Lucius Cornelias Cinna, a Roman consul, killed at Brundusium in 84 B. C. He was the son of Lucius Cornelius Cinna, who was consul in 127. Although a patrician by birth, he belonged to the party of Marius and the plebeians. When the election for consuls came on at Rome in 88, the power of Sulla was in the ascendancy, and he favored the election of Nonius and Ser-vius Sulpicius. The people nevertheless elected Cinna and Cneius Octavius. One of China's first acts after entering into office was to induce the tribune M. Virgilius to prefer charges against Sulla. But Sulla disregarded them, and went on with his preparations for the Mithridatic war. Before setting out for it he obtained from Cinna a promise that he would not during his absence attempt any change in the constitution. No sooner had Sulla departed, however, than Cinna endeavored to obtain the passage of the Sulpician law for the incorporation among the 35 tribes of those of the allies who had been made Roman citizens. This was a measure which if adopted would have strengthened the power of the plebeians. The consuls resorted to force for the purpose of carrying it through; but they were resisted by Octavius, and after a severe conflict in the forum they were defeated and driven out of the city.
The senate passed a decree depriving Cinna of his citizenship and of his office as consul. Cinna appealed to the new citizens of Italy, and organized an army. Marius received intelligence of what had taken place and returned from Africa. Cinna and Marius together prosecuted the war with great energy. The corn ships were captured and the supplies of food destined for Rome were cutoff. The senate was obliged to yield, and sent a deputation to Cinna and Marius. inviting them into Rome. Cinna received the deputation with courtesy, sitting in his chair of office, Marius standing by in ominous silence. They afterward entered the city with their guards. Marius showed much greater resentment than Cinna. His guards killed every one they met whom Marius did not salute. Great numbers of the patricians were slain. Marius and Cinna proclaimed themselves consuls for the following year, 86. Eighteen days after the commencement of their term Marius suddenly died of pleurisy, and Cinna chose Lucius Valerius Flaccus as his colleague. Flaccus was sent into Asia to oppose Sulla, and was murdered there.
For the year 85 Cinna selected for his colleague Cneius Papirius Carbo. Cinna and Carbo called on the new citizens throughout Italy for men, money, and provisions with which to carry on the war against Sulla. The senate endeavored to stop these proceedings, but though Cinna and Carbo professed to be willing to obey the senate, they in fact went on with their preparations for war, and proclaimed themselves consuls for another year. They resolved to transport an army into Greece and encounter Sulla there, and had embarked one detachment when the soldiers mutinied and Cinna was killed. Cinna at the time had every reason to anticipate success, as he and his colleague were supported by the new citizens, and they had an army very much larger than that with which Sulla a short time afterward landed at Brundusium.