Marius, Pompey, and Sulla all contributed in building the empire, but in their own ways weakened the Roman Republic.
MARIUS Gaius Marius was known as a "New Man"ÃÂ in Rome because he was the first one in his family to be counted among the nobiles. He married into the Caesar family and rose to a high position in the army under Metellus. Metellus would not advance Marius's career further. Marius later went back to Roam to find a higher office on his own. In 107 BC he was appointed consul. He recruited a large army in an effort to improve his chances of winning the African war. His army consisted of mostly of the lower class men. Marius established a number of examples that caused lasting changes in the Roman political system. He set such good examples that later the great leaders Pompey and Caesar followed them. Marius was less successful as a statesman then as a general.
He wavered between one side and the other, and in the end his failures led the Romans to the Social War. After Marius's betrayal of Glaucia and Saturninus he lost the support of many members of his party. He departed from Roam and fled to Asia. Later he returned to help in the Social War in 90 BC.
SULLA Cornelius Sulla was a Roman general and dictator during the last century of the Roman Republic. Sulla came from a patrician family. He served as consul, and led military campaigns in North Africa, and against Mithidrates of Pontus. In his absence his opponents declared him a public enemy in Rome. Sulla returned to Italy with his army and marched on Rome. The defeat of his enemy gained him the dictatorship. Sulla was the first man to use the army to establish a personal autocracy in Rome. He used his power to re-establish the supremacy of Senate in the Roman State and to carry out other reforms. In 79 BC he suddenly resigned.
POMPEY Gnaeus Pompeius was a highly successful Roman general & statesman in the last decades of the Roman Republic. He played a major role in the victory in the civil war. After reconquering Spain, Pompey returned to Italy to help Crassus end the slave rebellion. This later led to his election as consul of Rome. Most of the next decade he spent in the eastern Mediterranean combining the Roman control of Asia Minor & Syria. Pompey's absence from Rome allowed his opponents in the Senate to take control of the capitol and veto his plans for land reform. Pompey formed an alliance with two other generals (Crassus & Juilus Caesar) to form the first triumvirate. His election with Crassus as consuls in 55 BC was the last popular election in Rome before the Republic collapsed in civil war. But Caesar's ambitions led to a gap between the triumvirs. Caesar brought his army into Italy in an open defiance of the Senate. After his conquest of Gaul Pompey was chosen to lead the defense of the state. His naval blockade temporarily forced Caesar to abandon Italy and then head east. But Pompey had a disastrous defeat at Farsala, Greece. Cut off from his own fleet, he went to Egypt for support from his client Ptolemy. Ptolemy was the brother Cleopatra. Instead of receiving support he was murdered by his Cleopatra.