Special Sub-Topic: Marius and Sulla
|What famous family did Gaius Marius marry into, thus increasing his dignitas?|
The Julii Caesares. He married Gaius Julius Caesar's daughter Julia (who would become aunt to the famous Gaius Julius Caesar).
|While Sulla undoubtedly married, his heart belonged to a man. Whom did Sulla love above all others?|
Metrobius. Sources say Metrobius was a young Greek actor whom Sulla had fallen in love with when he was just a boy. Unfortunately, he had to leave Metrobius as his political career blossomed, though by the time Sulla retired as dictator, he resumed his relationship with a by now middle aged Metrobius until Sulla's death.
|Who had initially conquered Numidia?|
Quintus Caecilius Metellus. He even took on the name "Numidicus" for his "victory". This became a joke later on as Jugurtha proved too much for him and Gaius Marius was sent to deal with Jugurtha instead.
|Marius was hailed as a hero by the Roman people. He conquered an old foe and a new foe, and saved Italy from barbarian invasion. Which groups or states did he save Rome from?|
Numidia and the Germanic tribes. He defeated Jugurtha in Numidia and then raced back to Rome to defeat the three Germanic tribes from overrunning Rome.
|What year did the famous Marian reforms take place?|
107 BC. The reforms, which made Marius famous, changed the face of Roman armies by removing the land-ownership requirement for enlistment, and thus creating an essentially professional army, largely recuruited from the plebeians.
|Marius's reforms were essential for Rome's survival, but they also had a 'downside'. What tremendous problem did these reforms cause?|
Personal armies. Warriors had nothing to retire to and they relied entirely on their jobs as soldiers to sustain themselves. This meant that extremely rich commanders (like Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, and Marcus Licinius Crassus) could pay for their own armies and use them for their own personal benefit. Caesar and Pompeius marched on Rome more than once with personal armies, while Marius and Sulla fought a civil war with their own personal army, and left Rome suffering constant internal warfare for centuries.
|Lucius Cornelius Sulla was a patrician, but had suffered financial troubles due to his father. With whom did he live with until marrying Julilla and joining the Senate?|
His aunt Clitumna and mistress Nicopolis. Upon their deaths, he inherited their great fortunes and was able to marry into a great patrician family.
|Who was the king of Numidia who was constantly on the run from Marius?|
King Jugurtha. Jugurtha was finally caught by Sulla when a spy revealed his location to Marius.
|While Marius and Sulla were busy conquering the Numidians and Germanic tribes, what was happening in Asia Minor which would soon overshadow both conflicts?|
King Mithridates was solidifying his rule and building a great army. Mithridates got rid of his family members who threatened his rule of Pontus, and began recruiting soldiers for a vast army consisting primarily of mercenaries from across the Euxine, in Sarmatia and Scythia.
|What was happening in Rome between Marius and Sulla after the threat of the Numidia and Germans had gone?|
Marius and Sulla were drifting apart. Sulla began to ally himself with Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus, and befriended his son Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius. Marius and Sulla began to lose contact.
|Why was Gaius Marius hated by the ultra-conservatives in the Senate?|
He was an Italian upstart and not fully Roman. In Rome, blood was everything. The most famous of the old families consisted of the likes of the Julii, Cornelii, Valerii, Claudii, etc. He was considered a rural upstart from Arpinum who dared to defy the Mos Maiorum (the way things should be).
|Mithridates was a nuisance in Galatia, Bithynia, and Cappadocia. Who was sent to put him in his place, by force if necessary?|
Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Sulla took an army with him but it was not needed. His bold wit and cunning scared Mithridates out of Cappadocia. Mithridates lay low for years afterwards before striking Asia province violently.
|While Mithridates was oppressing Asia Minor, what more immediate threat was brewing back in Italy?|
Failed citizenship for the Italian tribes was causing great unrest. Marcus Livius Drusus had been trying to push for full Italian citizenship until he was murdered on his front porch by the opposition. This was the final spark which provoked the Social Wars between Rome and Italy.
|When Italy finally exploded into war, which of these great men did not partake in the fighting?|
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus. Strabo (father of Pompeius Magnus), Marius, and Sulla all led armies against the Italians with great success. Sulla outshone all of them and earned the Grass Crown for saving the army in combat.
|What major event sparked war with Pontus and the end of Mithridates' domination of Asia Minor?|
The slaughter of thousands of Romans in Asia Province. Mithridates launched a lightning strike on Asia Province and executed almost all the Roman citizens in the province. This was the final straw and Rome would no longer tolerate Mithridates.
|What decision finally made Marius and Sulla fierce rivals?|
The Senate's decision to send Sulla against Mithridates. Marius at this time was an old man and suffered two strokes as a result. This led many to doubt his abilities despite his personal opinion that he would do better than Sulla.
|Sulla was about to lead an army to Greece to repel Mithridates' before pushing into Pontus itself. What stopped him from carrying this out?|
Marius's Tribune of the Plebs proposed legislation to send Marius against Pontus rather than Sulla, and unleashed violence in the Forum. Gaius Marius wanted command in Pontus badly enough to kill for it. And kill he did, hiring ex-gladiators to instigate violence in the Forum to create a climate of fear so the noble senators could not stop him. At this point in time, people began to think Marius was going mad due to his second stroke.
|What happened when Marius refused to stop the violence in the Forum?|
Sulla marched on Rome and drove Marius out. Gaius Marius's ex-gladiators were no match for Sulla's legion, and thus Marius fled the city while Sulla took off for Greece finally.
|When Sulla left Rome for Greece and eventually Pontus, all was still not well in Rome. What happened?|
Gaius Marius returned, and unleashed a reign of terror and bloodshed on the city. Marius and his friend Cinna were elected Consuls (by a forced vote) and the both of them instigated total control over Rome and had hundreds of Sulla's supporters brutally murdered and their heads were put on display in the Forum.
|Gaius Marius achieved the impossible by being elected Consul a record seven times. Who was his co-Consul for his final Consulship?|
Lucius Cornelius Cinna. Marius died only days into his seventh Consulship.
|Sulla easily defeated Mithridates and saved both Greece and Asia Province from Pontus. What happened when Sulla returned?|
He found Rome in the grip of Cinna and marched on the city yet again. With help from Gnaeus Pompeius (later to be called Magnus) and Marcus Licinius Crassus, Sulla soundly defeated Cinna and his ally Gnaeus Papirius Carbo.
|Much like his late foe Marius, what did Sulla do upon saving Rome and becoming dictator to restore what Marius and Cinna had damaged?|
He had political opponents executed and instigated a reign of terror and bloodshed. Mostly Equites (knights) were the victims of Sulla's proscriptions, as punishment for their support of Marius. As dictator, he had many changes done, for the good or bad of Rome.
|Marius had apparently doomed the future of Rome through this act taken at the time of his second stroke. Sulla later reversed this decision and restored Rome's fate. What was this action?|
Making young Caesar Flamen Dialis a priest of Jupiter. As Flamen Dialis, Caesar was stuck in this post for life, forbidden to touch metal, much less lead armies and become involved in politics as he did. Being an honest man even in his youth, Caesar would have stuck to this post all his life, thus never seeing himself rise to greatness and cause the Empire to rise from the Republic. Sulla claimed to have said "In this Caesar there is many a Marius".
|Which of the following acts did Sulla NOT do during his dictatorship?|
Disband the Centuriate Assembly. He did limit the powers of the Assemblies, but never disbanded them. Some of his acts, such as the limiting the powers of the Tribunes of the Plebs, were later be reversed.
|It was the end of an era: Sulla finally died in 78 BC after retiring from his dictatorship and living with his male lover Metrobius and a constant stream of partygoers in his house. How did Sulla die?|
Liver failure. Sulla spent the last days of his life writing his memoirs and having troupes of actors and dancers party in his house. His legacy is not just that of re-organizing the courts and many new laws, but inspiring the likes of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Gaius Julius Caesar to greatness.
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