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Appian of Alexandria (; grc-gre, Ἀππιανὸς Ἀλεξανδρεύς ''Appianòs Alexandreús''; la, Appianus Alexandrinus; ) was a
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
historian with
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...
citizenship who flourished during the reigns of Emperors of Rome
Trajan Trajan ( ; la, Caesar Nerva Trajanus; 18 September 539/11 August 117) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors use ...

Trajan
,
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family, which settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri, Abruzzo, Atri in Picenum. Hi ...

Hadrian
, and
Antoninus Pius Antoninus Pius (; la, Antōnīnus Pius ; 19 September 86 – 7 March 161) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emper ...

Antoninus Pius
. He was born c. 95 in
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
. After holding the senior offices in the
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
of
Aegyptus In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of s originally told by the , and a of . These stories concern the and , the lives and activities of , , and , and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own and practices. Mode ...
(Egypt), he went to
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
c. 120, where he practised as an
advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English law English law is the common law List of national legal systems, lega ...

advocate
, pleading cases before the emperors (probably as ''advocatus fisci'', an important official of the imperial treasury). It was in 147 at the earliest that he was appointed to the office of
procurator Procurator (with procuracy or procuratorate referring to the office itself) may refer to: * Procurator, one engaged in procuration, the action of taking care of, hence management, stewardship, agency * ''Procurator'' (Ancient Rome), the title of ...
, probably in Egypt, on the recommendation of his friend
Marcus Cornelius Fronto Marcus Cornelius Fronto (c. 100late 160s), best known as Fronto, was a Roman grammarian, rhetorician, and advocate. Of Berber origin, he was born at Cirta in Numidia. He was suffect consul for the '' nundinium'' of July-August 142 with Gaius La ...
, an influential rhetorician and advocate. Because the position of procurator was open only to members of the
equestrian order The ''equites'' (; la, eques nom. singular; literally "horse-" or "cavalrymen", though sometimes referred to as "knight A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state (including the pope) or representati ...
(the "knightly" class), his possession of this office tells us about Appian's family background. His principal surviving work (Ρωμαϊκά ''Romaiká'', known in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
as ''Historia Romana'' and in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
as ''Roman History'') was written in
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
in 24 books, before 165. This work more closely resembles a series of monographs than a connected history. It gives an account of various peoples and countries from the earliest times down to their incorporation into the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, and survives in complete books and considerable fragments. The work is very valuable, especially for the period of the
civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publish ...
. ''The Civil Wars'', books 13–17 of the ''Roman History'', concern mainly the end of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
and take a conflict-based view and approach to history. Despite the lack of cited sources for his works, these books of the ''Roman History'' are the only extant comprehensive description of these momentous decades of Roman history. The other extant work of Appian is his "The Foreign Wars", which includes an ethnographic style history recounting the various military conflicts against a foreign enemy in Roman history, until the time of Appian.


Life

Little is known of the life of Appian of Alexandria. He wrote an autobiography that has been almost completely lost. Information about Appian is distilled from his own writings and a letter by his friend
Cornelius Fronto Marcus Cornelius Fronto (c. 100late 160s), best known as Fronto, was a Roman grammarian, rhetorician, and advocate. Of Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣ ...
.Michael Petrus Josephus Van Den Hout, ''A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto'', Volume 190 of ''Mnemosyne'' (Brill, 1999) However, it is certain that Appian was born around the year AD 95 in Alexandria, the capital of Roman Egypt. Since his parents were
Roman citizen Citizenship in ancient Rome () was a privileged political and legal status afforded to free individuals with respect to laws, property, and governance. *Women in Ancient Rome, Roman women had a limited form of citizenship. They were not allowed t ...
s capable of paying for their son's education, it can be inferred that Appian belonged to the wealthy upper classes. It is believed that Appian moved to Rome in 120, where he became a barrister. In the introduction to his ''Roman History,'' he boasts "that he pleaded cases in Rome before the emperors." The emperors he claims to have addressed must have been either Hadrian or
Marcus Aurelius Marcus Aurelius Antoninus ( ; 26 April 121 – 17 March 180) was a Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a vari ...

Marcus Aurelius
and definitely Antoninus Pius, for Appian remained in Egypt at least until the end of the reign of Trajan (117). In the letter of Cornelius Fronto, it is revealed that a request on behalf of Appian to receive the rank of procurator occurred during the
co-regency A coregency or co-principality is the situation where a monarchical position (such as prince, princess, king, queen, emperor or empress), normally held by only a single person, is held by two or more. It is to be distinguished from diarchies, di ...

co-regency
of Marcus Aurelius and his brother
Lucius Verus Lucius Aurelius Verus (15 December 130 – January/February 169) was Roman emperor from 161 until his death in 169, alongside his adoptive brother Marcus Aurelius. He was a member of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty. Verus' succession together with ...

Lucius Verus
between 147 and 161. Although Appian won this office, it is unclear whether it was a real job or an honorific title. The only other certain biographical datum is that Appian's ''Roman History'' appeared sometime before 162. This is one of the few primary historical sources for the period.


Works


Appian's ''Roman History'' and ''The Civil Wars''

Appian began writing his history around the middle of the second century AD. Only sections from half of the original 24 books survive today of a much larger history known as ''The Roman History''. The section of this history known as ''The Civil Wars'' is composed of books 13–17 of the original 24 of the ''Roman History''. This history narrates the history of the Romans from the time of the Gracchan tribunates. Going on to narrate the civil wars of Marius and
Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Roman general A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infan ...

Sulla
and those of
Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey Caesar's C ...

Caesar
and
Pompey Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (; 29 September 106 BC – 28 September 48 BC), known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a leading Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization f ...
. The history breaks off in the time of the
Second Triumvirate The Second Triumvirate (43–32 BC) was a political alliance formed after the Roman dictator Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city o ...
. These five books stand out because they are one of the few comprehensive histories available on the transition of the Roman state from Republic to Empire and the ensuing civil and military strife. Besides Appian, this period is also covered by a handful of ancient authors with varying degrees of detail and viewpoints. The commentaries of Julius Caesar record his personal, mainly military, observations of the
Gallic Wars The Gallic Wars were waged between 58 BC and 50 BC by the Roman general Julius Caesar against the peoples of Gaul (present-day France, Belgium, along with parts of Germany). Gauls, Gallic, Germanic peoples, Germanic, and Celtic Br ...
and subsequent civil wars.
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
's Roman biographies sketch the lives of the major leaders of the late Republican period. These biographies record events Plutarch thought interesting and give only a perfunctory explanation of historic events. The Roman author
Velleius Marcus Velleius Paterculus (; c. 19 BC – c. AD 31) was a Roman Empire, Roman historian, soldier and senator. His Roman history, written in a highly rhetorical style, covered the period from the end of the Trojan War to AD 30, but is most usefu ...
' history examines Roman history from the city’s foundation until AD 29. This history becomes more detailed in the late Republic / early Empire period, while earlier history is condensed. The ''Epitome of Roman History'' by Florus, also covers Roman history from mythical times until the 5th century AD in an extremely condensed format. The history of
Diodorus Diodorus Siculus, or Diodorus of Sicily ( grc-gre, Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης ;  1st century BC), was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern ...
of Sicily also covers Roman history until the Gallic Wars, but this history becomes fragmentary after around 300 BC.


''The Foreign Wars''

Another work of Appian's history which still survives mostly extant is called ''The Foreign Wars''. This history describes the wars the Romans fought against other cultures throughout their history. The mostly extant work narrates the wars in Spain, the
Punic Wars The Punic Wars were a series of wars (taking place between 264 and 146BC) that were fought between the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public ...
in both Italy and Africa, the wars against the
Seleucid Empire The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), off ...
, and the
Mithridatic Wars The Mithridatic Wars were three conflicts fought by Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome ...
. Several small fragments also survive, describing the wars against the
Samnites The Samnites were an ancient Italic people The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group identified by their use of Italic languages a branch of the Indo-European language family. The Italic peoples are descended from the Indo-European speak ...
,
Illyrians The Illyrians ( grc, Ἰλλυριοί, ''Illyrioi''; la, Illyrii) were a group of Indo-European languages, Indo-European speaking peoples, who inhabited the western Balkan Peninsula in ancient times. They constituted one of the three main Paleo ...

Illyrians
, Macedonians,
Numidians The Numidians were the Berber population of Numidia Numidia ( Berber: ''Inumiden''; 202–40 BC) was the ancient kingdom of the Numidians located in northwest Africa, initially originating from Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (center ...
, and the Gauls. Especially notable is this work's
ethnographic Ethnography (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ap ...
structure. Appian most likely used this structure to facilitate his readers' orientation through the sequence of events, which are united only by their relationship to Rome. For example, the chapter on Spain recounts Roman history in Spain chronologically with the Romans' first intervention in Spain during the War with
Hannibal Hannibal (; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤁𐤏𐤋, ''Ḥannibaʿl''; 247 – between 183 and 181 BC) was a Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded the forces of Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern ...

Hannibal
. The book goes on to describe the Roman conquest of several regions of Spain, followed by their wars with Spanish tribes and the
Numantine War The Numantine WarThe term Numantine War can refer to the whole conflict lasting from 154 to 133 or to just the latter part, from 143 to 133. Thus, the two conflicts are sometimes called the Numantine Wars (plural) and subdivided into the First an ...
. The chapter on Spain concludes with the war against
Sertorius Quintus Sertorius (c. 126 – 73 BC) was a Roman general and statesman who led Sertorian War, a large-scale rebellion against the Roman Senate on the Iberian peninsula. He had been a prominent member of the Populares, populist faction of Lucius Co ...
in roughly 61 BC. Likewise, the chapter on the Hannibalic wars only recounts the battles that took place on the Italian Peninsula during the second Punic war, while the chapters on the Punic War recount all the action that occurred in northern Africa during the first and second Punic war.


Sources

One might expect that a historical work covering nine centuries and countless different peoples would involve a multitude of testimonials from different periods. However, Appian's sources remain uncertain, as he only mentions the source of his information under special circumstances. He may have relied primarily on one author for each book, whom he did not follow uncritically, since Appian also used additional sources for precision and correction. At our present state of knowledge questions regarding Appian's sources cannot be resolved.


Editions

* * ''
Editio princeps In classical scholarship Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity, and in the Western world traditionally refers to the study of Ancient Greek literature, Classical Greek and Latin literature, Roman literature in their o ...
'', 1551 * , 1785 * Bekker, 1852 * Ludwig Mendelssohn, 1878–1905, ''Appiani Historia Romana'',
Bibliotheca Teubneriana The Bibliotheca Teubneriana, or ''Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana'', also known as Teubner editions of Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offici ...
* Paul Goukowsky, 1997–, ''Appien. Histoire romaine'' (Greek text, French translation, notes), Collection Budé. * Carsana, Chiara (ed.). ''Commento storico al libro II delle Guerre Civili di Appiano (parte I)''. Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2007. 309 pp. (Pubblicazioni della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia dell'Università di Pavia, 116). ;English translations * W. B., 1578 (black letter) – possibly William Barker – used by
Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national p ...

Shakespeare
* J. D vies 1679 *
Horace White Horace White (October 7, 1865 – November 27, 1943) was an American lawyer and politician from New York (state), New York. He was the List of Governors of New York, 37th Governor of New York from October 6, 1910 to December 31, 1910. Life He at ...

Horace White
, 1899 (Bohn's Classical Library); * Book I edited by , 1902. * Books XIII–XVII (Civil Wars), trans. John Carter, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1996


References


Citations


Bibliography

* William Smith (ed.) (1870), ''Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology'', Vol. 1, pp. 247–248


External links

*
Appian's ''Foreign Wars''
at Livius.org
Appian's ''Civil Wars''
at
LacusCurtius:''For the ancient landmark in the Roman Forum, see Lacus Curtius.'' LacusCurtius is a website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on a ...
* * Review of Paul Goukowsky and Phillippe Torrens, eds.
''Appien: Histoire romaine. Tome X, livre XV: Guerres civiles, livre III''
in: ''Bryn Mawr Classical Review''. {{DEFAULTSORT:Appian 95 births 165 deaths 2nd-century historians 1st-century Greek people 2nd-century Greek people
1st-century RomansPeople of the Roman Empire in the 1st century {{CatAutoTOC Roman people by century, 01 1st-century people by nationality, Roman People of the Roman Empire, 1st century 1st century in the Roman Empire, People ...
2nd-century Romans Roman-era Greek historians 2nd-century Egyptian people Ancient Egyptian writers Roman-era Alexandrians Tax officials Government accounting officials Ancient Roman equites Ancient Roman jurists