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Why 'Sulla Epaphroditos'?

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Chapter Summary

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's depredation of the Greek sanctuaries is reported by Plutarch, who links the siege of Athens directly to Sulla's need for fresh resources. Interestingly, he stresses an aspect of Sulla's conduct before and after the conquest of Athens: his striking, even appalling indifference towards Greek religious institutions and sanctuaries. It is beyond doubt that Plutarch is here referring to the Chaeronean trophies, but the importance of his remark goes way beyond the boundaries of Boeotia and concerns Sulla's relations with the Greek world as a whole. Very early on during his campaign, certainly soon after the first decisive victory over Archelaus, Sulla decided to deal with the Greek world using a name, Epaphroditos, that suggested a close relationship between him and Aphrodite, and soon became part of his name. The numismatic evidence confirms the importance of this process, and prompts further interest in the background to the name.

Keywords: Boeotia; Epaphroditos; Greek sanctuaries; Lucius Cornelius Sulla



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