[LMB] OT: Various Discussions/Rants in Progress...

Jim Parish jparish at siue.edu
Tue Nov 2 01:32:43 GMT 2010

Royce McDaniels wrote:
> 1) Dictators retiring: Sulla (wiki linky:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Cornelius_Sulla ) did it, one of the few
> to get away with it. In many ways he was the role model for the Caesars.

Roman dictators were supposed to retire; the office - and it was a legally defined 
position, operative in times of national emergency - was for one year or the duration of 
the emergency, whichever was shorter. (Cf. the story of Cincinnatus, which had great 
symbolic value to the American revolutionaries - Washington's two retirements, after the 
war and after his second term as President, were specifically compared to the example 
of Cincinnatus.) Sulla was the first to break with that tradition, and Julius Caesar (who 
had been one of Sulla's henchmen) the first to have himself declared dictator for life.

Jim Parish

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