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Appian (Appianus) was a Greek official of Alexandria. He saw the Jewish rebellion of 116 CE, and later became a Roman citizen and advocate and received the rank of eques (knight). In his older years he held a procuratorship. He died during the reign of Antoninus Pius who was emperor 138–161 CE. Honest admirer of the Roman empire though ignorant of the institutions of the e Appian (Appianus) was a Greek official of Alexandria. He saw the Jewish rebellion of 116 CE, and later became a Roman citizen and advocate and received the rank of eques (knight). In his older years he held a procuratorship. He died during the reign of Antoninus Pius who was emperor 138–161 CE. Honest admirer of the Roman empire though ignorant of the institutions of the earlier Roman republic, he wrote, in the simple 'common' dialect, 24 books of 'Roman affairs', in fact conquests, from the beginnings to the times of Trajan (emperor 98–117 CE). Eleven have come down to us complete, or nearly so, namely those on the Spanish, Hannibalic, Punic, Illyrian, Syrian, and Mithridatic wars, and five books on the Civil Wars. They are valuable records of military history. The Loeb Classical Library edition of Appian is in four volumes.


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Appian (Appianus) was a Greek official of Alexandria. He saw the Jewish rebellion of 116 CE, and later became a Roman citizen and advocate and received the rank of eques (knight). In his older years he held a procuratorship. He died during the reign of Antoninus Pius who was emperor 138–161 CE. Honest admirer of the Roman empire though ignorant of the institutions of the e Appian (Appianus) was a Greek official of Alexandria. He saw the Jewish rebellion of 116 CE, and later became a Roman citizen and advocate and received the rank of eques (knight). In his older years he held a procuratorship. He died during the reign of Antoninus Pius who was emperor 138–161 CE. Honest admirer of the Roman empire though ignorant of the institutions of the earlier Roman republic, he wrote, in the simple 'common' dialect, 24 books of 'Roman affairs', in fact conquests, from the beginnings to the times of Trajan (emperor 98–117 CE). Eleven have come down to us complete, or nearly so, namely those on the Spanish, Hannibalic, Punic, Illyrian, Syrian, and Mithridatic wars, and five books on the Civil Wars. They are valuable records of military history. The Loeb Classical Library edition of Appian is in four volumes.

30 review for Roman History, Volume I: Books 1-8.1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    This is a review of all four volumes of this set in the continuing series of histories that I'm reading because no one reads them unless they are source-mining them (see my Diodorus Siculus and Polybius reviews). Before I started reading him, Appian interested chiefly because he decided to adopt a geographical structure to his history rather than the chronological-universal history structure which most of the widely read historians adopted. What this means is that Appian groups his sections on w This is a review of all four volumes of this set in the continuing series of histories that I'm reading because no one reads them unless they are source-mining them (see my Diodorus Siculus and Polybius reviews). Before I started reading him, Appian interested chiefly because he decided to adopt a geographical structure to his history rather than the chronological-universal history structure which most of the widely read historians adopted. What this means is that Appian groups his sections on where various wars occured, so he has Macedonian Wars, Illyrian Wars on up to the Civil Wars (which is kind of all over the empire). It is an interesting change in focus, although it does make the narrative a bit choppy at times. The approach works as long as you know the broad chronology of Rome's wars, but, especially in the early 2nd century, it could get confusing because Rome had a habit of fighting three or four major wars at the same time which tended to blend into each other. As a historian, Appian is solid. Indeed, his Civil Wars is one of the best treatments of that period, especially of the early civil disturbances from the Gracchi onwards. Given how patchy the historical record is for this period, Appian is an invaluable resource. As far as readability, Appian is not overly rhetorical or overly terse, so he is quite readible. He tends to let the narrative speak, rather than relying overmuch on speeches. So, well worth reading, especially if one is comfortable already with the chronology of the Roman Middle to Late Republic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ellana Thornton-Wheybrew

    An interesting history. Rather than a simple chronological history, this is a geographical history, with the focus on places. I'll admit this took me a long time to read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. An interesting history. Rather than a simple chronological history, this is a geographical history, with the focus on places. I'll admit this took me a long time to read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Puopolo

    Great loeb edition to be sure, but I just didn’t like Appian that that much — he’s fine, y’know, whatever.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Sometimes reads like a novel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brian Abrams

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  8. 4 out of 5

    Isabel

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ron Sami

  10. 5 out of 5

    John Peterson

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aiden

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  14. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin J. Wojdak

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ian

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Cairns

  19. 4 out of 5

    Oscar

  20. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  21. 5 out of 5

    oeniadaeowl

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carlos

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeannette

  24. 4 out of 5

    Netanella

  25. 4 out of 5

    george hermann

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sander Boek

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matias Albertotti

  28. 4 out of 5

    Xrystabelle

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robert

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