Opinion: Sulla and the Social Wars

In the case of Sulla – A patrician thrown amidst a ‘Social War (91’88 BC) (civil war)’, was also described as talented, ambitious, intellectual, a man seeking nothing more than pleasure and glory. A pleasant and courteous depiction before the War, with a resulting hard characterisation after the War.

Could it possibly be that Sulla suffered a brain injury during the war? Maybe he was suffering PTSD, shock or he learned how to survive during the social war and was unable to let go of his new found survival instincts?

I am sure ancient historians would have already thought that any one of these could be the case, and maybe someone else has already pointed this out.

It just seems that the ‘elephant’ in the room, the event which takes place between the good, helpful and happy Sulla and the murderous, distinction hunting, glory seeking Sulla, is the Social War.

Many men suffered, and suffer, undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), during, and after the first and second WW’s, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, the current Wars and other Waring’s across the globe. It wasn’t spoken of for the first 2 wars, as the atrocities were so great, that the men and women who witnessed soldiers and civilians at their best, or worst, were simply too shocked to speak about it.

The Romans were a proud warrior nation, an Empire that fell. An Empire of Warriors will always eventually burn itself out;

  • psychologically,
  • financially,
  • economically.

An empire always at War, that categorised its citizenship to perform all the basic functions and necessities required to populate armies and navies, to feed not just civilians, but soldiers too. Soldiers that were scattered across the Mediterranean.

Each male sought greatness, willing to murder or maim to succeed. A family came to nothing, if they lacked nobility, whether from birth or adoption. Competition to be the greatest of all Romans, ensured that human intervention, with all its greed and lust for riches, fame and greatness, would eventually destroy itself.

Surely it was these very same humans who reached into the heart of Romes Empire and tore each vessel from its pulsating centre, spraying the blood of the ancestors, the soldiers, the commoner and the foe, across the landscape, until Rome stood no more.

Food for thought.


Jack met Jill on Suspect Hill

Jack met Jill on Suspect Hill to confront her about a secret.
Jill went alone, unaware of Jacks menace, his plan was quite deliberate.
Jill, he screeched with all his breath,
your mysterious objective is uncovered.
I know your intent to subcontract your duties, 
You have been discovered!

An agent for Jack checked Jill out, and confirmed his expectations.
Jacks assertions led to this scene, with Jack exposing Jill’s preparations.
Jack reached for Jill with evil intent, his dastardly deeds not a tale.
He failed in his reach and Jack fell at Jill’s feet, so Jill crowned him with her pail.
You’ll pay you wench, you know you will, Jack screamed as he did fall.
You may as well cease your plans; housewifery is a womans role.

A shot of anger sparked Jill’s eyes and she leapt from Suspect Hill.
Her handy pail with its hefty bail tumbled down with Jill.
Your posterior is mine you bigoted blackguard and your sustenance is too.’
I’ll sort you when I reach the base and I’ll break your ‘Will’ in two.’

Jill’s hard-worked body keeps her strong and she mutters as she tumbles:
You know I hate that I’m so morally compelled, I’ll have to mend Jacks troubles.
Still tumbling down Suspect Hill, with not a branchlet to behold.
Jill flounders over hill and dale until her tumbling did stall.
She lands right next to Jacks bent body, and rolls her eyes in frustration.
She knows it is her role to fix Jack up; it’s a bleedin’ heart story situation.

Jill pulls her pail to the fore, whilst scrutinising Jacks pose.
His crown now dented, his frailty evident, and his role was also exposed.
Jill examined the remnants of their fall, seeking items to mend Jacks quaker.
There’s not much left, Jill surmised, except vinegar and a newspaper.
She dowsed the paper in Balsamic vinegar and wrapped it around Jacks noggin.
She picked him up from off the ground; it’s something that she does often.
Jill heaved Jack up across her back and trampled off towards home.
‘When he wakes up, I’ll give him ‘my role’, I’ll give Jack a bone!’

Her mighty tumble down Suspect Hill revealed more than Jack knew.
Jill picked up the phone and hired Raoul because he makes a lovely stew.
Upon his waking after his fall, Jacks sight begins to clear.
Raouls presence fills the room and Jill has a smile from ear to ear.

Image sourced from: Black strips over ochre