General, statesman, politician, constitutional reformer, Sulla was
born into the powerful Cornelii family. Highly intelligent, he was a
philhellene (fluent in Greek), casual in his social relations, preferring the company of creative types; writers, actors, singers,
and musicians. He was elected consul twice and later appointed
dictator for life but voluntarily gave up his office and retired. He
led a conservative counter-revolution, purging the senate of
unworthy members and limiting the power of tribunes. He was
never defeated in battle. However, he was the first commander to march on Rome and introduced bloody proscriptions into political life.