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.
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.
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.