Compare and contrast the Dictatorships of Sulla and Caesar. Be sure to consider the circumstances under which each became Dictator, their reforms, the issues their reforms addressed, and their conduct as rulers. Also, how did Augustus succeed where Sulla and Caesar ultimately failed?
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Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix, commonly known as Sulla, was a master strategist and brilliant general. He caused the capture of the Numidian king, Jugurtha (ending the Jugurthan war); caused the victory in the Cimbrian War; brought a successful conclusion to the Social War; and led the Romans to several other victories. Constant in-fighting and struggle for power led to violence in the senate and wars among the chief contenders, Sulla and Marius; finally Sulla was able to defeat all opposition and became Dictator of Rome (end 82 BC or beginning 81 BC). Sulla brought in reforms to strengthen the senate, increased the number of senators, and reformed the court system, governorship and senate membership. An example is the requirement of senate approval before a bill can be presented in the principal popular assembly. His reforms brought structure to an ailing system. Sulla was considered a traditionalist and resigned his dictatorship after a year, disbanded his forces and reestablished the consular government.
Caesar, also a general who led romans to great victories, ensured the demise of the Roman Republic and led the rise of the Roman Empire. Like Sulla, he also led his armies to Rome and captured power and was declared Dictator for life. Caesar brought in many reforms, none more famous than the introduction of Julian Calendar, that has an additional day in the month of February every fourth year. He limited the terms of governorship, restructured debt laws (wiping a quarter of the empire's debt), provided incentives for repopulating Italy and curtailed the powers of the provinces to ensure no future uprising, among other constitutional reforms. Caesar was a dictator and considered himself an emperor and ruled as such.
Augustus, an heir of Caesar, was the first emperor of the Roman Empire and was the Supreme military commander. Augustus brought in reforms that lasted for almost 1500 years till the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD. He created the permanent police force, fire-fighters, municipalities, a standing army, built extensive road network and created the imperial guards. He had his finances secured and ensured no opposition as well as a longevity of reign, something Sulla and Caesar never had.
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