Rome’s internal conflicts, from the Gracchi to the Empire.
Appian (Appianus) is among our principal sources for the history of the Roman Republic, particularly in the second and first centuries BC, and sometimes our only source, as for the Third Punic War and the destruction of Carthage. Born circa AD 95, Appian was an Alexandrian official at ease in the highest political and literary circles who later became a Roman citizen and advocate. He apparently received equestrian rank, for in his later years he was offered a procuratorship. He died during the reign of Antoninus Pius (emperor 138–161).
Appian’s theme is the process by which the Roman Empire achieved its contemporary prosperity, and his unique method is to trace in individual books the story of each nation’s wars with Rome up through her own civil wars. Although this triumph of “harmony and monarchy” was achieved through characteristic Roman virtues, Appian is unusually objective about Rome’s shortcomings along the way. His history is particularly strong on financial and economic matters, and on the operations of warfare and diplomacy.
Of the work’s original twenty-four books, only the Preface and Books 6–9 and 11–17 are preserved complete or nearly so: those on the Spanish, Hannibalic, African, Illyrian, Syrian, and Mithridatic wars, and five books on the civil wars.
This edition of Appian replaces the original Loeb edition by Horace White and adds the fragments, as well as his letter to Fronto.
A superb, nuanced translation…It is not simply that McGing updates the translation to reflect contemporary idiom; he also breathes new life into Appian’s prose on almost every page…This exceptionally well executed Loeb is a welcome resource that will be deeply appreciated by all those interested in Appian and his remarkable Roman History as well as expand his appeal to a new generation of readers.
I have not read any fictions that have more dramatic tension, philosophy, or narrative curiosities than this history of Appian’s.
- 352 pages
- 4-1/4 x 6-3/8 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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