The Triumvirate existed for two five-year terms, covering the period 43 BC to 33 BC. Octavian, despite his youth, extorted from the Senate the post of consul for 43 BC. He had been warring with Antony and Lepidus in upper Italia and this triumvirate of new leaders was established in 43 BC as the Triumviri Rei Publicae Constituendae Consulari Potestate. Where the first triumvirate was essentially an agreement, the second was embedded in the constitution formally joining Augustus, Antony. Antony retained Cisalpine Gaul and hegemony over Gaul itself, and Octavian held Africa and was given authority over Sicily and Sardinia. )In order to refill the treasury. As all three had been partisans of Caesar, their targets were opponents of the Caesarian faction. The most notable victims were Marcus Tullius Cicero, who had opposed Caesar and excoriated Antony in his Philippics, and Marcus Favonius, a follower of Cato, the proscription of Caesars legate Quintus Tullius Cicero seems to have been motivated by the perceived need to destroy Ciceros family.
For ancient writers, the most shocking proscriptions were those of Caesars legate Lucius Julius Caesar and they were added to the list because they had been the first to condemn Antony and Lepidus after the two allied. Octavians colleague in the consulate that year, his cousin, Quintus Pedius and this became a broad pattern of the Triumvirates two terms, during the ten years of the Triumvirate, there were 42 consuls in office, rather than the expected 20. In 42 BC, Octavian and Antony set out to war, after the victory and Octavian agreed to divide the provinces of the Republic into spheres of influence. Octavian — who had begun calling himself Divi filius after Caesars deification as Divus Julius and now styled himself simply Imperator Caesar — took control of the West, as a result, the province of Cisalpine Gaul was absorbed into Italy. Narbonese Gaul was absorbed into Gallia Comata, creating a unified Gaul, Octavian took over Spain from Lepidus. Lepidus himself was left with nothing, but was offered the prospect of control over Africa, the excuse given for this was a report that Lepidus had been traitorously negotiating with Sextus Pompey.
If he were proved innocent he would have Africa, Octavian returned to Rome to administer the distribution of land to his veterans. Antony remained in the east to bring Brutus and Cassius former territories under triumvirate control. The reduced role of Lepidus is evident in the fact that far fewer coins depict him from this point on, Octavians land redistribution caused widespread tensions, as farmers were dispossessed in favour of soldiers. Antonys brother Lucius Antonius, who was serving as Consul, stood up for the dispossessed farmers, the conflict led to the Perusine War, in which Lucius gathered an army of supporters to challenge Octavian. He was encouraged by Mark Antonys wife Fulvia, Lepidus held Rome with two legions while Octavian left to gather his army, but Lucius defeated Lepidus, who was forced to flee to Octavian
Antonia the Elder
Antonia was born in Athens and after 36 BC her mother, along with her siblings and herself were brought to Rome. She was raised by her mother, her uncle and her aunt Livia Drusilla, according to Cassius Dio after her father died, Augustus allowed her and her younger sister Antonia Minor to benefit from their fathers estate in Rome. Although little is known of her, Antonia was held in high regard like her sister Antonia Minor, the mother of the emperor Claudius, around 22 BC Antonia married the consul, Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. Antonia bore Lucius three children, Domitia Lepida the Elder - ancient sources refer to her as Domitia and she married the consul Decimus Haterius Agrippa and bore him a son Quintus Haterius Antoninus. Domitia married Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus, consul suffect in 27, proconsul of Asia, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus - consul in AD32, he married his cousin Germanicus daughter Agrippina the Younger in 28. Agrippina and Domitius were the parents of the emperor Nero and he was accused by Tiberius, but saved by that emperors death and lived a few years longer under Caligulas reign until he died in AD40.
Domitia Lepida the Younger - she first married her cousin, the consul Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus to whom she bore a daughter, the empress Valeria Messalina, third wife of the emperor Claudius. After the death of her first husband, she married Faustus Cornelius Sulla, cos. suff. in AD31 and gave him a son, Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix. At the beginning of Claudius reign, she married Appius Junius Silanus, cos. in AD28, many scholars think the Ara Pacis, displays Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and his elder sister Domitia. The woman behind Domitia and Domitius is allegedly their mother Antonia Major, E. Groag, A. Stein, L. Petersen - e. a. Prosopographia Imperii Romani saeculi I, II et III, Berlin,1933 -, J. Minto, The Heliopolis Scrolls, ShieldCrest,2009
Augustus was the founder of the Roman Principate and considered the first Roman emperor, controlling the Roman Empire from 27 BC until his death in AD14. He was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia and his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesars will as his adopted son and heir, known as Octavianus. He, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar, following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvate was eventually torn apart by the ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, in reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule.
He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis, the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of peace known as the Pax Romana. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, expanding into Germania, beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. Augustus died in AD14 at the age of 75 and he probably died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son Tiberius, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life, At birth, he was named Gaius Octavius after his biological father. Historians typically refer to him simply as Octavius between his birth in 63 until his adoption by Julius Caesar in 44 BC, upon his adoption, he took Caesars name and became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in accordance with Roman adoption naming standards.
He quickly dropped Octavianus from his name, and his contemporaries referred to him as Caesar during this period, historians. In 27 BC, following his defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra and it is the events of 27 BC from which he obtained his traditional name of Augustus, which historians use in reference to him from 27 BC until his death in AD14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri, approximately 40 kilometres from Rome and he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill, very close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen possibly commemorating his fathers victory at Thurii over a band of slaves. Due to the nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his fathers home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius only mentions his fathers equestrian family briefly in his memoirs and his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War
In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate the Mediterranean region and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and it is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern government, politics, art, architecture, warfare, religion and society. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond, its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia, the Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia and it would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the part of the empire broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of history from the pre-medieval Dark Ages of Europe. King Numitor was deposed from his throne by his brother, while Numitors daughter, Rhea Silvia, because Rhea Silvia was raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine. The new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, a she-wolf saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor. Romulus became the source of the citys name, in order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted.
This caused a problem for Rome, which had a large workforce but was bereft of women, Romulus traveled to the neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables they all refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins, after a long time in rough seas, they landed at the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, one woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent them from leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships, the Roman poet Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the Aeneid
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and an autonomous region of Italy. It is located in the Western Mediterranean, just south of the French island of Corsica, the regions official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna / Regione Autònoma de Sardigna, and its capital and largest city is Cagliari. It is divided into four provinces and a metropolitan city and its indigenous language and the other minority languages spoken by the Sardinians enjoy equal dignity with Italian under regional law. The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *srd-, romanised as sardus and it makes its first appearance on the Nora Stone, where the word Šrdn testifies to the names existence when the Phoenician merchants first arrived. According to Timaeus, one of Platos dialogues and its people as well might have named after Sardò. There has been speculation that identifies the ancient Nuragic Sards with the Sherden, in Classical antiquity, Sardinia was called Ichnusa, Σανδάλιον Sandal and Sardó.
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 24,100 square kilometres and it is situated between 38°51 and 41°18 latitude north and 8°8 and 9°50 east longitude. To the west of Sardinia is the Sea of Sardinia, a unit of the Mediterranean Sea, to Sardinias east is the Tyrrhenian Sea, the nearest land masses are the island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Tunisia, the Balearic Islands, and Provence. The Tyrrhenian Sea portion of the Mediterranean Sea is directly to the east of Sardinia between the Sardinian east coast and the west coast of the Italian mainland peninsula, the Strait of Bonifacio is directly north of Sardinia and separates Sardinia from the French island of Corsica. The island has an ancient geoformation and, unlike Sicily and mainland Italy, is not earthquake-prone and its rocks date in fact from the Palaeozoic Era. Due to long erosion processes, the highlands, formed of granite, trachyte, basalt and dolomite limestone. The highest peak is Punta La Marmora, part of the Gennargentu Ranges in the centre of the island.
The islands ranges and plateaux are separated by wide valleys and flatlands. Sardinia has few rivers, the largest being the Tirso,151 km long, which flows into the Sea of Sardinia, the Coghinas. There are 54 artificial lakes and dams that supply water and electricity, the main ones are Lake Omodeo and Lake Coghinas. The only natural lake is Lago di Baratz. A number of large, salt-water lagoons and pools are located along the 1,850 km of the coastline, the climate of the island is variable from area to area, due to several factors including the extension in latitude and the elevation. During the year there is a concentration of rainfall in the winter and autumn, some heavy showers in the spring
Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, the Triumvirs defeated Caesars murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Romes eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, relations among the Triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavians sister, despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antonys relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs.
Their ongoing hostility erupted into war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavians direction, declared war on Cleopatra. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavians forces at the Battle of Actium and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide. With Antony dead, Octavian was the master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire. A member of the plebeian Antonia gens, Antony was born in Rome on January 14,83 BC. His father and namesake was Marcus Antonius Creticus, son of the noted orator by the name who had been murdered during the Marian Terror of the winter of 87–86 BC. His mother was Julia Antonia, a distant cousin of Julius Caesar, Antony was an infant at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sullas march on Rome in 82 BC. According to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, Antonys father was incompetent and corrupt, in 74 BC he was given military command to defeat the pirates of the Mediterranean, but he died in Crete in 71 BC without making any significant progress.
Lentulus, despite exploiting his political success for financial gain, was constantly in debt due to the extravagance of his lifestyle and he was a major figure in the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy and was summarily executed on the orders of the Consul Cicero in 63 BC for his involvement. His death resulted in a feud between the Antonia and the famous orator, Antonys early life was characterized by a lack of proper parental guidance. According to the historian Plutarch, he spent his teenage years wandering through Rome with his brothers and friends gambling, Antonys contemporary and enemy, claimed he had a homosexual relationship with Gaius Scribonius Curio. There is little information on his political activity as a young man, although it is known that he was an associate of Publius Clodius Pulcher. He may have involved in the Lupercal cult as he was referred to as a priest of this order in life
A consul was the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic, and the consulship was considered the highest level of the cursus honorum. Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term, the consuls alternated in holding imperium each month, and a consuls imperium extended over Rome and the provinces. Originally, consuls were called praetors, referring to their duties as the military commanders. By at least 300 BC the title of Consul was being used, in Greek, the title was originally rendered as στρατηγός ὕπατος, strategos hypatos, and simply as ὕπατος. The consul was believed by the Romans to date back to the establishment of the Republic in 509 BC. These remained in place until the office was abolished in 367/366 BC, consuls had extensive powers in peacetime, and in wartime often held the highest military command. Additional religious duties included certain rites which, as a sign of their formal importance, consuls read auguries, an essential step before leading armies into the field.
Two consuls were elected each year, serving together, each with power over the others actions. It is thought that only patricians were eligible for the consulship. Consuls were elected by the Comitia Centuriata, which had a bias in its voting structure which only increased over the years from its foundation. If a consul died during his term or was removed from office, a consul elected to start the year - called a consul ordinarius - held more prestige than a suffect consul, partly because the year would be named for ordinary consuls. The first plebeian consul, Lucius Sextius, was elected the following year and it is possible that only the chronology has been distorted, but it seems that one of the first consuls, Lucius Junius Brutus, came from a plebeian family. Another possible explanation is that during the 5th century social struggles, during times of war, the primary qualification for consul was military skill and reputation, but at all times the selection was politically charged. With the passage of time, the became the normal endpoint of the cursus honorum.
When Lucius Cornelius Sulla regulated the cursus by law, the age of election to consul became. Beginning in the late Republic, after finishing a year, a former consul would usually serve a lucrative term as a proconsul. The most commonly chosen province for the proconsulship was Cisalpine Gaul, throughout the early years of the Principate although the consuls were still formally elected by the Comitia Centuriata, they were in fact nominated by the princeps. It was a post that would be occupied by a man halfway through his career, in his early thirties for a patrician, emperors frequently appointed themselves, or their protégés or relatives, even without regard to the age requirements
Antonia Minor, known as Julia Antonia Minor, Antonia the Younger or simply Antonia was the younger of two daughters of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor. She was born in Athens and after 36 BC was brought to Rome by her mother and her siblings, Antonia never had the chance to know her father, Mark Antony, who divorced her mother in 32 BC and committed suicide in 30 BC. She was raised by her mother, her uncle and her aunt, due to inheritances, she owned properties in Italy and Egypt. She was a wealthy and influential woman who often received people who were visiting Rome, Antonia had many male friends and they included wealthy Jew Alexander the Alabarch and Lucius Vitellius, a consul and father of future Emperor Aulus Vitellius. In 16 BC, she married the Roman general and consul Nero Claudius Drusus, Drusus was the stepson of her uncle Augustus, second son of Livia Drusilla and brother of future Emperor Tiberius. They had several children, but only three survived, the famous general Germanicus and the Roman Emperor Claudius, Antonia was the grandmother of the Emperor Caligula, the Empress Agrippina the Younger and through Agrippina, great-grandmother and great-aunt of the Emperor Nero.
Drusus died in June 9 BC in Germany, due to complications from injuries he sustained after falling from a horse, after his death, although pressured by her uncle to remarry, she never did. Antonia raised her children in Rome, Tiberius adopted Germanicus in AD4. Germanicus died in 19 AD, allegedly poisoned through the handiwork of Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, on the orders of Tiberius and Livia Drusilla, Antonia was forbidden to go to his funeral. She outlived her husband, her oldest son, her daughter, in 31 AD, Antonia exposed a plot by her daughter Livilla and Tiberius’ notorious Praetorian prefect, Sejanus, to murder the Emperor Tiberius and Caligula and to seize the throne for themselves. Livilla had allegedly poisoned her husband, Tiberius son, Drusus Julius Caesar to remove him as a rival, Sejanus was executed on Tiberius’ orders, and Livilla was handed over to her formidable mother for punishment. Cassius Dio states that Antonia imprisoned Livilla in her room until she starved to death, when Tiberius died, Caligula became emperor in March 37 AD.
Caligula awarded her a senatorial decree, granting her all the honors that Livia Drusilla had received in her lifetime and she was offered the title of Augusta, previously only given to Augustuss wife Livia, but rejected it. Six months into his reign, Caligula became seriously ill, Antonia would often offer Caligula advice, but he once told her, I can treat anyone exactly as I please. Caligula was rumored to have had his young cousin Gemellus beheaded and this act was said to have outraged Antonia, who was grandmother to Gemellus as well as to Caligula. Having had enough of Caligula’s anger at her criticisms and of his behavior, suetonius’s Caligula, clause 23, mentions how he might have poisoned her. After she was dead, he paid her no honour, when Claudius became emperor after his nephew’s assassination in 41 AD, he gave his mother the title of Augusta. Her birthday became a holiday, which had yearly games
Since Karl Otfried Müllers Die Dorier, I. ch. 3, their rise to dominance has been associated with a Dorian invasion, after the death of Heracles, his children, after many wanderings, found refuge from Eurystheus at Athens. Eurystheus, on his demand for their surrender being refused, attacked Athens and his brothers invaded Peloponnesus, but after a years stay were forced by a pestilence to quit. Desiring to reconquer his paternal inheritance, Hyllus consulted the Delphic oracle, which told him to wait for the third fruit, and enter Peloponnesus by a narrow passage by sea. Accordingly, after three years, Hyllus marched across the isthmus of Corinth to attack Atreus, the successor of Eurystheus and this second attempt was followed by a third under Cleodaeus and a fourth under Aristomachus, both unsuccessful. At last, Temenus and Aristodemus, the sons of Aristomachus and they received the answer that by the third fruit the third generation was meant, and that the narrow passage was not the isthmus of Corinth, but the straits of Rhium.
They accordingly built a fleet at Naupactus, but before they set sail, Aristodemus was struck by lightning and the fleet destroyed, because one of the Heracleidae had slain an Acarnanian soothsayer. The oracle, being consulted by Temenus, bade him offer an expiatory sacrifice and banish the murderer for ten years. On his way back to Naupactus, Temenus fell in with Oxylus, an Aetolian, according to another account, a mule on which Oxylus rode had lost an eye. The Heracleidae repaired their ships, sailed from Naupactus to Antirrhium, a decisive battle was fought with Tisamenus, son of Orestes, the chief ruler in the peninsula, who was defeated and slain. This conquest was traditionally dated eighty years after the Trojan War, the Heracleidae, who thus became practically masters of Peloponnesus, proceeded to distribute its territory among themselves by lot. Argos fell to Temenus, Lacedaemon to Procles and Eurysthenes, the sons of Aristodemus. The Heracleidae ruled in Lacedaemon until 221 BCE, but disappeared much earlier in the other countries and they represent a joint invasion of Peloponnesus by Aetolians and Dorians, the latter having been driven southward from their original northern home under pressure from the Thessalians.
It is noticeable that there is no mention of these Heraclidae or their invasion in Homer or Hesiod, herodotus speaks of poets who had celebrated their deeds, but these were limited to events immediately succeeding the death of Heracles. At Sparta, the Heraclids formed two dynasties ruling jointly, the Agiads and the Eurypontids, at Corinth the Heraclids ruled as the Bacchiadae dynasty before the aristocratic revolution, which brought a Bacchiad aristocracy into power. The Heracleidae are the subject of Euripides play, Heracleidae. As Eurysttheus prepared to attack, an oracle told Demophon that he would win if, macaria volunteered for the sacrifice and a spring was named the Macarian spring in her honor. Bibliotheca ii.8 Diodorus Siculus iv
The Roman Senate was a political institution in ancient Rome. It was one of the most enduring institutions in Roman history, during the days of the kingdom, it was little more than an advisory council to the king. The last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, was following a coup détat led by Lucius Junius Brutus. During the early Republic, the Senate was politically weak, while the executive magistrates were quite powerful, since the transition from monarchy to constitutional rule was most likely gradual, it took several generations before the Senate was able to assert itself over the executive magistrates. By the middle Republic, the Senate had reached the apex of its republican power, the late Republic saw a decline in the Senates power, which began following the reforms of the tribunes Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. After the transition of the Republic into the Principate, the Senate lost much of its power as well as its prestige. Following the constitutional reforms of the Emperor Diocletian, the Senate became politically irrelevant, when the seat of government was transferred out of Rome, the Senate was reduced to a municipal body.
This decline in status was reinforced when the emperor Constantine the Great created an additional senate in Constantinople, the Senate in Rome ultimately disappeared at some point after AD603, although the title senator was still used well into the Middle Ages as a largely meaningless honorific. However, the Eastern Senate survived in Constantinople, until the ancient institution finally vanished there c. 14th century, the senate was a political institution in the ancient Roman kingdom. The word senate derives from the Latin word senex, which means old man, the early Roman family was called a gens or clan, and each clan was an aggregation of families under a common living male patriarch, called a pater. When the early Roman gentes were aggregating to form a common community, over time, the patres came to recognize the need for a single leader, and so they elected a king, and vested in him their sovereign power. When the king died, that power naturally reverted to the patres. The senate is said to have created by Romes first king, Romulus.
The descendants of those 100 men subsequently became the patrician class, Romes fifth king, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, chose a further 100 senators. They were chosen from the leading families, and were accordingly called the patres minorum gentium. Romes seventh and final king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, executed many of the men in the senate. During the years of the monarchy, the senates most important function was to new kings. While the king was elected by the people, it was actually the senate who chose each new king
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix, known commonly as Sulla, was a Roman general and statesman. He had the distinction of holding the office of consul twice, Sulla was a skillful general, achieving numerous successes in wars against different opponents, both foreign and Roman. He was awarded a crown, the most prestigious Roman military honor. Sullas dictatorship came during a point in the struggle between optimates and populares, the former seeking to maintain the Senates oligarchy, and the latter espousing populism. In a dispute over the army command Sulla unconstitutionally marched his armies into Rome. Sullas ascension was marked by purges in proscriptions. After seeking election to and holding a second consulship, he retired to private life, leaders like Julius Caesar would follow his precedent in attaining political power through force. In Plutarchs Parallel Lives Sulla is paired with the Spartan general, in older sources, his name may be found as Sylla. This is a Hellenism, like sylva for classical Latin silva, lacking ready money, Sulla spent his youth amongst Rome’s comics, lute-players, and dancers.
It seems certain that Sulla received a good education, sallust declares him well-read and intelligent, and he was fluent in Greek, which was a sign of education in Rome. Rome declared war on Jugurtha in 111 BC, but for five years Roman legions under Quintus Caecilius Metellus were unsuccessful, Gaius Marius, a lieutenant of Metellus, saw an opportunity to usurp his commander and fed rumors of incompetence and delay to the publicani in the region. These machinations caused calls for Metelluss removal, despite delaying tactics by Metellus, Marius was elected consul and took over the campaign while Sulla was nominated quaestor to him. He had persuaded Jugurthas father-in-law, King Bocchus I of Mauretania and it was a dangerous operation from the first, with King Bocchus weighing up the advantages of handing Jugurtha over to Sulla or Sulla over to Jugurtha. The publicity attracted by this feat boosted Sullas political career, a gilded equestrian statue of Sulla donated by King Bocchus was erected in the Forum to commemorate his accomplishment.
Although Sulla had engineered this move, as Sulla was serving under Marius at the time, in 104 BC, the migrating Germanic-Celtic alliance headed by the Cimbri and the Teutones seemed to be heading for Italy. As Marius was the best general Rome had, the Senate allowed him to lead the campaign against them, Sulla served on Marius staff as tribunus militum during the first half of this campaign. Finally, with those of his colleague, proconsul Quintus Lutatius Catulus, Marius forces faced the enemy tribes at the Battle of Vercellae in 101 BC. Sulla had by this time transferred to the army of Catulus to serve as his legatus, victorious at Vercellae and Catulus were both granted triumphs as the co-commanding generals