This Roman General and leader, who lived in the two centuries before Christ, became an extremely skilled and accomplished military genius. His enemies hated but respected him. He fought extensively for the Roman Empire in North Africa when he was in his twenties, defeating armies that other Romans had failed to conquer. Amazingly, and testament to his skill, he never lost a single battle.
He also fought in numerous wars for control of provinces within the Empire and, on two occasions, marched on Rome itself. He won the Grass Crown, the Roman equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor and the highest award given at that time, for his bravery in battle. He was also very clever and masterful politically, maneuvering himself into command positions, and at some points, usurping unfriendly or dangerous governments and making alliances with others.
In 82 B.C. he was appointed as dictator of the empire. This hadn't happened before except in emergencies, so his being chosen as sole dictator was seen later as a legal precedent for Julius Caesar taking the throne.