Lucius Cornellius Sulla captured Rome twice. As a member of optimates, he tried to make populares powerless and to restore res publica that Senatus controls national affairs. In this process, he killed many political enemies and confiscated their property. For this reason, Sulla was blamed by ancient historians.
When his army marched into Rome in 88 B.C., Sulla s ideal to strengthen Senatus was not realized. Having marched into Rome second time in 83 B.C., the reform which he performed as a dictator, showed his aim definitely. As his Position was stable in this time, Sulla accomplished his object. He intended to strengthen Senatus and to restore the aristocratic Republic that it had been before Gracchi. In particular, Sulla s intention to increase 300 senators and to control censor, tribunus plebis, proconsul who threatened Senatus s control, has become the center of scholarly interest. First of all, Sulla supplied Senatus with equites, and he increased the number of qaestor to restrain censor who retained the lectio Senatus. Sulla also made tribunus plebis spiritless by restraining his power of legislation and veto, and enacted that election to the tribunus plebis should permanently disqualify a man from holding any other office. And Sulla took action on proconsuls by organisising the lex maiestatis and revived the lex annalis which prescribed minimum ages for magistrates, and he settled 10years term to be reelected any magistrate.
Since Gaius Gracchus has changed jury, judical problem was an object of struggle between senatores and equites. Sulla filled the jury with senatores. In short, most laws which Sulla enacted in 81 B.C. and 80 B.C. had a purpose to protect and strengthen Senatus. Besides, Sulla enacted law prohibiting expenditure and abolished the public distribution of corn.
In 79 B.C., Sulla suddenly resigned dictrorship and consulship, became a commonplace man, and died in 78 B.C. when he was 68 years old. Although he held real power, Sulla strengthened Senatus rather than suppressed it. In view of this fact, whatever the cause of resignation was, his reform is worth being estimated highly.