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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


IV. The Revolution

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter X - The Sullan Constitution


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Sulla Regent of Rome

Sulla, however, was not now consul as he had been then, but was furnished merely with proconsular, that is to say, purely military power: he needed an authority keeping as near as possible to constitutional forms, but yet extraordinary, in order to impose his reform on friends and foes. In a letter to the senate he announced to them that it seemed to him indispensable that they should place the regulation of the state in the hands of a single man equipped with unlimited plenitude of power, and that he deemed himself qualified to fulfil this difficult task. This proposal, disagreeable as it was to many, was under the existing circumstances a command.

By direction of the senate its chief, the interrex Lucius Valerius Flaccus the father, as interim holder of the supreme power, submitted to the burgesses the proposal that the proconsul Lucius Cornelius Sulla should receive for the past a supplementary approval of all the official acts performed by him as consul and proconsul, and should for the future be empowered to adjudicate without appeal on the life and property of the burgesses, to deal at his pleasure with the state-domains, to shift at discretion the boundaries of Rome, of Italy, and of the state, to dissolve or establish urban communities in Italy, to dispose of the provinces and dependent states, to confer the supreme -imperium- instead of the people and to nominate proconsuls and propraetors, and lastly to regulate the state for the future by means of new laws; that it should be left to his own judgment to determine when he had fulfilled his task and might deem it time to resign this extraordinary magistracy; and, in fine, that during its continuance it should depend on his pleasure whether the ordinary supreme magistracy should subsist side by side with his own or should remain in abeyance.

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