This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 When everything had been accomplished against his enemies as he desired, and there was no longer any hostile force except that of Sertorius, who was far distant, Sulla sent Metellus into Spain against him and managed everything in the city to suit himself. There was no longer any occasion for laws, or elections, or for casting lots, because everybody was shivering with fear and in hiding, or dumb. Everything that Sulla had done as consul, or as proconsul, was confirmed and ratified, and his gilded equestrian statue was erected in front of the rostra with the inscription, "Cornelius Sulla, a fortunate commander," for so his flatterers called him on account of his unbroken success against his enemies. And this flattering title still attaches to him. I have come across a history which relates that Sulla was styled Epaphroditus1 by a decree of the Senate itself. This does not seem to me to be inappropriate for he was also called Faustus (lucky), which name seems to have very nearly the same signification as Epaphroditus. There was also an oracle given to him somewhere which, in response to his question concerning the future, assured his prosperous career as follows:-- "Believe me, Roman, the Cyprian goddess cares for the race of Æneas and has given it great power. Render yearly gifts to all the immortals, and do not forget them. Convey gifts to Delphi. There is also a place where men go up under snowy Taurus, a wide-reaching city of the Carians,2 whose inhabitants have named it for Aphrodite. Give the goddess an axe and you shall gain sovereign power."3 Whichever decree the Romans voted when they erected the statue, they seem to me to have made the inscription by way of jest or cajolery. However, Sulla sent a golden crown and an axe to Venus with this inscription:-- "The dictator Sulla dedicates this to thee, Venus, because in a dream he saw thee in panoply setting the army in order of battle and fighting with the weapons of Mars." 4
1 The favorite of Venus.
2 The town of Aphrodisias in Caria, dedicated to Venus. It is mentioned in the Annals of Tacitus (iii. 62) as one of those whose title to be considered a lawful sanctuary and refuge for criminals was investigated during the reign of Tiberius.
3 Πείθεό μοι Πωμαῖε, κράτος μέγα Κύπρις ἔδωκεν Αἰνείου γενεῇ μεμελημένη. ᾿Αλλὰ σὺ πᾶσιν ᾶθανάτοις ἐπέτεια τίθει: μὴ λήθεο τῶνδε. Δελφοῖς δῶρα κόμιζε. Καὶ ἔστι τις ἀμβαίνουσι Ταύρου ὑπὸ νιφόεντος, ὅπου περιμήκετον ἄσγυ Καρῶν, οἱ ναίουσιν ἐπώνυμον ἐξ ᾿Αφροδίγης: καὶ πέλεκυν θέμενος, λήψῃ κράτος ἀμιφλαφες σοι.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.