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man, some years older than Cato, already one of the priesthood, and married to a daughter of Cornelius Cinna, was ordered to put away his wife as of a blood displeasing to the conqueror. But the youthful husband refused; and though deprived of fortune and office, as well as obliged to hide himself from assassination, he neither yielded nor sought for pardon. His kindred, however, all of the highest rank, entreated Sulla in his behalf, and the Vestal virgins, whose privilege it was to intercede for the condemned, besought that he might be forgiven. Sulla finally gave way, declaring, as he did so, that there were many Mariuses in the Julius Cæsar whom he spared.62 It was more than the resolution of boys or youths could achieve to right the shattered Commonwealth; yet while such as Cæsar and Cato remained, some hope, apparently, survived of calmer seas and more trusty helmsmen.
Before these things, and others like them, had all taken place, the absolute authority of life and death had been formally conferred by the Senate upon the man whom their fathers would have speedily chastised for his presumption, even if they had been insensible to his barbarity. A decree put forth to ratify and renew the acts of his consulship and proconsulship was soon followed by the erection, before the rostra, of an equestrian statue of himself, blazing with gold and inscribed to Sulla the Fortunate Victor.63 The show of statues, and the revival of laws he had made at a season of less power than he now possessed, were but trifles, compared with his demands. He chose to be named Dictator; and the obsequious Senate appointed an Interrex, Valerius Flaccus, who, not content with nominating his master to the dictatorship, proposed an especial law by which the most absolute authority that mortal could exercise 64 was tendered to the new sovereign. Flaccus received his reward in being appointed to the mastership of Knights; but neither he nor any other magistrate in Rome could have mistaken his position in presence of the lictors and guards 65 around the Dictator, the first successor of the Dictators against Hannibal, a century and a quarter before.
62 Suet., C. J. Cæs., 1.
cerning the act of ratification, see 63 App., Bell. Civ., I. 97. Con- Cic., De Leg. Agr., III. 2.
The uses of this unbounded power during the months immediately subsequent to its seizure were such as have been sufficiently described. But the dictatorship lasted beyond these months for nearly three years, the greater part of which time was more carefully and less sanguinarily employed by Sulla in adapting the constitution of the Commonwealth, as it was still called, to his own standard, with the intent of securing the government to himself through his life-time, and of leaving a proper system in control of succeeding generations. Public 67 as well as private confiscations not only supplied
64 « The power,” says Plutarch ards the close of A. C. 82, con(Sull., 33), “over life and death, tinued through 81 and 80 to the confiscations, colonizations, building commencement of 79. and destroying cities, taking away 67 Of these there are but scattered and giving kingdoms."
indications. Cic., De Leg. Agr., 65 App., Bell. Civ., I. 100. II. 14, 15. App., Bell. Civ., I. 66 The dictatorship began tow- 100. Plut., Sull., 33.
him with wealth, but fortified his authority by the devotion of all he enriched and the submissive dread of those whom he spared; whilst reaction against him, on the part of the proscribed, was prevented by their exclusion from offices and from any chances of repairing their ruined fortunes. With the same view of corroborating his own dominion, he sent his veterans in troops 69 to displace the Italian citizens in those regions or towns which had opposed his march to Rome.
The reforms of the Dictator began, apparently, with the criminal law. The alterations he introduced into this branch of the Roman code were of great importance in themselves, as well as of signal influence, as might be supposed, in promoting the order which he wisely conceived to be indispensable to himself, as well as to those he governed. It was equally necessary that the political forms of the code should be remoulded in order to coexist with the mighty substance of his authority. No one, according to his laws, was to be elected Prætor without having passed the quæstorship, or Consul without having held the prætorship;and as it was easy
68 Liv., Epit. LXXXIX. Vell. witness, household expenses, etc., Pat., II. 28.
were all made the subjects of new en69 Twenty-three legions, accord- actments. See any full Index Legum ing to App., Bell. Civ., I. 100 ; but to Cicero; or Drumann, Geschichte forty-seven, according to Liv., Epit. Roms, Vol. II. pp. 486 et seq. LXXXIX.
71 App., Bell. Civ., I. 100. This 70 Concerning the conduct of was a revival of a former law. The trials, as well as the crimes for number of Prætors was increased to which the trials were held. Murder, eight and that of Quæstors to twenty poisoning, extortion, forgery, false by Sulla. VOL. II.
to oversee the inferior offices, the superior magistracies were of course subordinate to the same control. In order, moreover, to prevent his creatures from becoming too powerful, Sulla, by another law, forbade the reëlection of any person to the same magistracy within ten years of his first term.72 Some of the great offices, like the censorship,” were left unfilled ; while the tribunate was completely metamorphosed into a post occupied by members chosen from the Senate,74 with much restricted limits to its rights of intercession,75 and with total loss of its former legislative powers, its tenure being, besides, a bar upon pretension to any other place thereafter. The Tribes were next degraded by the admission of ten thousand freedmen, to whom the Cornelian name 73 was given as to so many clients of the Dictator; and the privileges of legislation and trials, once belonging to the assembly, were transferred to the Centuries.79 The Senate and the priesthood were more favorably treated. The number of Augurs, Pontiffs, and prob ably Decemvirs of the Sibylline books, was increas
72 App., Bell. Civ., I. 100. Also 77 Ascon. in Cic., Pro C. Corn., 1. an ancient law.
78 App., Bell. Civ., I. 100. 'OTTWS 73 Apparently, at least, if we étoipois ék Tôv Onuotav tpos tà matake Cicero's complaint (In Cæc. payyellóueva uupious xpôro, “ That Divin., 3) as literal.
he might have ten thousand Tribes74 App., Bell. Civ., I. 100. See men to fulfil his commands." Sueton., August., 10, 45; and Dion 79 See note 76. The Tribes, Cass., LIV. 30.
however, did not lose their elective 75 Cic., De Legg., III. 9. Com- powers, except in part. Cf. App., pare Cæsar's Commentaries on the Bell. Civ., I. 59, and Cic., Pro Civil War, 1. 5.
Dom., 30. The Centuries, on the 76 Cic., loc. cit., and Pro Cluent., other hand, could not act without 40. Liv., Epit., LXXXIX. the previous consent of the Senate.
ed to fifteen in each college, to all of which the right of choosing their own members was restored.s0 To the Senate was granted an accession of legislative powers,91 at the same time that its ancient judicial authority was recovered from the Knights,82 who, as a faction, were wellnigh overwhelmed. All the principal magistracies were to be held by Senators; and from those offices filled by other ranks led the only way of admission to the Senate. It was natural that a body, spared or created by the Dictator, should be clothed with sufficient authority, not so much to sustain as to obey him.
In the same continued determination to maintain his own power, Sulla framed his laws respecting the provinces and the armies, of which the command, as he knew well, was the great step to dominion at Rome. On the arrival of a new chief magistrate in his province, his predecessor was enjoined to depart within a limited period, although his commission was to last him on his journey home. During office, the governor was prohibited from leading his army out of his province, and from making use of his nearly absolute authority to declare war against the people he governed or to injure the superiority of the Commonwealth.85 The provincial cities were like
80 Liv., Epit. LXXXIX. Serv. from his followers among the ad Æn., VI. 73. Dion Cass., Knights. App., Bell. Civ., I. 100. XXXVII. 37.
Liv., Epit. LXXXIX. They may 81 App., Bell. Civ., I. 59. have been elected, on his nomination,
82 Vell. Pat., II. 32. Tac., Ann., by the people. XI. 22.
84 Cic., Ad Div., I. 9, III. 6. 83 Three hundred were raised 85 Cic., In Pison., 21.