Decline of the Roman Republic
After the death of Sulla in 78 BC, additional and expected power grabs were the result. Unpopular while he was still alive, Sulla?s reforms went under immediate attack without fear of reprisal. Political turmoil was once again the call of the day and various personalities emerged from the restraints of Sulla?s power. Among these leading men were his former supporters such as M. Aemilius Lepidus, Q. Lutatius Catulus and Marcus Licinius Crassus. Other men who opposed Sulla, such as Sertorius in Spain figured prominently as well. Two men however, rose above them all. Marcus Tullius Cicero rose to prominence by becoming arguably the most gifted orator and politician in the history of the world, while another, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, stood above them all as the leading personality before Caesar.
With his victory in the Civil War, Sulla took complete control of Rome. Sulla the Dictator instituted a blood path of his political enemies, and ruled in a reign of terror. Constitutional reform and the passage of laws put ultimate authority back in the hands of the Roman Senate, but in the climate of the Late Republic, any measures were proven to be short lived.
Continuing our brief series on Roman Medicine, two more pages have been added. Roman Drugs and Pharmaceuticals takes a brief look at the medicines available to the Romans and how they used them. Roman Hospitals provides a historical function of the hospital in the ancient world.
A second march on Rome touched off Sulla's Civil War. As Cinna?s death reverberated throughout the Roman world, Sulla realized his opportunity to take full advantage. In 83 BC Sulla prepared his 5 legions and left the 2 originally under Fimbria to maintain peace in Asia Minor. In the spring of that year, Sulla crossed the Adriatic with a large fleet from Patrae, near Corinth, to Brundisium and Tarentum in the heel of Italy.
Roman Victory in the Mithridatic War opened the door for Sulla to move on his enemies in Rome. In 87 BC, after securing his command in the Mithridatic War, Sulla moved his legions to Greece. Sulla's Offensive not only kicked off the end of the Mithridates' expansion, but would eventually secure himself as the foremost Roman general of the time.
While civilian medical treatments, the so called doctors of the day were mostly inadequate at best, surgeons were highly advanced and skilled professionals. A detailed knowledge of anatomy and its functions led to many surgical operations in line with success rates enjoyed in the modern era. Most surgeries in the ancient world were likely of the low impact variety such as tumor removal and hernia operations, while more extensive surgeries certainly occurred under military care.
After Sulla settled matters of his own authority in Rome, he went on the campaign against Mithridates of Pontus. Political measures both in the east and in Rome helped contribute to the rise of Mithridates and conflict with Rome seemed unavoidable. The Mithridatic War was the first in a series of wars that eventually established Roman control of the east.