1-2 of 2 Results

  • Keywords: reformer x
Clear all

Article

Cornelius Sulla Felix, Lucius, dictator and consul, 138–78 BCE  

Alexandra Eckert

Sulla (138–78 bce) is a pivotal figure in Roman history. He was the first to inflict civil war on his fellow citizens by marching his army on Rome twice, in 88 and 83/82 bce. During the war against King Mithridates (87–85 bce), he plundered Greek sanctuaries, sacked Athens, destroyed the Piraeus, and raided Boeotia. He also imposed punitive indemnities on the cities of the province of Asia. Sulla returned to Italy in the spring of 83 bce and conquered Rome for a second time in 82 bce. As victor in the civil war, he was appointed dictator, assumed the title Felix and carried out a programme of constitutional reform. Yet, Sulla delegitimized his victory by unprecedented post-war violence. His punitive measures encompassed not only the proscriptions which were directed primarily against wealthy members of the Roman elite, but also mass executions, arbitrary assassinations by his marauding soldiers, and collective punishment of Italian municipalities which affected all strata of Roman society. The 70s and 60s bce saw efforts to repeal Sulla’s legislation and to cope with the effects of his punitive measures.

Article

Diocletian, Roman emperor, 284–313 CE  

Monica Hellström

Although not the watershed once considered, it remains justified to treat Diocletian’s reign (284–305 ce) as the beginning of Late Antiquity. Its length allowed for changes to take root, and the introduction of a ruling college of two Augusti (Diocletian and Maximian) and two Caesares (Galerius and Constantius I, also made sons-in-law) deterred civil wars by creating predictable lines of succession. Even so, serious civil conflicts arose in Gaul, Britannia, and Egypt, while peoples across the Rhine and Danuble required constant attention. The most glorified campaign was against Sasanian Persia (295/6–298/299), concluded by a signal victory celebrated at a joint triumph/jubilee in Rome (303). Diocletian enlarged the army but did not radically transform its structure, concentrating on consolidation. The empire retained its integrity, and evidence for permanent imperial residences is lacking, but Nicomedia emerges as an eastern imperial centre. Better substantiated is the subdivision of provinces, which increased the presence and capacity of the bureaucracy. The fiscal reform (287–) supported the war effort, making extraction predictable and effective (if not necessarily heavier). A new, global coinage was introduced in 294, and the Edict of Maximum Prices (301) set maxima for commodities, likely to contain inflation.