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ernment again. This was in the 175th Olympiad according to the Greek calendar, but there were no Olympic games then except races in the stadium, since Sulla had carried away the athletes and all the sights and shows to Rome to celebrate his victories in the Mithridatic and Italian wars, under the pretext that the masses needed a breathing-spell and recreation after their toils. Y.R. 673 Nevertheless, as the form of the republic remained B.C. 81 he allowed them to appoint consuls. Marcus Tullius and Cornelius Dolabella were chosen. But Sulla, like a reigning sovereign, was dictator over the consuls. Twenty-four axes were borne in front of him, as was customary with dictators, the same number that were borne before the ancient kings, and he had a large body-guard also. He repealed laws and he enacted others. He forbade anybody to hold the office of prætor until after he had held that of quæstor
nd ordered the Senate to choose an Interrex. They chose Valerius Flaccus, expecting that he would soon hold the consular comitia. But Sulla wrote to Flaccus to bring before the people the proposition that he (Sulla) considered it advisable, under present circumstances, that the city should be governed by a dictator according to a custom that had been abandoned 400 years. This is probably a corruption of the text. The last dictator was appointed in the year 202 B.C., or 120 years before Sulla assumed that office. He told them not to appoint the dictator for any definite time, but until the city and Italy and the whole government, so shaken by factions and wars, should be put upon a firm foundation. That this proposal referred to Sulla himself was not at all doubtful. Sulla made no concealment of it. At the conclusion of the letter he declared openly that, in his judgment, he could be serviceable to the city
stile act after the day when the consul Scipio violated the agreement made with him. After saying this he forthwith proscribed about forty senators and 1600 knights. Mommsen says that the list of the proscribed reached 4700 names. "This total," he adds, "is given by Valerius Maximus, ix. 2, i. According to Appian (B.C. i. 95) there were proscribed by Sulla nearly 40 senators and 1600 knights; according to Florus (ii. 9, whence Augustine, de Civ. Dei, iii. 28) 2000 senators and knights. According to Plutarch (Sull. 31) 520 names were placed on the list in the first three days; according to Orosius (v. 2oughout, with the victims of Sulla. . . . On a comparison of the figures 50 senators and 1000 knights were regarded as victims of Marius, 40 senators 1600 knights as victims of Sulla; this furnishes a standard--at least not altogether arbitrary--for estimating the extent of the mischief on both sides."