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Retaliation And Politics: The Proscriptions

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Chapter Summary

In all the narratives of the Civil War the portrait of a peaceful Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who gets back to Italy and reassures the Italians about his intentions, is closely followed by the proscriptions and the dictatorship. There is no intrinsic contradiction between these two moments, which are in fact different aspects of the same strategy. After his arrival in Italy, Sulla showed his talent for building fruitful relations with the communities that were prepared to second his interests. In Appian's account, the punishment of the individuals the proscriptions chronologically precede the retaliation that Sulla decided against some communities which had supported the Marians. This is true of the colonies that were founded in Italy by Sulla himself, but not necessarily of the Italian municipia. In Larinum, for instance, the elected magistrates were proscribed by the envoys of Sulla.

Keywords: Italy; Lucius Cornelius Sulla; proscriptions; retaliation



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