Lucius Cornelius Sulla (138-78 BCE)

Called Felix (lucky), Sulla was an erstwhile lieutenant to Marius in the Jugurthine wars. Sulla successfully captured Jugurtha, and would bait the hotblooded Marius over who should be credited with ending the war. In 88 BCE Sulla finally emerged from the shadow of Marius, only to find that Marius had convinced the senate to revoked his command against Mithridates of Pontus. Rather than surrender his legions, Sulla became the first Roman to march on Rome. The two civil wars this ignited between Marius and Sulla changed the character of Roman politics forever. He later became dictator, instituting radical reforms designed to strengthen the senate and patricians, overturning the many democratic changes that had occurred over the centuries. He died in 78 BCE of fever, and his reforms did not long survive his period of power. He remains an unpopular figure in Roman history.