Any hope that Sulla’s settlement after the grim years of civil war might usher in a period of tranquillity was rudely shattered by the ambitions of M. Aemilius Lepidus. This noble, who had rallied against Saturninus (probably his father-in-law) in 100, soon afterwards abandoned the Optimate cause. He enriched himself during Sulla’s proscriptions and his own propraetorship in Sicily (80). In 79 he stood for the consulship, supported by Pompey and advocating a policy hostile to Sulla’s constitution. As Sulla did not trouble to intervene, he was elected for 78, but with a conservative colleague, Q. Lutatius Catulus, son of the consul of 102.2 His programme included proposals to renew the sale of cheap corn, to give back confiscated lands to the dispossessed, to recall the Marian exiles, and to restore its old powers to the tribunate.3