Directly after his retirement the Romans, although
from slaughter and tyranny, began gradually to fan the flames of new
seditions. Quintus Catulus and Æmilius Lepidus were chosen
consuls, the former of the Sullan faction and the latter of the opposite
party. They hated each other bitterly and began to quarrel immediately, from
which it was plain that fresh troubles were brewing. While he was living in
the country Sulla had a dream in which he thought he saw his Genius already
calling him. 1
Early in the morning he told the dream to his
friends and in haste began writing his will, which he finished that day.
After sealing it he was taken with a fever towards evening and died the same
night. He was sixty years of age and had been the most fortunate of men even
to the very last, and realized in all respects the title he bore; that is,
if one can be considered fortunate who obtains all that he desires.
Immediately a dissension sprang up in the city over his remains, some
proposing to bring them in a procession through Italy and exhibit them in
the forum and give him a public funeral. Lepidus and his faction opposed
this, but Catulus and the Sullan party prevailed. Sulla's corpse was borne
through Italy on a golden litter with royal splendor. Musicians and horsemen
in great numbers went in advance and a great multitude of armed men followed
on foot. His fellow-soldiers flocked from all directions under arms to join
the procession, and each one was assigned his place in due order as he came.
The crowd of other people that came together was unprecedented. The
standards and the fasces that he had used while living and ruling were borne
in the procession.