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By Plutarch

(legendary, died 78 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

LUCIUS Cornelius Sylla was descended of a patrician or noble family.
Of his ancestors, Rufinus, it is said, had been consul, and incurred
a disgrace more signal than his distinction. For being found possessed
of more than ten pounds of silver plate, contrary to the law, he was
for this reason put out of the senate. His posterity continued ever
after in obscurity, nor had Sylla himself any opulent parentage. In
his younger days he lived in hired lodgings, at a low rate, which
in aftertimes was adduced against him as proof that he had been fortunate
above his quality. When he was boasting and magnifying himself for
his exploits in Libya, a person of noble station made answer, "And
how can you be an honest man, who, since the death of a father who
left you nothing, have become so rich?" The time in which he lived
was no longer an age of pure and upright manners, but had already
declined, and yielded to the appetite for riches and luxury; yet still,
in the general opinion, they who deserted the hereditary poverty of
their family were as much blamed as those who had run out a fair patrimonial
estate. And afterwards, when he had seized the power into his hands,
and was putting many to death, a freedman, suspected of having concealed
one of the proscribed, and for that reason sentenced to be thrown
down the Tarpeian rock, in a reproachful way recounted how they had
lived long together under the same roof, himself for the upper rooms
paying two thousand sesterces, and Sylla for the lower three thousand;
so that the difference between their fortunes then was no more than
one thousand sesterces, equivalent in Attic coin to two hundred and
fifty drachmas. And thus much of his early fortune. 

His general personal appearance may be known by his statues; only
his blue, eyes, of themselves extremely keen and glaring, were rendered
all the more forbidding and terrible by the complexion of his face,
in which white was mixed with rough blotches of fiery red. Hence,
it is said, he was surnamed Sylla, and in allusion to it one of the
scurrilous jesters at Athens made the verse upon him- 

"Sylla is a mulberry sprinkled o'er with meal." Nor is it out of place
to make use of marks of character like these, in the case of one who
was by nature so addicted to raillery, that in his youthful obscure
years he would converse freely with players and professed jesters,
and join them in all their low pleasures. And when supreme master
of all, he was often wont to muster together the most impudent players
and stage-followers of the town, and to drink and bandy jests with
them without regard to his age or the dignity of his place, and to
the prejudice of important affairs that required his attention. When
he was once at table, it was not in Sylla's nature to admit of anything
that was serious, and whereas at other times he was a man of business
and austere of countenance, he underwent all of a sudden, at his first
entrance upon wine and good-fellowship, a total revolution, and was
gentle and tractable with common singers and dancers, and ready to
oblige any one that spoke with him. It seems to have been a sort of
diseased result of this laxity that he was so prone to amorous pleasures,
and yielded without resistance to any temptation of voluptuousness,
from which even in his old age he could not refrain. He had a long
attachment for Metrobius, a player. In his first amours, it happened
that he made court to a common but rich lady, Nicopolis by name, and
what by the air of his youth, and what by long intimacy, won so far
on her affections, that she rather than he was the lover, and at her
death she bequeathed him her whole property. He likewise inherited
the estate of a step-mother who loved him as her own son. By these
means he had pretty well advanced his fortunes. 

He was chosen quaestor to Marius in his first consulship, and set
sail with him for Libya, to war upon Jugurtha. Here, in general, he
gained approbation; and more especially, by closing in dexterously
with an accidental occasion, made a friend of Bocchus, King of Numidia.
He hospitably entertained the king's ambassadors on their escape from
some Numidian robbers, and after showing them much kindness, sent
them on their journey with presents, and an escort to protect them.
Bocchus had long hated and dreaded his son-in-law, Jugurtha, who had
now been worsted in the field and had fled to him for shelter; and
it so happened he was at this time entertaining a design to betray
him. He accordingly invited Sylla to come to him, wishing the seizure
and surrender of Jugurtha to be effected rather through him, than
directly by himself. Sylla, when he had communicated the business
to Marius, and received from him a small detachment, voluntarily put
himself into this imminent danger; and confiding in a barbarian, who
had been unfaithful to his own relations, to apprehend another man's
person, made surrender of his own. Bocchus, having both of them now
in his power, was necessitated to betray one or other, and after long
debate with himself, at last resolved on his first design, and gave
up Jugurtha into the hands of Sylla. 

For this Marius triumphed, but the glory of the enterprise, which
through people's envy of Marius was ascribed to Sylla, secretly grieved
him. And the truth is, Sylla himself was by nature vainglorious, and
this being the first time that from a low and private condition he
had risen to esteem amongst the citizens and tasted of honour, his
appetite for distinction carried him to such a pitch of ostentation,
that he had a representation of this action engraved on a signet ring,
which he carried about with him, and made use of ever after. The impress
was Bocchus delivering, and Sylla receiving, Jugurtha. This touched
Marius to the quick; however, judging Sylla to be beneath his rivalry,
he made use of him as lieutenant, in his second consulship, and in
his third as tribune; and many considerable services were effected
by his means. When acting as lieutenant he took Copillus, chief of
the Tectosages, prisoner, and compelled the Marsians, a great and
populous nation, to become friends and confederates of the Romans.

Henceforward, however, Sylla, perceiving that Marius bore a jealous
eye over him, and would no longer afford him opportunities of action,
but rather opposed his advance, attached himself to Catulus, Marius's
colleague, a worthy man, but not energetic enough as a general. And
under this commander, who intrusted him with the highest and most
important commissions, he rose at once to reputation and to power.
He subdued by arms most part of the Alpine barbarians; and when there
was a scarcity in the armies, he took that care upon himself and brought
in such a store of provisions as not only to furnish the soldiers
of Catulus with abundance, but likewise to supply Marius. This, as
he writes himself, wounded Marius to the very heart. So slight and
childish were the first occasions and motives of that enmity between
them, which, passing afterwards through a long course of civil bloodshed
and incurable divisions to find its end in tyranny, and the confusion
of the whole state, proved Euripides to have been truly wise and thoroughly
acquainted with the causes of disorders in the body politic, when
he forewarned all men to beware of Ambition, as of all the higher
Powers the most destructive and pernicious to her votaries.

Sylla, by this time thinking that the reputation of his arms abroad
was sufficient to entitle him to a part in the civil administration,
betook himself immediately from the camp to the assembly, and offered
himself as a candidate for a praetorship, but failed. The fault of
this disappointment he wholly ascribes to the populace, who, knowing
his intimacy with King Bocchus, and for that reason expecting, that
if he was made aedile before his praetorship, he would then show them
magnificent hunting-shows and combats between Libyan wild beasts,
chose other praetors, on purpose to force him into the aedileship.
The vanity of this pretext is sufficiently disproved by matter-of-fact.
For the year following, partly by flatteries to the people, and partly
by money, he got himself elected praetor. Accordingly, once while
he was in office, on his angrily telling Caesar that he should make
use of his authority against him, Caesar answered him with a smile,
"You do well to call it your own, as you bought it." At the end of
his praetorship he was sent over into Cappadocia, under the pretence
of reestablishing Ariobarzanes in his kingdom, but in reality to keep
in check the restless movements of Mithridates, who was gradually
procuring himself as vast a new acquired power and dominion as was
that of his ancient inheritance. He carried over with him no great
forces of his own, but making use of the cheerful aid of the confederates,
succeeded, with considerable slaughter of the Cappadocians, and yet
greater of the Armenian succours, in expelling Gordius and establishing
Ariobarzanes as king. 

During his stay on the banks of the Euphrates, there came to him Orobazus,
a Parthian, ambassador from King Arsaces, as yet there having been
no correspondence between the two nations. And this also we may lay
to the account of Sylla's felicity, that he should be the first Roman
to whom the Parthians made address for alliance and friendship. At
the time of which reception, the story is, that, having ordered three
chairs of state to be set, one for Ariobarzanes, one for Orobazus,
and a third for himself, he placed himself in the middle, and so gave
audience. For this the King of Parthia afterwards put Orobazus to
death. Some people commended Sylla for his lofty carriage towards
the barbarians; others again accused him of arrogance and unseasonable
display. It is reported that a certain Chaldaean, of Orobazus's retinue,
looking Sylla wistfully in the face, and observing carefully the motions
of his mind and body, and forming a judgment of his nature, according
to the rules of his art, said that it was impossible for him not to
become the greatest of men; it was rather a wonder how he could even
then abstain from being head of all. 

At his return, Censorinus impeached him of extortion, for having exacted
a vast sum of money from a well-affected and associate kingdom. However,
Censorinus did not appear at the trial, but dropped his accusation.
His quarrel, meantime, with Marius began to break out afresh, receiving
new material from the ambition of Bocchus, who, to please the people
of Rome, and gratify Sylla, set up in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus
images bearing trophies, and a representation in gold of the surrender
of Jugurtha to Sylla. When Marius, in great anger, attempted to pull
them down, and others aided Sylla, the whole city would have been
in tumult and commotion with this dispute, had not the Social War,
which had long lain smouldering, blazed forth at last, and for the
present put an end to the quarrel. 

In the course of this war, which had many great changes of fortune,
and which, more than any, afflicted the Romans, and, indeed, endangered
the very being of the Commonwealth, Marius was not able to signalize
his valour in any action, but left behind him a clear proof, that
warlike excellence requires a strong and still vigorous body. Sylla,
on the other hand, by his many achievements, gained himself, with
his fellow-citizens, the name of a great commander, while his friends
thought him the greatest of all commanders, and his enemies called
him the most fortunate. Nor did this make the same sort of impression
on him as it made on Timotheus the son of Conon, the Athenian; who,
when his adversaries ascribed his successes to his good luck, and
had a painting made, representing him asleep, and Fortune by his side,
casting her nets over the cities, was rough and violent in his indignation
at those who did it, as if, by attributing all to Fortune, they had
robbed him of his just honours; and said to the people on one occasion
at his return from war, "In this, ye men of Athens, Fortune had no
part." A piece of boyish petulance, which the deity, we are told,
played back upon Timotheus; who from that time was never able to achieve
anything that was great, but proving altogether unfortunate in his
attempts, and falling into discredit with the people, was at last
banished the city. Sylla, on the contrary, not only accepted with
pleasure the credit of such divine felicities and favours, but joining
himself and extolling and glorifying what was done, gave the honour
of all to Fortune, whether it were out of boastfulness, or a real
feeling of divine agency. He remarks, in his Memoirs, that of all
his well-advised actions, none proved so lucky in the execution as
what he had boldly enterprised, not by calculation, but upon the moment.
And, in the character which he gives of himself, that he was born
for fortune rather than war, he seems to give Fortune a higher place
than merit, and, in short, makes himself entirely the creature of
a superior power, accounting even his concord with Metellus, his equal
in office, and his connection by marriage, a piece of preternatural
felicity. For expecting to have met in him a most troublesome, he
found him a most accommodating, colleague. Moreover, in the Memoirs
which he dedicated to Lucullus, he admonished him to esteem nothing
more trustworthy than what the divine powers advise him by night.
And when he was leaving the city with an army, to fight in the Social
War, he relates that the earth near the Laverna opened, and a quantity
of fire came rushing out of it, shooting up with a bright flame into
the heavens. The soothsayers upon this foretold that a person of great
qualities, and of a rare and singular aspect, should take the government
in hand, and quiet the present troubles of the city. Sylla affirms
he was the man, for his golden head of hair made him an extraordinary-looking
man, nor had he any shame, after the great actions he had done, in
testifying to his own great qualities. And thus much of his opinion
as to divine agency. 

In general he would seem to have been of a very irregular character,
full of inconsistencies with himself much given to rapine, to prodigality
yet more; in promoting or disgracing whom he pleased, alike unaccountable;
cringing to those he stood in need of, and domineering over others
who stood in need of him, so that it was hard to tell whether his
nature had more in it of pride or of servility. As to his unequal
distribution of punishments, as, for example, that upon slight grounds
he would put to the torture, and again would bear patiently with the
greatest wrongs; would readily forgive and he reconciled after the
most heinous acts of enmity, and yet would visit small and inconsiderable
offences with death and confiscation of goods; one might judge that
in himself he was really of a violent and revengeful nature, which,
however, he could qualify, upon reflection, for his interest. In this
very Social War, when the soldiers with stones and clubs had killed
an officer of praetorian rank, his own lieutenant, Albinus by name,
he passed by this flagrant crime without any inquiry, giving it out
moreover in a boast, that the soldiers would behave all the better
now, to make amends, by some special bravery, for their breach of
discipline. He took no notice of the clamours of those that cried
for justice, but designing already to supplant Marius, now that he
saw the Social War near its end, he made much of his army, in hopes
to get himself declared general of the forces against Mithridates.

At his return to Rome he was chosen consul with Quintus Pompeius,
in the fiftieth year of his age, and made a most distinguished marriage
with Caecilia, daughter of Metellus, the chief priest. The common
people made a variety of verses in ridicule of the marriage, and many
of the nobility also were disgusted at it, esteeming him, as Livy
writes, unworthy of this connection, whom before they thought worthy
of a consulship. This was not his only wife, for first, in his younger
days, he was married to Ilia, by whom he had a daughter; after her
to Aelia; and thirdly to Cloelia, whom he dismissed as barren, but
honourably, and with professions of respect, adding, moreover, presents.
But the match between him and Metella, falling out a few days after,
occasioned suspicions that he had complained of Cloelia without due
cause. To Metella he always showed great deference, so much so that
the people, when anxious for the recall of the exiles of Marius's
party, upon his refusal, entreated the intercession of Metella. And
the Athenians, it is thought, had harder measure, at the capture of
their town, because they used insulting language to Metella in their
jests from the walls during the siege. But of this hereafter.

At present esteeming the consulship but a small matter in comparison
of things to come, he was impatiently carried away in thought to the
Mithridatic War. Here he was withstood by Marius; who out of mad affectation
of glory and thirst for distinction, those never dying passions, though
he were now unwieldy in body, and had given up service, on account
of his age, during the late campaigns, still coveted after command
in a distant war beyond the seas. And whilst Sylla was departed for
the camp, to order the rest of his affairs there, he sate brooding
at home, and at last hatched that execrable sedition, which wrought
Rome more mischief than all her enemies together had done, as was
indeed foreshown by the gods. For a flame broke forth of its own accord,
from under the staves of the ensigns, and was with difficulty extinguished.
Three ravens brought their young into the open road, and ate them,
carrying the relics into the nest again. Mice having gnawed the consecrated
gold in one of the temples, the keepers caught one of them, a female,
in a trap; and she bringing forth five young ones in the very trap,
devoured three of them. But what was greatest of all, in a calm and
clear sky there was heard the sound of a trumpet, with such a loud
and dismal blast, as struck terror and amazement into the hearts of
the people. The Etruscan sages affirmed that this prodigy betokened
the mutation of the age, and a general revolution in the world. For
according to them there are in all eight ages, differing one from
another in the lives and the characters of men, and to each of these
God has allotted a certain measure of time, determined by the circuit
of the great year. And when one age is run out, at the approach of
another, there appears some wonderful sign from earth or heaven, such
as makes it manifest at once to those who have made it their business
to study such things, that there has succeeded in the world a new
race of men, differing in customs and institutes of life, and more
or less regarded by the gods than the preceding. Among other great
changes that happen, as they say, at the turn of ages, the art of
divination, also, at one time rises in esteem, and is more successful
in its predictions, clearer and surer tokens being sent from God,
and then, again, in another generation declines as low, becoming mere
guesswork for the most part, and discerning future events by dim and
uncertain intimations. This was the mythology of the wisest of the
Tuscan sages, who were thought to possess a knowledge beyond other
men. Whilst the senate sat in consultation with the soothsayers, concerning
these prodigies, in the temple of Bellona, a sparrow came flying in,
before them all, with a grasshopper in its mouth, and letting fall
one part of it, flew away with the remainder. The diviners foreboded
commotions and dissensions between the great landed proprietors and
the common city populace; the latter, like the grasshopper, being
loud and talkative; while the sparrow might represent the "dwellers
in the field." 

Marius had taken into alliance Sulpicius, the tribune, a man second
to none in any villainies, so that it was less the question what others
he surpassed, but rather in what respects he most surpassed himself
in wickedness. He was cruel, bold, rapacious, and in all these points
utterly shameless and unscrupulous; not hesitating to offer Roman
citizenship by public sale to freed slaves and aliens, and to count
out the price on public money-tables in the forum. He maintained three
thousand swordsmen, and had always about him a company of young men
of the equestrian class ready for all occasions, whom he styled his
Anti-senate. Having had a law enacted, that no senator should contract
a debt of above two thousand drachmas, he himself, after death, was
found indebted three millions. This was the man whom Marius let in
upon the Commonwealth, and who, confounding all things by force and
the sword, made several ordinances of dangerous consequence, and amongst
the rest one giving Marius the conduct of the Mithridatic war. Upon
this the consuls proclaimed a public cessation of business, but as
they were holding an assembly near the temple of Castor and Pollux,
he let loose the rabble upon them, and amongst many others slew the
consul Pompeius's young son in the forum, Pompeius himself hardly
escaping in the crowd. Sylla, being closely pursued into the house
of Marius, was forced to come forth and dissolve the cessation; and
for his doing this, Sulpicius, having deposed Pompeius, allowed Sylla
to continue his consulship, only transferring the Mithridatic expedition
to Marius. 

There were immediately despatched to Nola tribunes to receive the
army, and bring it to Marius; but Sylla, having got first to the camp,
and the soldiers, upon hearing the news, having stoned the tribunes,
Marius, in requital, proceeded to put the friends of Sylla in the
city to the sword, and rifled their goods. Every kind of removal and
flight went on, some hastening from the camp to the city, others from
the city to the camp. The senate, no more in its own power, but wholly
governed by the dictates of Marius and Sulpicius, alarmed at the report
of Sylla's advancing with his troops towards the city, sent forth
two of the praetors, Brutus and Servilius, to forbid his nearer approach.
The soldiers would have slain these praetors in a fury, for their
bold language to Sylla; contenting themselves, however, with breaking
their rods, and tearing off their purple-edged robes, after much contumelious
usage they sent them back, to the sad dejection of the citizens, who
beheld their magistrates despoiled of their badges of office, and
announcing to them that things were now manifestly come to a rupture
past all cure. Marius put himself in readiness, and Sylla with his
colleague moved from Nola, at the head of six complete legions, all
of them willing to march up directly against the city, though he himself
as yet was doubtful in thought, and apprehensive of the danger. As
he was sacrificing, Postumius the soothsayer, having inspected the
entrails, stretching forth both hands to Sylla, required to be bound
and kept in custody till the battle was over, as willing, if they
had not speedy and complete success, to suffer the utmost punishment.
It is said, also, that there appeared to Sylla himself, in a dream,
a certain goddess, whom the Romans learnt to worship from the Cappadocians,
whether it be the Moon, or Pallas, or Bellona. This same goddess,
to his thinking, stood by him, and put into his hand thunder and lightning,
then naming his enemies one by one, bade him strike them, who, all
of them, fell on the discharge and disappeared. Encouraged by this
vision, and relating it to his colleague, next day he led on towards
Rome. About Picinae being met by a deputation, beseeching him not
to attack at once, in the heat of a march, for that the senate had
decreed to do him all the right imaginable, he consented to halt on
the spot, and sent his officers to measure out the ground, as is usual,
for a camp; so that the deputation, believing it, returned. They were
no sooner gone, but he sent a party on under the command of Lucius
Basillus and Caius Mummius, to secure the city gate, and the walls
on the side of the Esquiline hill, and then close at their heels followed
himself with all speed. Basillus made his way successfully into the
city, but the unarmed multitude, pelting him with stones and tiles
from off the houses, stopped his further progress, and beat him back
to the wall. Sylla by this time was come up, and seeing what was going
on, called aloud to his men to set fire to the houses, and taking
a flaming torch, he himself led the way, and commanded the archers
to make use of their fire-darts, letting fly at the tops of houses;
all which he did, not upon any plan, but simply in his fury, yielding
the conduct of that day's work to passion, and as if all he saw were
enemies, without respect or pity either to friends, relations, or
acquaintance, made his entry by fire, which knows no distinction betwixt
friend or foe. 

In this conflict, Marius, being driven into the temple of Mother-Earth,
thence invited the slaves by proclamation of freedom, but the enemy
coming on he was overpowered and fled the city. 

Sylla having called a senate, had sentence of death passed on Marius,
and some few others, amongst whom was Sulpicius, tribune of the people.
Sulpicius was killed, being betrayed by his servant, whom Sylla first
made free, and then threw him headlong down the Tarpeian rock. As
for Marius, he set a price on his life, by proclamation, neither gratefully
nor politically, if we consider into whose house, not long before,
he put himself at mercy, and safely dismissed. Had Marius at that
time not let Sylla go, but suffered him to be slain by the hands of
Sulpicius, he might have been lord of all: nevertheless he spared
his life, and a few days after, when in a similar position himself,
received a different measure. 

By these proceedings Sylla excited the secret distaste of the senate;
but the displeasure and free indignation of the commonalty showed
itself plainly by their actions. For they ignominiously rejected Nonius,
his nephew, and Servius, who stood for offices of state by his interest,
and elected others as magistrates, by honouring whom they thought
they should most annoy him. He made semblance of extreme satisfaction
at all this, as if the people by his means had again enjoyed the liberty
of doing what seemed best to them. And to pacify the public hostility,
he created Lucius Cinna consul, one of the adverse party, having first
bound him under oaths and imprecations to be favourable to his interest.
For Cinna, ascending the capitol with a stone in his hand, swore solemnly,
and prayed with direful curses, that he himself, if he were not true
to his friendship with Sylla, might be cast out of the city, as that
stone out of his hand; and thereupon cast the stone to the ground,
in the presence of many people. Nevertheless Cinna had no sooner entered
on his charge, but he took measures to disturb the present settlement,
having prepared an impeachment against Sylla, got Virginius, one of
the tribunes of the people, to be his accuser; but Sylla, leaving
him and the court of judicature to themselves, set forth against Mithridates.

About the time that Sylla was making ready to put off with his force
from Italy, besides many other omens which befell Mithridates, then
staying at Pergamus, there goes a story that a figure of Victory,
with a crown in her hand, which the Pergamenians by machinery from
above let down on him, when it had almost reached his head, fell to
pieces, and the crown tumbling down into the midst of the theatre,
there broke against the ground, occasioning a general alarm among
the populace, and considerably disquieting Mithridates himself, although
his affairs at that time were succeeding beyond expectation. For having
wrested Asia from the Romans, and Bithynia and Cappadocia from their
kings, he made Pergamus his royal seat, distributing among his friends
riches, principalities, and kingdoms. Of his sons, one residing in
Pontus and Bosporus held his ancient realm as far as the deserts beyond
the lake Maeotis, without molestation; while Ariarathes, another,
was reducing Thrace and Macedon, with a great army, to obedience.
His generals, with forces under them, were establishing his supremacy
in other quarters. Archelaus, in particular, with his fleet, held
absolute mastery of the sea, and was bringing into subjection the
Cyclades, and all the other islands as far as Malea, and had taken
Euboea itself. Making Athens his headquarters, from thence as far
as Thessaly he was withdrawing the states of Greece from the Roman
allegiance, without the least ill-success, except at Chaeronea. For
here Bruttius Sura, lieutenant to Sentius, governor of Macedon, a
man of singular valour and prudence, met him, and, though he came
like a torrent pouring over Boeotia, made stout resistance, and thrice
giving him battle near Chaeronea, repulsed and forced him back to
the sea. But being commanded by Lucius Lucullus to give place to his
successor, Sylla, and resign the war to whom it was decreed, he presently
left Boeotia, and retired back to Sentius, although his success had
outgone all hopes, and Greece was well disposed to a new revolution,
upon account of his gallant behaviour. These were the glorious actions
of Bruttius. 

Sylla, on his arrival, received by their deputations the compliments
of all the cities of Greece, except Athens, against which, as it was
compelled by the tyrant Aristion to hold for the king, he advanced
with all his forces, and investing the Piraeus, laid formal siege
to it, employing every variety of engines, and trying every manner
of assault; whereas, had he forborn but a little while, he might without
hazard have taken the Upper City by famine, it being already reduced
to the last extremity, through want of necessaries. But eager to return
to Rome, and fearing innovation there, at great risk, with continual
fighting and vast expense, he pushed on the war. Besides other equipage,
the very work about the engines of battery was supplied with no less
than ten thousand yoke of mules, employed daily in that service. And
when timber grew scarce, for many of the works failed, some crushed
to pieces by their own weight, others taking fire by the continual
play of the enemy, he had recourse to the sacred groves, and cut down
the trees of the Academy, the shadiest of all the suburbs, and the
Lyceum. And a vast sum of money being wanted to carry on the war,
he broke into the sanctuaries of Greece, that of Epidaurus and that
of Olympia, sending for the most beautiful and precious offerings
deposited there. He wrote, likewise, to the Amphictyons at Delphi,
that it were better to remit the wealth of the god to him, for that
he would keep it more securely, or in case he made use of it, restore
as much. He sent Caphis, the Phocian, one of his friends, with this
message, commanding him to receive each item by weight. Caphis came
to Delphi, but was loth to touch the holy things, and with many tears,
in the presence of the Amphictyons, bewailed the necessity. And on
some of them declaring they heard the sound of a harp from the inner
shrine, he, whether he himself believed it, or was willing to try
the effect of religious fear upon Sylla, sent back an express. To
which Sylla replied in a scoffing way, that it was surprising to him
that Caphis did not know that music was a sign of joy, not anger;
he should, therefore, go on boldly, and accept what a gracious and
bountiful god offered. 

Other things were sent away without much notice on the part of the
Greeks in general, but in the case of the silver tun, that only relic
of the regal donations, which its weight and bulk made it impossible
for any carriage to receive, the Amphictyons were forced to cut it
into pieces, and called to mind in so doing, how Titus Flamininus,
and Manius Acilius, and again Paulus Aemilius, one of whom drove Antiochus
out of Greece, and the others subdued the Macedonian kings, had not
only abstained from violating the Greek temples, but had even given
them new gifts and honours, and increased the general veneration for
them. They, indeed, the lawful commanders of temperate and obedient
soldiers, and themselves great in soul, and simple in expenses, lived
within the bounds of the ordinary established charges, accounting
it a greater disgrace to seek popularity with their men, than to feel
fear of their enemy. Whereas the commanders of these times, attaining
to superiority by force, not worth, and having need of arms one against
another, rather than against the public enemy, were constrained to
temporize in authority, and in order to pay for the gratifications
with which they purchased the labour of their soldiers, were driven,
before they knew it, to sell the commonwealth itself, and, to gain
the mastery over men better than themselves, were content to become
slaves to the vilest of wretches. These practices drove Marius into
exile. and again brought him in against Sylla. These made Cinna the
assassin of Octavius, and Fimbria of Flaccus. To which courses Sylla
contributed not the least; for to corrupt and win over those who were
under the command of others, he would be munificent and profuse towards
those who were under his own; and so, while tempting the soldiers
of other generals to treachery, and his own to dissolute living, he
was naturally in want of a large treasury, and especially during that

Sylla had a vehement and an implacable desire to conquer Athens. whether
out of emulation, fighting as it were against the shadow of the once
famous city, or out of anger, at the foul words and scurrilous jests
with which the tyrant Aristion, showing himself daily, with unseemly
gesticulations, upon the walls, had provoked him and Metella.

The tyrant Aristion had his very being compounded of wantonness and
cruelty, having gathered into himself all the worst of Mithridates's
diseased and vicious qualities, like some fatal malady which the city,
after its deliverance from innumerable wars, many tyrannies and seditions,
was in its last days destined to endure. At the time when a medimnus
of wheat was sold in the city for one thousand drachmas and men were
forced to live on the feverfew growing round the citadel, and to boil
down shoes and oil-bags for their food, he, carousing and feasting
in the open face of day, then dancing in armour, and making jokes
at the enemy, suffered the holy lamp of the goddess to expire for
want of oil, and to the chief priestess, who demanded of him the twelfth
part of a medimnus of wheat, he sent the like quantity of pepper.
The senators and priests who came as suppliants to beg of him to take
compassion on the city, and treat for peace with Sylla, he drove away
and dispersed with a flight of arrows. At last, with much ado, he
sent forth two or three of his revelling companions to parley, to
whom Sylla, perceiving that they made no serious overtures towards
an accommodation, but went on haranguing in praise of Theseus, Eumolpus,
and the Median trophies, replied, "My good friends, you may put up
your speeches and be gone. I was sent by the Romans to Athens, not
to take lessons, but to reduce rebels to obedience." 

In the meantime news came to Sylla that some old men, talking in the
Ceramicus, had been overheard to blame the tyrant for not securing
the passages and approaches near the Heptachalcum, the one point where
the enemy might easily get over. Sylla neglected not the report, but
going in the night, and discovering the place to be assailable, set
instantly to work. Sylla himself makes mention in his Memoirs that
Marcus Teius, the first man who scaled the wall, meeting with an adversary,
and striking him on the headpiece a home-stroke, broke his own sword,
but, notwithstanding, did not give ground, but stood and held him
fast. The city was certainly taken from that quarter, according to
the tradition of the oldest of the Athenians. 

When they had thrown down the wall, and made all level betwixt the
Piraic and Sacred Gate, about midnight Sylla entered the breach, with
all the terrors of trumpets and cornets sounding, with the triumphant
shout and cry of an army let loose to spoil and slaughter, and scouring
through the streets with swords drawn. There was no numbering the
slain; the amount is to this day conjectured only from the space of
ground overflowed with blood. For without mentioning the execution
done in other quarters of the city, the blood that was shed about
the market-place spread over the whole Ceramicus within the Double-gate,
and, according to most writers, passed through the gate and overflowed
the suburb. Nor did the multitudes which fell thus exceed the number
of those who, out of pity and love for their country which they believed
was now finally to perish, slew themselves; the best of them, through
despair of their country's surviving, dreading themselves to survive,
expecting neither humanity nor moderation in Sylla. At length, partly
at the instance of Midias and Calliphon, two exiled men, beseeching
and casting themselves at his feet, partly by the intercession of
those senators who followed the camp, having had his fill of revenge,
and making some honourable mention of the ancient Athenians, "I forgive,"
said he, "the many for the sake of the few, the living for the dead."
He took Athens, according to his own Memoirs, on the calends of March,
coinciding pretty nearly with the new moon of Anthesterion, on which
day it is the Athenian usage to perform various acts in commemoration
of the ruins and devastations occasioned by the deluge, that being
supposed to be the time of its occurrence. 

At the taking of the town, the tyrant fled into the citadel, and was
there besieged by Curio, who had that charge given him. He held out
a considerable time, but at last yielded himself up for want of water,
and divine power immediately intimated its agency in the matter. For
on the same day and hour that Curio conducted him down, the clouds
gathered in a clear sky, and there came down a great quantity of rain
and filled the citadel with water. 

Not long after, Sylla won the Piraeus, and burnt most of it; amongst
the rest, Philo's arsenal, a work very greatly admired. 

In the meantime Taxiles, Mithridates's general, coming down from Thrace
and Macedon, with an army of one hundred thousand foot, ten thousand
horse, and ninety chariots, armed with scythes at the wheels, would
have joined Archelaus, who lay with a navy on the coast near Munychia,
reluctant to quit the sea, and yet unwilling to engage the Romans
in battle, but desiring to protract the war and cut off the enemy's
supplies. Which Sylla perceiving much better than himself, passed
with his forces into Boeotia, quitting a barren district which was
inadequate to maintain an army even in time of peace. He was thought
by some to have taken false measures in thus leaving Attica, a rugged
country, and ill suited for cavalry to move in, and entering the plain
and open fields of Boeotia, knowing as he did the barbarian strength
to consist most in horses and chariots. But as was said before, to
avoid famine and scarcity, he was forced to run the risk of a battle.
Moreover he was in anxiety for Hortensius, a bold and active officer,
whom on his way to Sylla with forces from Thessaly, the barbarians
awaited in the straits. For these reasons Sylla drew off into Boeotia.
Hortensius, meantime, was conducted by Caphis, our countryman, another
way unknown to the barbarians, by Parnassus, just under Tithora, which
was then not so large a town as it is now, but a mere fort, surrounded
by steep precipices whither the Phocians also, in old times, when
flying from the invasion of Xerxes, carried themselves and their goods
and were saved. Hortensius, encamping here, kept off the enemy by
day, and at night descending by difficult passages to Patronis, joined
the forces of Sylla who came to meet him. Thus united they posted
themselves on a fertile hill in the middle of the plain of Elatea,
shaded with trees and watered at the foot. It is called Philoboeotus,
and its situation and natural advantages are spoken of with great
admiration by Sylla. 

As they lay thus encamped, they seemed to the enemy a contemptible
number, for there were not above fifteen hundred horse, and less than
fifteen thousand foot. Therefore the rest of the commanders, over-persuading
Archelaus and drawing up the army, covered the plain with horses,
chariots, bucklers, targets. The clamour and cries of so many nations
forming for battle rent the air, nor was the pomp and ostentation
of their costly array altogether idle and unserviceable for terror;
for the brightness of their armour, embellished magnificently with
gold and silver, and the rich colours of their Median and Scythian
coats, intermixed with brass and shining steel, presented a flaming
and terrible sight as they swayed about and moved in their ranks,
so much so that the Romans shrunk within their trenches, and Sylla,
unable by any arguments to remove their fear, and unwilling to force
them to fight against their wills, was fain to sit down in quiet,
ill-brooking to become the subject of barbarian insolence and laughter.
This, however, above all advantaged him, for the enemy, from contemning
of him, fell into disorder amongst themselves, being already less
thoroughly under command, on account of the number of their leaders.
Some few of them remained within the encampment, but others, the major
part, lured out with hopes of prey and rapine, strayed about the country
many days' journey from the camp, and are related to have destroyed
the city of Panope, to have plundered Lebadea, and robbed the oracle
without any orders from their commanders. 

Sylla, all this while, chafing and fretting to see the cities all
around destroyed, suffered not the soldiery to remain idle, but leading
them out, compelled them to divert the Cephisus from its ancient channel
by casting up ditches, and giving respite to none, showed himself
rigorous in punishing the remiss, that growing weary of labour, they
might be induced by hardship to embrace danger. Which fell out accordingly,
for on the third day, being hard at work as Sylla passed by, they
begged and clamoured to be led against the enemy. Sylla replied, that
this demand of war proceeded rather from a backwardness to labour
than any forwardness to fight, but if they were in good earnest martially
inclined, he bade them take their arms and get up thither, pointing
to the ancient citadel of the Parapotamians, of which at present,
the city being laid waste, there remained only the rocky hill itself,
steep and craggy on all sides, and severed from Mount Hedylium by
the breadth of the river Assus, which, running between, and at the
bottom of the same hill falling into the Cephisus with an impetuous
confluence, makes this eminence a strong position for soldiers to
occupy. Observing that the enemy's division, called the Brazen Shields,
were making their way up thither, Sylla was willing to take first
possession, and by the vigorous efforts of the soldiers, succeeded.
Archelaus, driven from hence, bent his forces upon Chaeronea. The
Chaeroneans who bore arms in the Roman camp beseeching Sylla not to
abandon the city, he despatched Gabinius, a tribune, with one legion,
and sent out also the Chaeroneans, who endeavoured, but were not able
to get in before Gabinius; so active was he, and more zealous to bring
relief than those who had entreated it. Juba writes that Ericius was
the man sent, not Gabinius. Thus narrowly did our native city escape.

From Lebadea and the cave of Trophonius there came favourable rumours
and prophecies of victory to the Romans, of which the inhabitants
of those places gave a fuller account, but as Sylla himself affirms
in the tenth book of his Memoirs, Quintus Titius, a man of some repute
among the Romans who were engaged in mercantile business in Greece,
came to him after the battle won at Chaeronea, and declared that Trophonius
had foretold another fight and victory on the place, within a short
time. After him a soldier, by name Salvenius, brought an account from
the god of the future issue of affairs in Italy. As to the vision,
they both agreed in this, that they had seen one who in stature and
in majesty was similar to Jupiter Olympius. 

Sylla, when he had passed over the Assus, marching under the Mount
Hedylium, encamped close to Archelaus, who had intrenched himself
strongly between the mountains Acontium and Hedylium, close to what
are called the Assia. The place of his intrenchment is to this day
named from him, Archelaus. Sylla, after one day's respite, having
left Murena behind him with one legion and two cohorts to amuse the
enemy with continual alarms, himself went and sacrificed on the banks
of Cephisus, and the holy rites ended, held on towards Chaeronea to
receive the forces there and view Mount Thurium, where a party of
the enemy had posted themselves. This is a craggy height running up
in a conical form to a point called by us Orthopagus; at the foot
of it is the river Morius and the temple of Apollo Thurius. The god
had his surname from Thuro, mother of Chaeron, whom ancient record
makes founder of Chaeronea. Others assert that the cow, which Apollo
gave to Cadmus for a guide, appeared there, and that the place took
its name from the beast, Thor being the Phoenician word for cow.

At Sylla's approach to Chaeronea, the tribune who had been appointed
to guard the city led out his men in arms, and met him with a garland
of laurel in his hand; which Sylla accepting, and at the same time
saluting the soldiers and animating them to the encounter, two men
of Chaeronea, Homoloichus and Anaxidamus, presented themselves before
him, and offered, with a small party, to dislodge those who were posted
on Thurium. For there lay a path out of sight of the barbarians, from
what is called Petrochus along by the Museum, leading right down from
above upon Thurium. By this way it was easy to fall upon them and
either stone them from above or force them down into the plain. Sylla,
assured of their faith and courage by Gabinius, bade them proceed
with the enterprise, and meantime drew up the army, and disposing
the cavalry on both wings, himself took command of the right; the
left being committed to the direction of Murena. In the rear of all,
Galba and Hortensius, his lieutenants, planted themselves on the upper
grounds with the cohorts of reserve, to watch the motions of the enemy,
who, with numbers of horse and swift-footed, light-armed infantry,
were noticed to have so formed their wing as to allow it readily to
change about and alter its position, and thus gave reason for suspecting
that they intended to carry it far out and so to inclose the Romans.

In the meanwhile, the Chaeroneans, who had Ericius for commander by
appointment of Sylla, covertly making their way around Thurium, and
then discovering themselves, occasioned a great confusion and rout
among the barbarians, and slaughter, for the most part, by their own
hands. For they kept not their place, but making down the steep descent,
ran themselves on their own spears, and violently sent each other
over the cliffs the enemy from above pressing on and wounding them
where they exposed their bodies; insomuch that there fell three thousand
about Thurium. Some of those who escaped, being met by Murena as he
stood in array, were cut off and destroyed. Others breaking through
to their friends and falling pell-mell into the ranks, filled most
part of the army with fear and tumult, and caused a hesitation and
delay among the generals, which was no small disadvantage. For immediately
upon the discomposure, Sylla coming full speed to the charge, and
quickly crossing the interval between the armies, lost them the service
of their armed chariots, which require a considerable space of ground
to gather strength and impetuosity in their career, a short course
being weak and ineffectual, like that of missiles without a full swing.
Thus it fared with the barbarians at present, whose first chariots
came feebly on and made but a faint impression; the Romans, repulsing
them with shouts and laughter, called out, as they do at the races
in the circus, for more to come. By this time the mass of both armies
met; the barbarians on one side fixed their long pikes, and with their
shields locked close together, strove so far as in them lay to preserve
their line of battle entire. The Romans, on the other side, having
discharged their javelins, rushed on with their drawn swords, and
struggled to put by the pikes to get at them the sooner, in the fury
that possessed them at seeing in the front of the enemy fifteen thousand
slaves, whom the royal commanders had set free by proclamation, and
ranged amongst the men of arms. And a Roman centurion is reported
to have said at this sight, that he never knew servants allowed to
play the masters, unless at the Saturnalia. These men, by their deep
and solid array, as well as by their daring courage, yielded but slowly
to the legions, till at last by slinging engines, and darts, which
the Romans poured in upon them behind, they were forced to give way
and scatter. 

As Archelaus was extending the right wing to encompass the enemy,
Hortensius with his cohorts came down in force, with intention to
charge him in the flank. But Archelaus wheeling about suddenly with
two thousand horse, Hortensius, out-numbered and hard pressed, fell
back towards the higher grounds, and found himself gradually getting
separated from the main body and likely to be surrounded by the enemy.
When Sylla heard this, he came rapidly up to his succour from the
right wing, which as yet had not engaged. But Archelaus, guessing
the matter by the dust of his troops, turned to the right wing, from
whence Sylla came, in hopes to surprise it without a commander. At
the same instant, likewise, Taxiles, with his Brazen Shields, assailed
Murena, so that a cry coming from both places, and the hills repeating
it around, Sylla stood in suspense which way to move. Deciding to
resume his own station he sent in aid to Murena four cohorts under
Hortensius, and commanding the fifth to follow him, returned hastily
to the right wing, which of itself held its ground on equal terms
against Archelaus; and, at his appearance, with one bold effort forced
them back, and, obtaining the mastery, followed them, flying in disorder
to the river and Mount Acontium. Sylla, however, did not forget the
danger Murena was in; but hasting thither and finding him victorious
also, then joined in the pursuit. Many barbarians were slain in the
field, many more were cut in pieces as they were making into the camp.
Of all the vast multitude, ten thousand only got safe intoe Chalcis.
Sylla writes that there were but fourteen of his soldiers missing,
and that two of these returned towards evening; he, therefore, inscribed
on the trophies the names of Mars, Victory, and Venus, as having won
the day no less by good fortune than by management and force of arms.
This trophy of the battle in the plain stands on the place where Archelaus
first gave way, near the stream of the Molus; another is erected high
on the top of Thurium, where the barbarians were environed, with an
inscription in Greek, recording that the glory of the day belonged
to Homoloichus and Anaxidamus. Sylla celebrated his victory at Thebes
with spectacles, for which he erected a stage, near Oedipus's well.
The judges of the performances were Greeks chosen out of other cities;
his hostility to the Thebans being implacable, half of whose territory
he took away and consecrated to Apollo and Jupiter, ordering that
out of the revenue compensation should be made to the gods for the
riches himself had taken from them. 

After this, hearing that Flaccus, a man of the contrary faction, had
been chosen consul, and was crossing the Ionian Sea with an army,
professedly to act against Mithridates, but in reality against himself,
he hastened towards Thessaly, designing to meet him, but in his march,
when near Melitea, received advices from all parts that the countries
behind him were overrun and ravaged by no less a royal army than the
former. For Dorylaus, arriving at Chalcis with a large fleet, on board
of which he brought over with him eighty thousand of the best appointed
and best disciplined soldiers of Mithridates's army, at once invaded
Boeotia, and occupied the country in hopes to bring Sylla to a battle,
making no account of the dissuasions of Archelaus, but giving it out
as to the last fight, that without treachery so many thousand men
could never have perished. Sylla, however, facing about expeditiously,
made it clear to him that Archelaus was a wise man, and had good skill
in the Roman valour; insomuch that he himself, after some small skirmishes
with Sylla near Tilphossium, was the first of those who thought it
not advisable to put things to the decision of the sword, but rather
to wear out the war by expense of time and treasure. The ground, however,
near Orchomenus, where they then lay encamped, gave some encouragement
to Archelaus, being a battlefield admirably suited for any army superior
in cavalry. Of all the plains in Boeotia that are renowned for their
beauty and extent, this alone, which commences from the city of Orchomenus,
spreads out unbroken and clear of trees to the edge of the fens in
which the Melas, rising close under Orchomenus, loses itself, the
only Greek river which is a deep and navigable water from the very
head, increasing also about the summer solstice like the Nile, and
producing plants similar to those that grow there, only small and
without fruit. It does not run far before the main stream disappears
among the blind and woody marsh-grounds; a small branch, however,
joins the Cephisus, about the place where the lake is thought to produce
the best flute-reeds. 

Now that both armies were posted near each other, Archelaus lay still,
but Sylla employed himself in cutting ditches from either side; that
if possible, by driving the enemies from the firm and open champaign,
he might force them into the fens. They, on the other hand, not enduring
this, as soon as their leaders allowed them the word of command, issued
out furiously in large bodies; when not only the men at work were
dispersed, but most part of those who stood in arms to protect the
work fled in disorder. Upon this, Sylla leaped from his horse, and
snatching hold of an ensign, rushed through the midst of the rout
upon the enemy, crying out aloud, "To me, O Romans, it will be glorious
to fall here. As for you, when they ask you where you betrayed your
general, remember and say, at Orchomenus." His men rallying again
at these words, and two cohorts coming to his succour from the right
wing, he led them to the charge and turned the day. Then retiring
some short distance and refreshing his men, he proceeded again with
his works to block up the enemy's camp. They again sallied out in
better order than before. Here Diogenes, stepson to Archelaus, fighting
on the right wing with much gallantry, made an honourable end. And
the archers, being hard pressed by the Romans, and wanting space for
a retreat, took their arrows by handfuls, and striking with these
as with swords, beat them back. In the end, however, they were all
driven into the intrenchment and had a sorrowful night of it with
their slain and wounded. The next day again, Sylla, leading forth
his men up to their quarters, went on finishing the lines of intrenchment,
and when they issued out again with larger numbers to give him battle,
fell on them and put them to the rout, and in the consternation ensuing,
none daring to abide, he took the camp by storm. The marshes were
filled with blood, and the lake with dead bodies, insomuch that to
this day many bows, helmets, fragments of iron, breastplates, and
swords of barbarian make continue to be found buried deep in mud,
two hundred years after the fight. Thus much of the actions of Chaeronea
and Orchomenus. 

At Rome, Cinna and Carbo were now using injustice and violence towards
persons of the greatest eminence, and many of them to avoid this tyranny
repaired, as to a safe harbour, to Sylla's camp, where, in a short
space, he had about him the aspect of a senate. Metella, likewise,
having with difficulty conveyed herself and children away by stealth,
brought him word that his houses, both in town and country, had been
burnt by his enemies, and entreated his help at home. Whilst he was
in doubt what to do, being impatient to hear of his country being
thus outraged, and yet not knowing how to leave so great a work as
the Mithridatic war unfinished, there comes to him Archelaus, a merchant
of Delos, with hopes of an accommodation, and private instructions
from Archelaus, the king's general. Sylla liked the business so well
as to desire a speedy conference with Archelaus in person, and a meeting
took place on the seacoast near Delium, where the temple of Apollo
stands. When Archelaus opened the conversation, and began to urge
Sylla to abandon his pretensions to Asia and Pontus, and to set sail
for the war in Rome, receiving money and shipping, and such forces
as he should think fitting from the king, Sylla interposing, bade
Archelaus take no further care for Mithridates, but assume the crown
to himself, and become a confederate of Rome, delivering up the navy.
Archelaus professing his abhorrence of such treason, Sylla proceeded:
"So you, Archelaus, a Cappadocian, and slave, or if it so please you
friend, to a barbarian king, would not, upon such vast considerations,
be guilty of what is dishonourable, and yet dare to talk to me, Roman
general and Sylla, of treason? as if you were not the self-same Archelaus
who ran away at Chaeronea, with few remaining out of one hundred and
twenty thousand men; who lay for two days in the fens of Orchomenus,
and left Boeotia impassable for heaps of dead carcasses." Archelaus,
changing his tone at this, humbly besought him to lay aside the thoughts
of war, and make peace with Mithridates. Sylla consenting to this
request, articles of agreement were concluded on. That Mithridates
should quit Asia and Paphlagonia, restore Bithynia to Nicomedes, Cappadocia
to Ariobarzanes, and pay the Romans two thousand talents, and give
him seventy ships of war with all their furniture. On the other hand,
that Sylla should confirm to him his other dominions, and declare
him a Roman confederate. On these terms he proceeded by the way of
Thessaly and Macedon towards the Hellespont, having Archelaus with
him, and treating him with great attention. For Archelaus being taken
dangerously ill at Larissa, he stopped the march of the army, and
took care of him, as if he had been one of his own captains, or his
colleague in command. This gave suspicion of foul play in the battle
of Chaeronea; as it was also observed that Sylla had released all
the friends of Mithridates taken prisoners in war, except only Aristion
the tyrant, who was at enmity with Archelaus, and was put to death
by poison; and, above all, ten thousand acres of land in Euboea had
been given to the Cappadocian, and he had received from Sylla the
style of friend and ally of the Romans. On all which points Sylla
defends himself in his Memoirs. 

The ambassadors of Mithridates arriving and declaring that they accepted
of the conditions, only Paphlagonia they could not part with; and
as for the ships, professing not to know of any such capitulation,
Sylla in a rage exclaimed, "What say you? Does Mithridates then withhold
Paphlagonia? and as to the ships, deny that article? I thought to
have seen him prostrate at my feet to thank me for leaving him so
much as that right hand of his, which has cut off so many Romans.
He will shortly, at my coming over into Asia, speak another language;
in the meantime, let him at his ease in Pergamus sit managing a war
which he never saw." The ambassadors in terror stood silent by, but
Archelaus endeavoured with humble supplications to assuage his wrath,
laying hold on his right hand and weeping. In conclusion he obtained
permission to go himself in person to Mithridates; for that he would
either mediate a peace to the satisfaction of Sylla, or if not, slay
himself. Sylla having thus despatched him away, made an inroad into
Maedica, and after wide depopulations returned back again into Macedon,
where he received Archelaus about Philippi, bringing word that all
was well, and that Mithridates earnestly requested an interview. The
chief cause of this meeting was Fimbria; for he, having assassinated
Flaccus, the consul of the contrary faction, and worsted the Mithridatic
commanders, was advancing against Mithridates himself, who, fearing
this, chose rather to seek the friendship of Sylla. 

And so met at Dardanus in the Troad, on one side Mithridates, attended
with two hundred ships, and land-forces consisting of twenty thousand
men at arms, six thousand horse, and a large train of scythed chariots;
on the other, Sylla with only four cohorts and two hundred horse.
As Mithridates drew near and put out his hand, Sylla demanded whether
he was willing or no to end the war on the terms Archelaus had agreed
to, but seeing the king made no answer, "How is this?" he continued,
"ought not the petitioner to speak first, and the conqueror to listen
in silence?" And when Mithridates, entering upon his plea, began to
shift off the war, partly on the gods, and partly to blame the Romans
themselves, he took him up, saying that he had heard, indeed, long
since from others, and now he knew it himself for truth, that Mithridates
was a powerful speaker, who in defence of the most foul and unjust
proceedings, had not wanted for specious pretences. Then charging
him with and inveighing bitterly against the outrages he had committed,
he asked again whether he was willing or no to ratify the treaty of
Archelaus? Mithridates answering in the affirmative, Sylla came forward,
embraced and kissed him. Not long after he introduced Ariobarzanes
and Nicomedes, the two kings, and made them friends. Mithridates,
when he had handed over to Sylla seventy ships and five hundred archers,
set sail for Pontus. 

Sylla, perceiving the soldiers to be dissatisfied with the peace (as
it seemed indeed a monstrous thing that they should see the king who
was their bitterest enemy, and who had caused one hundred and fifty
thousand Romans to be massacred in one day in Asia, now sailing off
with the riches and spoils of Asia, which he had pillaged, and put
under contribution for the space of four years), in his defence to
them alleged, that he could not have made head against Fimbria and
Mithridates, had they both withstood him in conjunction. Thence he
set out and went in search of Fimbria, who lay with the army about
Thyatira, and pitching his camp not far off, proceeded to fortify
it with a trench. The soldiers of Fimbria came out in their single
coats, and saluting his men, lent ready assistance to the work; which
change Fimbria beholding, and apprehending Sylla as irreconcilable,
laid violent hands on himself in the camp. 

Sylla imposed on Asia in general a tax of twenty thousand talents,
and despoiled individually each family by the licentious behaviour
and long residence of the soldiery in private quarters. For he ordained
that every host should allow his guest four tetradrachms each day,
and moreover entertain him, and as many friends as he should invite,
with a supper; that a centurion should receive fifty drachms a day,
together with one suit of clothes to wear within doors, and another
when he went abroad. 

Having set out from Ephesus with the whole navy, he came the third
day to anchor in the Piraeus. Here he was initiated in the mysteries,
and seized for his use the library of Apellicon the Teian, in which
were most of the works of Theophrastus and Aristotle, then not in
general circulation. When the whole was afterwards conveyed to Rome,
there, it is said, the greater part of the collection passed through
the hands of Tyrannion the grammarian, and that Andronicus the Rhodian,
having through his means the command of numerous copies, made the
treatises public, and drew up the catalogues that are now current.
The elder Peripatetics appear themselves, indeed, to have been accomplished
and learned men, but of the writings of Aristotle and Theophrastus
they had no large or exact knowledge, because Theophrastus bequeathing
his books to the heir of Neleus of Scepsis, they came into careless
and illiterate hands. 

During Sylla's stay about Athens, his feet were attacked by a heavy
benumbing pain, which Strabo calls the first inarticulate sounds of
the gout. Taking, therefore, a voyage to Aedepsus, he made use of
the hot waters there, allowing himself at the same time to forget
all anxieties, and passing away his time with actors. As he was walking
along the seashore, certain fishermen brought him some magnificent
fish. Being much delighted with the gift, and understanding, on inquiry,
that they were men of Halaeae, "What," said he, "are there any men
of Halaeae surviving?" For after his victory at Orchomenus, in the
heat of a pursuit, he had destroyed three cities of Boeotia, Anthedon,
Larymna, and Halaeae. The men not knowing what to say for fear, Sylla,
with a smile, bade them cheer up and return in peace, as they had
brought with them no insignificant intercessors. The Halaeans say
that this first gave them courage to re-unite and return to their

Sylla, having marched through Thessaly and Macedon to the sea coast,
prepared, with twelve hundred vessels, to cross over from Dyrrhachium
to Brundisium. Not far from hence is Apollonia, and near it the Nymphaeum,
a spot of ground where, from among green trees and meadows, there
are found at various points springs of fire continually streaming
out. Here, they say, a satyr, such as statuaries and painters represent,
was caught asleep, and brought before Sylla, where he was asked by
several interpreters who he was, and, after much trouble, at last
uttered nothing intelligible, but a harsh noise, something between
the neighing of a horse and crying of a goat. Sylla, in dismay, and
deprecating such an omen, bade it be removed. 

At the point of transportation, Sylla being in alarm, lest at their
first setting foot upon Italy the soldiers should disband and disperse
one by one among the cities, they of their own accord first took an
oath to stand firm by him, and not of their good-will to injure Italy;
then seeing him in distress for money, they made, so they say, a free-will
offering, and contributed each man according to his ability. However,
Sylla would not accept of their offering, but praising their good-will,
and arousing up their courage, went over (as he himself writes) against
fifteen hostile generals in command of four hundred and fifty cohorts;
but not without the most unmistakable divine intimations of his approaching
happy successes. For when he was sacrificing at his first landing
near Tarentum, the victim's liver showed the figure of a crown of
laurel with two fillets hanging from it. And a little while before
his arrival in Campania, near the mountain Hephaeus, two stately goats
were seen in the daytime, fighting together, and performing all the
motions of men in battle. It proved to be an apparition, and rising
up gradually from the ground, dispersed in the air, like fancied representations
in the clouds, and so vanished out of sight. Not long after, in the
self-same place, when Marius the younger and Norbanus the consul attacked
him with two great armies, without prescribing the order of battle,
or arranging his men according to their divisions, by the sway only
of one common alacrity and transport of courage, he overthrew the
enemy, and shut up Norbanus into the city of Capua, with the loss
of seven thousand of his men. And this was the reason, he says, that
the soldiers did not leave him and disperse into the different towns,
but held fast to him, and despised the enemy, though infinitely more
in number. 

At Silvium (as he himself relates it), there met him a servant of
Pontius, in a state of divine possession, saying that he brought him
the power of the sword and victory from Bellona, the goddess of war,
and if he did not make haste, that the capitol would be burnt, which
fell out on the same day the man foretold it, namely, on the sixth
day of the month Quintilis, which we now call July. 

At Fidentia, also, Marcus Lucullus, one of Sylla's commanders, reposed
such confidence in the forwardness of the soldiers, as to dare to
face fifty cohorts of the enemy with only sixteen of his own: but
because many of them were unarmed delayed the onset. As he stood thus
waiting, and considering with himself, a gentle gale of wind, bearing
along with it from the neighbouring meadows a quantity of flowers,
scattered them down upon the army, on whose shields and helmets they
settled, and arranged themselves spontaneously so as to give the soldiers,
in the eyes of the enemy, the appearance of being crowned with chaplets.
Upon this, being yet further animated, they joined battle, and victoriously
slaying eight thousand men, took the camp. This Lucullus was brother
to that Lucullus who in aftertimes conquered Mithridates and Tigranes.

Sylla, seeing himself still surrounded by so many armies, and such
mighty hostile powers, had recourse to art, inviting Scipio, the other
consul, to a treaty of peace. The motion was willingly embraced, and
several meetings and consultations ensued, in all which Sylla, still
interposing matter of delay and new pretences, in the meanwhile, debauched
Scipio's men by means of his own, who were as well practised as the
general himself in all the artifices of inveigling. For entering into
the enemy's quarters and joining in conversation, they gained some
by present money, some by promises, others by fair words and persuasions;
so that in the end, when Sylla with twenty cohorts drew near, on his
men saluting Scipio's soldiers, they returned the greeting and came
over, leaving Scipio behind them in his tent, where he was found all
alone and dismissed. And having used his twenty cohorts as decoys
to ensnare the forty of the enemy, he led them all back into the camp.
On this occasion, Carbo was heard to say that he had both a fox and
a lion in the breast of Sylla to deal with, and was most troubled
with the fox. 

Some time after, at Signia, Marius the younger, with eighty-five cohorts,
offered battle to Sylla, who was extremely desirous to have it decided
on that very day; for the night before he had seen a vision in his
sleep, of Marius the elder, who had been some time dead, advising
his son to beware of the following day, as of fatal consequence to
him. For this reason, Sylla, longing to come to a battle, sent off
for Dolabella, who lay encamped at some distance. But because the
enemy had beset and blocked up the passes, his soldiers got tired
with skirmishing and marching at once. To these difficulties was added,
moreover, tempestuous rainy weather, which distressed them most of
all. The principal officers therefore came to Sylla, and besought
him to defer the battle that day, showing him how the soldiers lay
stretched on the ground, where they had thrown themselves down in
their weariness, resting their heads upon their shields to gain some
repose. When, with much reluctance, he had yielded, and given orders
for pitching the camp, they had no sooner begun to cast up the rampart
and draw the ditch, but Marius came riding up furiously at the head
of his troops, in hopes to scatter them in that disorder and confusion.
Here the gods fulfilled Sylla's dream. For the soldiers, stirred up
with anger, left off their work, and sticking their javelins into
the bank, with drawn swords and a courageous shout, came to blows
with the enemy, who made but small resistance, and lost great numbers
in the flight. Marius fled to Praeneste, but finding the gates shut,
tied himself round by a rope that was thrown down to him, and was
taken up on the walls. Some there are (as Fenestella for one) who
affirm that Marius knew nothing of the fight, but, overwatched and
spent with hard duty, had reposed himself, when the signal was given,
beneath some shade, and was hardly to be awakened at the flight of
his men. Sylla, according to his own account, lost only twenty-three
men in this fight, having killed of the enemy twenty thousand, and
taken alive eight thousand. 

The like success attended his lieutenants, Pompey, Crassus, Metellus,
Servilius, who with little or no loss cut off vast numbers of the
enemy, insomuch that Carbo, the prime supporter of the cause, fled
by night from his charge of the army, and sailed over into Libya.
In the last struggle, however, the Samnite Telesinus, like some champion,
whose lot it is to enter last of all into the lists and take up the
wearied conqueror, came nigh to have foiled and overthrown Sylla before
the gates of Rome. For Telesinus with his second, Lamponius the Lucanian,
having collected a large force, had been hastening towards Praeneste,
to relieve Marius from the siege; but perceiving Sylla ahead of him,
and Pompey behind, both hurrying up against him, straitened thus before
and behind, as a valiant and experienced soldier, he arose by night,
and marching directly with his whole army, was within a little of
making his way unexpectedly into Rome itself. He lay that night before
the city, at ten furlongs' distance from the Colline gate, elated
and full of hope at having thus out-generalled so many eminent commanders.
At break of day, being charged by the noble youth of the city, among
many others he overthrew Appius Claudius, renowned for high birth
and character. The city, as is easy to imagine, was all in an uproar,
the women shrieking and running about, as if it had already been entered
forcibly by assault, till at last Balbus, sent forward by Sylla, was
seen riding up with seven hundred horse at full speed. Halting only
long enough to wipe the sweat from the horses, and then hastily bridling
again, he at once attacked the enemy. Presently Sylla himself appeared,
and commanding those who were foremost to take immediate refreshment,
proceeded to form in order for battle. Dolabella and Torquatus were
extremely earnest with him to desist awhile, and not with spent forces
to hazard the last hope, having before them in the field, not Carbo
or Marius, but two warlike nations bearing immortal hatred to Rome,
the Samnites and Lucanians, to grapple with. But he put them by, and
commanded the trumpets to sound a charge, when it was now about four
o'clock in the afternoon. In the conflict which followed, as sharp
a one as ever was, the right wing where Crassus was posted had clearly
the advantage; the left suffered and was in distress, when Sylla came
to its succour, mounted on a white courser, full of mettle and exceedingly
swift, which two of the enemy knowing him by, had their lances ready
to throw at him; he himself observed nothing, but his attendant behind
him giving the horse a touch, he was, unknown to himself, just so
far carried forward that the points, falling beside the horse's tail,
stuck in the ground. There is a story that he had a small golden image
of Apollo from Delphi, which he was always wont in battle to carry
about him in his bosom, and that he then kissed it with these words,
"O Apollo Pythius, who in so many battles hast raised to honour and
greatness the Fortunate Cornelius Sylla, wilt thou now cast him down,
bringing him before the gate of his country, to perish shamefully
with his fellow-citizens?" Thus, they say, addressing himself to the
god, he entreated some of his men, threatened some, and seized others
with his hand, till at length the left wing being wholly shattered,
he was forced, in the general rout, to betake himself to the camp,
having lost many of his friends and acquaintance. Many, likewise,
of the city spectators, who had come out, were killed or trodden under
foot. So that it was generally believed in the city that all was lost,
and the siege of Praeneste was all but raised; many fugitives from
the battle making their way thither, and urging Lucretius Ofella,
who was appointed to keep on the siege, to rise in all haste, for
that Sylla had perished, and Rome fallen into the hands of the enemy.

About midnight there came into Sylla's camp messengers from Crassus,
to fetch provision for him and his soldiers; for having vanquished
the enemy, they had pursued him to the walls of Antemna, and had sat
down there. Sylla, hearing this, and that most of the enemy was destroyed,
came to Antemna by break of day, where three thousand of the besieged
having sent forth a herald, he promised to receive them to mercy,
on condition they did the enemy mischief in their coming over. Trusting
to his word, they fell foul on the rest of their companions, and made
a great slaughter one of another. Nevertheless, Sylla gathered together
in the circus, as well these as other survivors of the party, to the
number of six thousand, and just as he commenced speaking to the senate,
in the temple of Bellona, proceeded to cut them down, by men appointed
for that service. The cry of so vast a multitude put to the sword,
in so narrow a space, was naturally heard some distance, and startled
the senators. He, however, continuing his speech with a calm and unconcerned
countenance, bade them listen to what he had to say, and not busy
themselves with what was doing out of doors; he had given directions
for the chastisement of some offenders. This gave the most stupid
of the Romans to understand that they had merely exchanged, not escaped,
tyranny. And Marius, being of a naturally harsh temper, had not altered,
but merely continued what he had been, in authority; whereas Sylla,
using his fortune moderately and unambitiously at first, and giving
good hopes of a true patriot, firm to the interests both of the nobility
and commonalty, being, moreover, of a gay and cheerful temper from
his youth, and so easily moved to pity as to shed tears readily, has,
perhaps deservedly, cast a blemish upon offices of great authority,
as if they deranged men's former habits and character, and gave rise
to violence, pride, and inhumanity. Whether this be a real change
and revolution in the mind, caused by fortune, or rather a lurking
viciousness of nature, discovering itself in authority, it were matter
of another sort of disquisition to decide. 

Sylla being thus wholly bent upon slaughter, and filling the city
with executions without number or limit, many wholly uninterested
persons falling a sacrifice to private enmity, through his permission
and indulgence to his friends, Caius Metellus, one of the younger
men, made bold in the senate to ask him what end there was of these
evils, and at what point he might be expected to stop? "We do not
ask you," said he, "to pardon any whom you have resolved to destroy,
but to free from doubt those whom you are pleased to save." Sylla
answering, that he knew not as yet whom to spare, "Why, then," said
he, "tell us whom you will punish." This Sylla said he would do. These
last words, some authors say, were spoken not by Metellus, but by
Afidius, one of Sylla's fawning companions. Immediately upon this,
without communicating with any of the magistrates, Sylla proscribed
eighty persons, and notwithstanding the general indignation, after
one day's respite, he posted two hundred and twenty more, and on the
third again, as many. In an address to the people on this occasion,
he told them he had put up as many names as he could think of; those
which had escaped his memory, he would publish at a future time. He
issued an edict likewise, making death the punishment of humanity,
proscribing any who should dare to receive and cherish a proscribed
person without exception to brother, son, or parents. And to him who
should slay any one proscribed person, he ordained two talents reward,
even were it a slave who had killed his master, or a son his father.
And what was thought most unjust of all, he caused the attainder to
pass upon their sons, and sons' sons, and made open sale of all their
property. Nor did the proscription prevail only at Rome, but throughout
all the cities of Italy the effusion of blood was such, that neither
sanctuary of the gods, nor hearth of hospitality, nor ancestral home
escaped. Men were butchered in the embraces of their wives, children
in the arms of their mothers. Those who perished through public animosity
or private enmity were nothing in comparison of the numbers of those
who suffered for their riches. Even the murderers began to say, that
"his fine house killed this man, a garden that, a third, his hot baths."
Quintus Aurelius, a quiet, peaceable man, and one who thought all
his part in the common calamity consisted in condoling with the misfortunes
of others, coming into the forum to read the list, and finding himself
among the proscribed, cried out, "Woe is me, my Alban farm has informed
against me." He had not gone far before he was despatched by a ruffian,
sent on that errand. 

In the meantime, Marius, on the point of being taken, killed himself;
and Sylla, coming to Praeneste, at first proceeded judicially against
each particular person, till at last, finding it a work of too much
time, he cooped them up together in one place, to the number of twelve
thousand men, and gave order for the execution of them all, his own
host alone excepted. But he, brave man, telling him he could not accept
the obligation of life from the hands of one who had been the ruin
of his country, went in among the rest, and submitted willingly to
the stroke. What Lucius Catilina did was thought to exceed all other
acts. For having, before matters came to an issue, made away with
his brother, he besought Sylla to place him in the list of proscription,
as though he had been alive, which was done; and Catiline, to return
the kind office, assassinated a certain Marcus Marius, one of the
adverse party, and brought the head to Sylla, as he was sitting in
the forum, and then going to the holy water of Apollo, which was nigh,
washed his hands. 

There were other things, besides this bloodshed, which gave offence.
For Sylla had declared himself dictator, an office which had then
been laid aside for the space of one hundred and twenty years. There
was, likewise, an act of grace passed on his behalf, granting indemnity
for what was passed, and for the future intrusting him with the power
of life and death, confiscation, division of lands, erecting and demolishing
of cities, taking away of kingdoms, and bestowing them at pleasure.
He conducted the sale of confiscated property after such an arbitrary,
imperious way, from the tribunal, that his gifts excited greater odium
even than his usurpations; women, mimes, and musicians, and the lowest
of the freed slaves had presents made them of the territories of nations
and the revenues of cities: and women of rank were married against
their will to some of them. Wishing to insure the fidelity of Pompey
the Great by a nearer tie of blood, he bade him divorce his present
wife, and forcing Aemilia, the daughter of Scaurus and Metella, his
own wife, to leave her husband, Manius Glabrio, he bestowed her, though
then with child, on Pompey, and she died in childbirth at his house.

When Lucretius Ofella, the same who reduced Marius by siege, offered
himself for the consulship, he first forbade him; then, seeing he
could not restrain him, on his coming down into the forum with a numerous
train of followers, he sent one of the centurions who were immediately
about him, and slew him, himself sitting on the tribunal in the temple
of Castor, and beholding the murder from above. The citizens apprehending
the centurion, and dragging him to the tribunal, he bade them cease
their clamouring and let the centurion go, for he had commanded it.

His triumph was, in itself, exceedingly splendid, and distinguished
by the rarity and magnificence of the royal spoils; but its yet greatest
glory was the noble spectacle of the exiles. For in the rear followed
the most eminent and most potent of the citizens, crowned with garlands,
and calling Sylla saviour and father, by whose means they were restored
to their own country, and again enjoyed their wives and children.
When the solemnity was over, and the time come to render an account
of his actions, addressing the public assembly, he was as profuse
in enumerating the lucky chances of war as any of his own military
merits. And, finally, from this felicity he requested to receive the
surname of Felix. In writing and transacting business with the Greeks,
he styled himself Epaphroditus, and on his trophies which are still
extant with us the name is given Lucius Cornelius Sylla Epaphroditus.
Moreover, when his wife had brought him forth twins, he named the
male Faustus and the female Fausta, the Roman words for what is auspicious
and of happy omen. The confidence which he reposed in his good genius,
rather than in any abilities of his own, emboldened him, though deeply
involved in bloodshed, and though he had been the author of such great
changes and revolutions of state, to lay down his authority, and place
the right of consular elections once more in the hands of the people.
And when they were held, he not only declined to seek that office,
but in the forum exposed his person publicly to the people, walking
up and down as a private man. And contrary to his will, a certain
bold man and his enemy, Marcus Lepidus, was expected to become consul,
not so much by his own interest, as by the power and solicitation
of Pompey, whom the people were willing to oblige. When the business
was over, seeing Pompey going home overjoyed with the success, he
called him to him and said, "What a polite act, young man, to pass
by Catulus, the best of men, and choose Lepidus, the worst! It will
be well for you to be vigilant, now that you have strengthened your
opponent against yourself." Sylla spoke this, it may seem, by a prophetic
instinct, for, not long after, Lepidus grew insolent and broke into
open hostility to Pompey and his friends. 

Sylla, consecrating the tenth of his whole substance to Hercules,
entertained the people with sumptuous feastings. The provision was
so much above what was necessary, that they were forced daily to throw
great quantities of meat into the river, and they drank wine forty
years old and upwards. In the midst of the banqueting, which lasted
many days, Metella died of a disease. And because that the priest
forbade him to visit the sick, or suffer his house to be polluted
with mourning, he drew up an act of divorce and caused her to be removed
into another house whilst alive. Thus far, out of religious apprehension,
he observed the strict rule to the very letter, but in the funeral
expenses he transgressed the law he himself had made, limiting the
amount, and spared no cost. He transgressed, likewise, his own sumptuary
laws respecting expenditure in banquets, thinking to allay his grief
by luxurious drinking parties and revellings with common buffoons.

Some few months after, at a show of gladiators, when men and women
sat promiscuously in the theatre, no distinct places being as yet
appointed, there sat down by Sylla a beautiful woman of high birth,
by name Valeria, daughter of Messala, and sister to Hortensius the
orator. Now it happened that she had been lately divorced from her
husband. Passing along behind Sylla, she leaned on him with her hand,
and plucking a bit of wool from his garment, so proceeded to her seat.
And on Sylla looking up and wondering what it meant, "What harm, mighty
sir," said she, "if I also was desirous to partake a little in your
felicity?" It appeared at once that Sylla was not displeased, but
even tickled in his fancy, for he sent out to inquire her name, her
birth, and past life. From this time there passed between them many
side glances, each continually turning round to look at the other,
and frequently interchanging smiles. In the end, overtures were made,
and a marriage concluded on. All which was innocent, perhaps, on the
lady's side, but, though she had been never so modest and virtuous,
it was scarcely a temperate and worthy occasion of marriage on the
part of Sylla, to take fire, as a boy might, at a face and a bold
look, incentives not seldom to the most disorderly and shameless passions.

Notwithstanding this marriage, he kept company with actresses, musicians,
and dancers, drinking with them on couches night and day. His chief
favourites were Roscius the comedian, Sorex the arch mime, and Metrobius
the player, for whom, though past his prime, he still professed a
passionate fondness. By these courses he encouraged a disease which
had begun from unimportant cause; and for a long time he failed to
observe that his bowels were ulcerated, till at length the corrupted
flesh broke out into lice. Many were employed day and night in destroying
them, but the work so multiplied under their hands, that not only
his clothes, baths, basins, but his very meat was polluted with that
flux and contagion, they came swarming out in such numbers. He went
frequently by day into the bath to scour and cleanse his body, but
all in vain; the evil generated too rapidly and too abundantly for
any ablutions to overcome it. There died of this disease, amongst
those of the most ancient times, Acastus, the son of Pelias; of later
date, Alcman the poet, Pherecydes the theologian, Callisthenes the
Olynthian, in the time of his imprisonment, as also Mucius the lawyer;
and if we may mention ignoble, but notorious names, Eunus the fugitive,
who stirred up the slaves of Sicily to rebel against their masters,
after he was brought captive to Rome, died of this creeping sickness.

Sylla not only foresaw his end, but may be also said to have written
of it. For in the two-and-twentieth book of his Memoirs, which he
finished two days before his death, he writes that the Chaldeans foretold
him, that after he had led a life of honour, he should conclude it
in fulness of prosperity. He declares, moreover, that in a vision
he had seen his son, who had died not long before Metella, stand by
in mourning attire, and beseech his father to cast off further care,
and come along with him to his mother Metella, there to live at ease
and quietness with her. However, he could not refrain from intermeddling
in public affairs. For, ten days before his decease, he composed the
differences of the people of Dicaearchia, and prescribed laws for
their better government. And the very day before his end, it being
told him that the magistrate Granius deferred the payment of a public
debt, in expectation of his death, he sent for him to his house, and
placing his attendants about him, caused him to be strangled; but
through the straining of his voice and body, the imposthume breaking,
he lost a great quantity of blood. Upon this, his strength failing
him, after spending a troublesome night, he died, leaving behind him
two young children by Metella. Valeria was afterwards delivered of
a daughter, named Posthuma; for so the Romans call those who are born
after the father's death. 

Many ran tumultuously together, and joined with Lepidus to deprive
the corpse of the accustomed solemnities; but Pompey, though offended
at Sylla (for he alone of all his friends was not mentioned in his
will), having kept off some by his interest and entreaty, others by
menaces, conveyed the body to Rome, and gave it a secure and honourable
burial. It is said that the Roman ladies contributed such vast heaps
of spices, that besides what was carried on two hundred and ten litters,
there was sufficient to form a large figure of Sylla himself, and
another representing a lictor, out of the costly frankincense and
cinnamon. The day being cloudy in the morning, they deferred carrying
forth the corpse till about three in the afternoon, expecting it would
rain. But a strong wind blowing full upon the funeral pile, and setting
it all in a bright flame, the body was consumed so exactly in good
time, that the pyre had begun to smoulder, and the fire was upon the
point of expiring, when a violent rain came down, which continued
till night. So that his good fortune was firm even to the last, and
did as it were officiate at his funeral. His monument stands in the
Campus Martius, with an epitaph of his own writing; the substance
of it being, that he had not been outdone by any of his friends in
doing good turns, nor by any of his foes in doing bad. 



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Translation of "The Deeds of the Divine Augustus" by Augustus is
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