italy. Subjects of the Roman Republic, these Italian provincials might be called to arms in its defence or might be subjected to extraordinary taxes, but they had no say in the expenditure of these taxes or in the uses of the armies that might be raised in their territories. The Social War was, in part, caused by the assassination of Marcus Livius Drusus the Younger. His reforms were intended to grant to the Roman allies in Italy full Roman citizenship, which would have given the provincials a say in the external and internal policies of the Roman Republic. When Drusus was assassinated, most of his reforms addressing these grievances were declared invalid. This declaration greatly angered the Roman provincials, and in consequence, most allied against Rome.
At the beginning of the Social War, the Roman aristocracy and Senate began fearing Marius' ambition, which had already given him five consulships in a row from
104 BCto 100 BC. They felt determined that he should not have overall command of the war in Italy. In this last rebellion of the Italian allies, Sulla served with brilliance as a general. He outshone both Marius and the consul Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo(the father of Pompey Magnus). For example, in 89 BCSulla captured Aeclanum, the chief town of Hirpini, by setting the wooden breastwork on fire. As a result of his success in bringing the Social War to a successful conclusion, he was elected consulfor the first time in 88 BC, with Quintus Pompeius Rufus(soon his daughter's father-in-law) as his colleague.
ulla's Mithridatic command
As the consul of Rome, Sulla prepared to depart once more for the East to fight against King
Mithridates VI of Pontus, a command that Marius (now an old man) had coveted. Marius convinced the tribune Publius Sulpicius Rufusto call an assembly and revert the Senate's decision on Sulla's command. Sulpicius also used the assemblies to eject Senators from the Roman Senateuntil there were not enough senators to form a "quorum". Violence in the Forum ensued and the efforts of the nobles to effect a public lynching similar to that which had happened to the brothers Gracchiand Saturninus were smashed by the gladiatorial bodyguard of Sulpicius. Sulla was forced to take refuge in Marius' house, and possibly made a personal plea to stop the violence, which was ignored. Sulla's own son-in-law was killed in those riots.
ulla's march on Rome
Sulla fled Rome and went to the camp of his victorious Social War veterans, waiting to cross to Greece from the south of Italy. He announced the measures that had been taken against him, and his soldiers stoned the envoys of the assemblies who came to announce that the command of the Mithridatic War had been transferred to Marius. Sulla then took six of his most loyal legions and marched on Rome. This action was an unprecedented event. No general before him had ever crossed the city limits, the "pomoerium", with his army. It was so unethical that most of his commanders (with the exception of one,
Lucullus) refused to accompany him. Sulla justified his actions on the grounds that the Senate had been neutered and the "mos maiorum" ("The way things were done", or "the custom of the ancestors", which as a reference amounted to a Roman constitution although none of it was codified as such) had been offended by the negation of the rights of the consuls of the year to fight the wars of that year. A force of armed gladiators raised by the Marians (Marius offered freedom to any slave that would fight with him against Sulla) failed to resist Sulla's organised military force and Marius and his followers fled the city.
Sulla and his supporters in the Senate passed a death sentence on Marius, Sulpicius and a few other allies of Marius. A few men were executed, but (according to Plutarch) Marius narrowly escaped capture and death on several occasions and eventually found safety in Africa.
Sulla consolidated his position, declared Marius and his allies "hostes" (public enemies) and addressed the Senate in harsh tones, portraying himself as a victim, presumably to justify his violent entrance into the city. After restructuring the city's politics and with the Senate's power strengthened, Sulla returned to his camp and proceeded with the original plan of fighting Mithridates in
Pontus(in what became the First Mithridatic War).
Sulpicius was betrayed and killed by one of his slaves, whom Sulla subsequently freed then executed. Marius, however, fled to safety in Africa. With Sulla out of Rome, Marius plotted his return. During his period of exile Marius became determined that he would hold a seventh consulship, as foretold by the Sybil decades earlier.
Fighting broke out between the conservative supporters of Sulla, lead by
Gnaeus Octavius(consul of 87), and the popularissupporters of Cinna. Marius along with his son then returned from exile in Africa with an army he had raised there and by the end of 87 BCcombined with Cinna to enter Rome, oust Octavius and take control of the city. Based on the orders of Marius, some of his soldiers went through Rome killing the leading supporters of Sulla, including Octavius. Their heads were exhibited in the Forum. After five days, Cinna ordered his more disciplined troops to kill Marius's rampaging soldiers. All told some 100 Roman nobles had been murdered.
Marius declared Sulla's reforms and laws invalid, officially exiled Sulla and had himself elected to Sulla's eastern command and himself and Cinna elected consuls for the year
86 BC. Marius died a fortnight after and Cinna was left in sole control of Rome. Sulla's second civil warwould soon result.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Sulla's second civil war — Infobox Military Conflict conflict= Sulla s second civil war partof= Roman Republican civil wars caption=Bust of Sulla in the Munich Glyptothek. date= 83 BC 82 BC Marian resistance in Hispania not quelled complete until 72 BC place= Italia,… … Wikipedia
The Wounds of Civil War — is an Elizabethan era stage play, written by Thomas Lodge. A dramatization of the ancient Roman conflict between Marius and Sulla, the play is generally considered Lodge s only extant solo drama. [Terence P. Logan and Denzell S. Smith, eds., The… … Wikipedia
Caesar's civil war — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Caesar s Civil War partof=Roman Republican civil wars caption=Busts of Julius Caesar and Pompey, the protagonists in this war. date=January 10, 49 BC March 17, 45 BCCaesar s crossing of the Rubicon to the Battle … Wikipedia
Sulla, Lucius Cornelius — ▪ Roman dictator Introduction also called Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix born 138 BC died 79 BC, Puteoli [Pozzuoli], near Naples victor in the first full scale civil war in Roman history (88–82 BC) and subsequently dictator (82–79), who carried … Universalium
First Triumvirate — See also the First Triumvirate (Argentina) which came to power in 1811. The First Triumvirate is a term used by some historians to refer to the unofficial Roman political alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus… … Wikipedia
Lucius Cornelius Sulla — This article is about the Roman dictator Sulla. For the Celtic goddess sometimes called Sulla, see Sulis. Lucius Cornelius Sulla Bust of Sulla in the Munich Glyptothek Dictator of the Roman … Wikipedia
Roman civil wars — There were several Roman civil wars, especially during the late Republic. The most famous of these are the war in the 40s BC between Julius Caesar and the optimate faction of the senatorial elite initially led by Pompey and the subsequent war… … Wikipedia
Jugurthine War — Sulla Capturing Jugurtha Date 112 105 BC … Wikipedia
Social War (91–88 BC) — This article is about the conflict between Rome and her Italian allies between 91 and 88 BC For the Athenian conflict with its allies between 357 and 355 BC see Social War (357–355 BC). Social War Part of the Roman unification of Italy Date 91–88 … Wikipedia
Third Servile War — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Third Servile War partof=the Servile Wars caption=Italia and surrounding territory, 218 BC date=73 to 71 BC place=Italia result=Decisive Roman victory combatant1=Army of escaped slaves combatant2=Roman Republic… … Wikipedia