Appian

Appian

Appian of Alexandria ( /ˈæpiən/; Ancient Greek: Ἀππιανός Ἀλεξανδρεύς, Appianós Alexandreús; Latin: Appianus Alexandrinus; ca. AD 95 – ca. AD 165) was a Roman historian of Greek ethnicity who flourished during the reigns of Emperors of Rome Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.

He was born circa 95 in Alexandria. He tells us, after having filled the chief offices in the province of Aegyptus (Egypt), he went to Rome circa 120, where he practised as an advocate, pleading cases before the emperors (probably as advocatus fisci), that in 147 at the earliest he was appointed to the office of procurator, probably in Egypt, on the recommendation of his friend Marcus Cornelius Fronto, a well-known litterateur. Because the position of procurator was open only to members of the equestrian order (the "knightly" class), his possession of this office tells us about Appian's family background.

His principal surviving work (Ῥωμαϊκά, known in Latin as Historia Romana and in English as Roman History) was written in Greek 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, and survives in complete books and considerable fragments. The work is very valuable, especially for the period of the civil wars.

The Civil Wars, five of the later books in the corpus, concern mainly the end of the Roman Republic and take a conflict-based approach to history.

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