Centuries after the fall of Rome, the only means by which we can learn from one of the greatest empires is through its surviving pieces. While Appian draws from other historians and writers, his Roman History remains the only surviving account of the Roman civil wars, the period between the reigns of Polybius and Cicero, and the third Punic War and destruction of Carthage. Like many ancient historians, Appian gives a rare glimpse into the psyches, ideologies, and moralities of key people through speeches he himself constructed. To the modern historian, this creative license contaminates the facts, while to the ancient historian, conveying the political intentions and moral principles that inspired the world’s great leaders were every bit as important as the facts themselves. While his sources are not formally provided, scholars conclude from references within his writings that Appian’s original sources likely include the works of Polybius, Paulus Claudius, Hieronymus, Caesar Augustus, and Asinius Pollio.
Of the original 24 books of Appian’s Roman History, only half have survived. Those that remain provide invaluable insight into Roman culture, politics, and history found nowhere else. Appian picks up where Dionysius leaves off, diving into the Punic Wars in volume 1, and ending with the civil wars.
This collection contains the complete texts in their Loeb Classical Library editions. Each text is included in its original Greek, with an English translation for easy side-by-side comparison. Logos’ language tools help you to go deeper into the Greek text and explore Appian’s elegant language. Use the dictionary lookup tool to examine difficult Greek words and find every use of the same word in your library. Students of history and anthropology will enjoy these works and appreciate their significance.
. . . the writings of Appian embrace matter of exceeding interest that no student of Roman history can afford to overlook.
Appian of Alexandria (AD c. 95–165) was a Greek Roman historian living during the time of emperors Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius. Not much is known about his life beyond what can be gathered from his own writings. He references an autobiography which was not preserved with his historical works. A letter from his friend Fronto advocates for Appian’s appointment as procurator, “not to gratify his ambition, or for the sake of the pay, but as a merited distinction in his old age.” Over the centuries, Appian’s writings have proved to be invaluable pieces of history.
Horace White (1834–1916) was an author, editor, translator, journalist, and financial expert. He graduated Beloit College in 1853 and went on to become city editor of the Chicago Evening Journal. White had the privilege of working with Abraham Lincoln as he campaigned against Stephen A. Douglas. In 1899, White became the editor in chief of the New York Evening Post and The Nation. He authored Money and Banking Illustrated by American History and Life of Lyman Trumbull, and he edited Sophismes Économiques by Frédéric Bastiat and Scienza Delle Finanze by Luigi Cossa. He died after being hit by an automobile in 1916.