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Masters of Rome
from Marius to Caesar
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Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix

Descendant of a very noble house but brought up in poverty by his father, an alcoholic. Fortunate enough to be tutored by Myrto, so has Greek and other learning.

After father's death, sets up a menage a trois with his mistress, Nicopolis and his stepmother, Clitumna.

110 BC, after a chance meeting, Julilla falls in love with Sulla. Clitumna's nephew Stichus moves into the house she shares with Sulla. Sulla, worried that Stichus will take away his position in the household, poisons him.

109 BC Julilla stops eating after Sulla refuses to acknowledge her love or answer her letters. Nicopolis starts to suspect that Sulla might have had a hand in Stichus's death. Although she does not seem about to betray him, he allows her to die from eating poisonous mushrooms. He inherits her modest wealth, enough to be enrolled as a knight.

Clitumna becomes depressed. Sulla murders her while she is at a seaside villa. Again he inherits, now having enough to become senator. He then asks G Julius Caesar for permission to marry Julilla and it is agreed. They marry at the end of 108 BC.

Once Marius is consul elect, G Julius Caesar arranges for Marius to select Sulla as his choice of quaestor, ensuring his election for 107 BC. Sulla helps Marius to raise his headcount army. Arrives in Africa with last of the army in September 107 BC. With the army all through 106 BC, distinguishing himself in battles with Numidians.

In 105 BC he is responsible for dealing with Bocchus and arranging the capture of Jugurtha. Brings Jugurtha back to Cirta.

Returns to Rome with Marius at end of the year. Finds he has lost all love for Julilla but adores his children, young Sulla especially.

Legate to Marius for the campaign against the Germans. On his own initiative, disguises himself as a Gaul and goes amongst the Germans to spy on their activities and intentions. With him goes Quintus Sertorius. He returns with news of the German movements at the end of 103 BC. He has in the meantime taken a German woman, Hermana, as wife and had twin sons by her.

On his return to Rome with Marius he find Julilla intolerable. However she solves his problem by committing suicide, after seeing him with Metrobius.

Sulla is sent as legate to Catulus Caesar in Italian Gaul. Saves the army by inciting a mutiny at Tridentum. Commands a wing of the army at Vercellae. Returns to Rome and marries Aelia, found for him by Marcia. However, he meets Dalmatica and finds himself very attracted to her. To save his career he allows no sign of this to show.

Starts to cultivate support among the sons of the conservative senators, including Caepio Junior. When Saturninus launches attempt at a coup, helps Marius disperse the mob. Encourages Caepio and the Piglet to murder Saturninus and supporters in the Curia.

Stands for praetor for 99 BC but is not returned. Attributes this failure to opposition from Scaurus because of his wife's attraction to Sulla.

Decides to accompany Titus Didius on his campaign in Spain the following year, to get away from Rome and increase his reputation.

Printable version ©Mark Emerson 2001. Acknowledgements to Steven H. Gibbs, Randy Winch and Tim Doyle. Back to top of page ^