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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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Page 64

In practical questions Sulla understood very well how to satisfy ironically the demands of religion. When he emptied the treasuries of the Greek temples, he declared that the man could never fail whose chest was replenished by the gods themselves. When the Delphic priests reported to him that they were afraid to send the treasures which he asked, because the harp of the god emitted a clear sound when they touched it, he returned the reply that they might now send them all the more readily, as the god evidently approved his design. Nevertheless he fondly flattered himself with the idea that he was the chosen favourite of the gods, and in an altogether special manner of that goddess, to whom down to his latest years he assigned the pre- eminence, Aphrodite.

In his conversations as well as in his autobiography he often plumed himself on the intercourse which the immortals held with him in dreams and omens. He had more right than most men to be proud of his achievements he was not so, but he was proud of his uniquely faithful fortune. He was wont to say that every improvised enterprise turned out better with him than those which were systematically planned; and one of his strangest whims-- that of regularly stating the number of those who had fallen on his side in battle as nil--was nothing but the childishness of a child of fortune. It was but the utterance of his natural disposition, when, having reached the culminating point of his career and seeing all his contemporaries at a dizzy depth beneath him, he assumed the designation of the Fortunate--Sulla Felix--as a formal surname, and bestowed corresponding appellations on his children,

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