Rethinking Sulla: the case of the Roman Senate

Steel, C. (2014) Rethinking Sulla: the case of the Roman Senate. Classical Quarterly, 64(2), pp. 657-668. (doi: 10.1017/S0009838814000421)

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Pressing and urgent domestic problems were the justification for L. Cornelius Sulla's election to the dictatorship in 82 b.c. He responded with an extensive legislative programme which reorganized the judicial and legislative processes of the res publica. While there is agreement, in broad terms, about the nature of these changes, their purpose and significance remain debated. None the less, there is general consensus that the Senate's role in Sulla's res publica was enhanced in comparison with earlier periods. This conclusion is based on the increase in the size of the Senate; on the monopoly it resumed of judicial decision-making in the iudicia publica; and on the extension, in practice, of its legislative capacity, given that its decrees could not be vetoed by tribunes of the plebs, who had also lost their capacity to put forward legislation. Flower offers a recent and concise summary: ‘This new “consensus” of Sulla was based on force and on the necessity of agreeing with Sulla himself, and subsequently with his new, mighty senate that was expected to wield unprecedented power and absolute authority.’

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Steel, Professor Catherine
Authors: Steel, C.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Classics
Journal Name:Classical Quarterly
Journal Abbr.:CQ
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1471-6844
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Cambridge University Press
First Published:First published in Classical Quarterly 64(2):657-668
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
575421SPQR: the Roman Republican Senate in the 21st centuryCatherine SteelBritish Academy (BRIT-ACAD)MC110709HU - CLASSICS