Historical notes on 79 BCE

Sulla is probably no longer dictator and is a private citizen.  From DPRR:

” The date when he abdicated his dictatorship remains in dispute. There are four possibilities, all of them to some degree confused in our sources, because he was consul in 80 and became a private citizen at the earliest at the end of 80 and might have remained dictator until the election in 79 of the consuls for 78 (see MRR 2.82, note 1). The possibilities are as follows: (1) he abdicated with his legislative program largely completed upon entrance into office as consul of 80; (2) he did so at some time during his consulship, or (3) at the end of his consulship; or (4) in 79 before or after the elections for 78. Badian believes that Appian (BC 1.103-104) confused the abdication with the scene of his return to private life, and notes that he is never termed consul and dictator together and that the constitutional task (he was Dictator r. p. c.) had been largely completed in 81. Badian therefore favors the beginning of his consulship in 80 (Historia 11, 1962, 230; Athenaeum 48, 1970, 8-14), and finds support in the implications of a clause in Cicero, Rosc. Amer. 139, posteaquam magistratus creavit legesque constituit, sua cuique procuratio auctoritasque est restituta, and in the statement in Plut. Sulla 6.5-6, quoted from the Memoirs, that his colleague, Metellus Pius, Cos. 80, was # in a partnership of office. But some military resistance continued and neither the reforms nor the colonization were wholly completed. Twyman, noting Appian’s tendency to have magistrates take office immediately after election, opts for the middle of 80 after the elections for 79 (Athenaeum 54, 1976, 77-97, 271- 295). In any case a date after 80 seems quite improbable.”

Pompey likely triumphed. From DPRR:

“According to the Periochae of Livy and Eutropius, Pompey, who was born on September 29, 106, triumphed at the age of 24, but Granius Licinianus, who dates his birth in 105, has him triumph at 25, and the Auct. Vir. Ill. at 26. Sallust however, who attributes to the Consul of 80 the bill for his recall from Africa, and Frontinus, who mentions the Consuls of 79, make 79 a practically certain date for the triumph. See Degrassi 564. (Broughton MRR II)

Propraetor (Gran. Lic. 39B). Returned from Africa to celebrate a triumph pro praetore for his victory there (Cic. Leg. Man. 61, of. 28; Pis. 58; Phil. 5.43; Auct. Bell. Afr. 22.3; Liv. Per. 89; Voll. 2.40.4, and 53.3; Val. Max. 8.15.8; Lucan 6.817; 7.685; 8.24; Plin. NH 7.95; 8.4; 37.13; Plut. Pomp. 14.3-6; Crass. 7.1; 12.1; Sert. 18.2; Apophth. Pomp. 5; App. BC 1.80; Gran. Lic. 39B; Auet. Vir. Ill. 77.2; Eutrop. 5.9.1; Jerome Chr. ad ann. 78, p. 152 Helm; Zonar. 10.2, and 5; of. Frontin. Str. 4.5. 1). See Degrassi 564; and D. -G. 4.341-346. (Broughton MRR II)”

The difficulty with this seems to be the opinion of Rich 2014 who places this triumph in 81/80 BCE.  But that doesn’t seem to go into reasons for dating…  Grr.

Rich, J. (2014) ‘The Triumph in the Roman Republic: Frequency, Fluctuation and Policy’ in Carsten Hjort Lange & Frederik Juliaan Vervaet (eds.) The Roman Republican triumph : beyond the spectacle. 197-258. Rome.

[More to come…]

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