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In his Life of Marius, Plutarch relates several opinions on the end of C.

Marius
: one, from Posidonius,
holds that Marius contracted pleurisy; Gaius Piso has it that Marius walked with
his friends and
discussed all of his accomplishments with them, adding that no intelligent man o
ught leave himself to
Fortune.[12] Plutarch then anonymously relates that Marius, having gone into a f
it of passion in which
he announced a delusion that he was in command of the Mithridatic War, began to
act as he would
have on the field of battle; finally, ever an ambitious man, Marius lamented, on
his death bed, that he
had not achieved all of which he was capable, despite his having acquired great
wealth and having been
chosen consul more times than any man before him. Marius died just seventeen day
s into his seventh
consulship.
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's dictatorship came during a high
point in the struggle between Optimates and
Popularis, 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 highly original,
gifted and skilful general, never losing a battle; he
remains the only man in history to have attacked and
occupied both Athens and Rome. 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; he then stunned the Roman World (and
posterity) by resigning the dictatorship, restoring normal constitutional govern
ment, and after his
second Consulship, retiring to private life. When Sulla ordered Caesar to divorc
e his wife and he refused
to obey the dictator, this showed a keen streak of independence of character. Bu
t of all those who
pleaded with Sulla to spare the young Caesar, his comment was one upon his clear
observation that this
Sulla thus saw i
was a remarkable man. He warned, There are many a Marius in this man.
n Caesar at
this young age, the ability and the independence of a man. These qualities would
be no doubt nurtured
with time.We must understand that lik