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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Between the 90s and the 80s of the first century BC, the Roman empire went through its most severe crisis between the Second Punic War and late Antiquity. Two almost contemporaneous wars, the Social War in Italy and the Mithridatic War in the Greek East, put its very survival into question, and compelled the Roman elite to a reaction on a full scale. The crisis triggered by these two conflicts had major consequences on internal political life too, and ultimately led to a civil war, from which the general and former consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the winner of the Mithridatic War, emerged as the winner, and assumed full powers, which enabled him to carry out a series of constitutional reforms. Part one of the book Sulla, the Elites and the Empire identifies Sulla's role in the organisation and in the consolidation of the empire after this crisis.

Keywords: Italy; late Antiquity; Lucius Cornelius Sulla; Mithridatic War; Roman elite; Roman empire; Second Punic War; social war

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