7. FAUSTUS CORNELIUS SULLA, a son of the dictator by his fourth wife Caecilia Metella, and a twin brother of Fausta, was born not long before B. C. 88, the year in which his father obtained his first consulship.
He and his sister received the names of Faustus and Fausta respectively on account of the good fortune of their father. (Plut. Sull. 22, 34, 37.
) At the death of his father in B. C. 78, Faustus and his sister were left under the guardianship of L. Lucullus.
The enemies of Sulla's constitution constantly threatened Faustus with a prosecution to compel him to restore the public money which his father had received or taken out of the treasury; but the senate always offered a strong opposition to such an investigation. When the attempt was renewed in B. C. 66 by one of the tribunes, Cicero, who was then praetor, spoke against the proposal. (Ascon. in Cornel.
p. 72, ed Orelli; Cic. pro Cluent. 34, de Leg. Agr.
1.4.) Soon after this Faustus accompanied Pompey into Asia, and was the first who mounted the walls of the temple of Jerusalem in B. C. 63, for which exploit he was richly rewarded. (J. AJ 14.4.4
, B. J.
1.7.4.) In B. C. 60 he exhibited the gladiatorial games which his father in his last will had enjoined upon him, and at the same time he treated the people in the most sumptuous manner. In B. C. 54 he was quaestor, having been elected augur a few years before. In B. C. 52 he received from the senate the commission to rebuild the Curia Hostilia, which had been burnt down in the tumults following the murder of Clodius, and which was henceforward to be called the Curia Cornelia, in honour of Faustus and his father.
The breaking out of the civil war prevented him from obtaining any of the higher dignities of the state.
As the son of the dictator Sulla, and the son-in-law of Pompey, whose daughter he had married, he joined the aristocratical party.
At the beginning of B. C. 49, Pompey wished to send him to Mauritania with the title of propraetor, but was prevented by Philippus, tribune of the plebs.
He crossed over to Greece with Pompey, was present at the battle of Pharsalia, and subsequently joined the leaders of his party in Africa.
After the battle of Thapsus, in B. C. 46, he attempted to escape into Mauritania, with the intention of sailing to Spain, but he was intercepted in his journey by P. Sittius, taken prisoner, and carried to Caesar [SITTIUS.
He was accompanied in his flight by his wife Pompeia and his children, as well as by Afranius, and they were all captured along with him. Upon their arrival in Caesar's camp, Fausttus and Afranius were murdered by the soldiers in a tumult, probably not without Caesar's connivance; but Pompeia and her children were dismissed uninjured by Caesar. Faustus seems only to have resembled his father in his extravagance. We know from Cicero (Cic. Att. 9.11
) that he was overwhelmed with debt at the breaking out of the civil war. (Dio Cass. xxxvii 51, 39.17, 40.50, 42.13 ; Cic. pro Sull. 19 ; Caes. Civ. 1.6
; Hirt. B. Afr. 87, 95 ;
Appian, App. BC 2.100
; Flor. 4.2.90
; Oros. 6.16