The First Man in Rome Themes

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Accidents of Birth vs. Merit

Marius, who becomes the First Man in Rome and consul seven times, is born to an undistinguished family of small landowners in Italy. Sulla, who eventually becomes distinguished but starts off as a degenerate loafer, is descended from one of the oldest and most important families in Rome. In both these characters one sees accidents of birth. Marius is not born to a noble family, and because of this fact the Patrician senators will always consider him an outsider. Sulla is born poor, which forces him to prostitute himself at an early age and to live with his stepmother and mistress. He lives a life of vice, a life he never truly gives up, and murders several people to gain the money that he needs to seek political distinction. Sulla, unlike Marius, comes from a noble family. This makes him a Patrician, giving him...

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This section contains 931 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The First Man in Rome Study Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The First Man in Rome from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.