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Cinna (Lucius Cornelius Cinna)sĭnˈə, d. 84 B.C., Roman politician, consul (87 B.C.–84 B.C.), and leader of the popular party. Shortly after Cinna's first election, Sulla left Rome to fight against Mithradates VI of Pontus, having received from Cinna and Cinna's colleague Gnaeus Octavius a promise to maintain Sulla's reforms. When Sulla was safely out of Italy, Cinna revived certain anti-Sullan proposals; the conservatives opposed Cinna and expelled him from the city. Cinna promptly collected Roman soldiers and Italians in S Italy, called Marius from Africa, and returned to Rome. Cinna and Marius declared themselves consuls, and a great slaughter of Sulla's followers took place. After Marius' death Cinna remained consul. When Sulla defeated Mithradates and set out for Rome, Cinna and Cneius Papirius Carbo raised an army to oppose him, but before the civil war began Cinna was murdered in a mutiny at Brundisium. His daughter Cornelia was the first wife of Julius Caesar. Cinna's son Lucius Cornelius Cinna, fl. 44 B.C., was a praetor who expressed approval of Caesar's assassination.

See H. Bennett, Cinna and His Times (1923).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Rome: Biographies

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