Appian of Alexandria ( // ; Greek : Ἀππιανὸς ἈλεξανδρεύςAppianòs Alexandreús; Latin : Appianus Alexandrinus; c. 95 –c. AD 165) was a Greek historian with Roman citizenship who flourished during the reigns of Emperors of Rome Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.
He was born c. 95 in Alexandria. After holding the chief offices in the province of Aegyptus (Egypt), he went to Rome c. 120, where he practised as an 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, 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 (Ρωμαϊκά Romaiká, 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, books 13–17 of the Roman History, concern mainly the end of the Roman Republic 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.
Little is known of the life of Appian of Alexandria. He wrote an autobiography that has been almost completely lost. [ which? ] by his friend Cornelius Fronto. 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 citizens capable of paying for their son's education, it can be inferred that Appian belonged to the wealthy upper classes.Information about Appian is distilled from his own writings and a letter
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 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 of Marcus Aurelius and his brother 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.
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 and those of Caesar and Pompey. The history breaks off in the time of the Second Triumvirate. 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 and subsequent civil wars. 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' 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 of Sicily also covers Roman history until the Gallic Wars, but this history becomes fragmentary after around 300 BC.
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 in both Italy and Africa, the wars against the Seleucid Empire, and the Mithridatic Wars. Several small fragments also survive, describing the wars against the Samnites, Illyrians, Macedonians, Numidians, and the Gauls. Especially notable is this work's ethnographic 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. 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 chapter on Spain concludes with the war against Sertorius 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.
One might expect that a historical work covering nine centuries and countless different peoples would involve a multitude of testimonials[ clarification needed ] 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.[ citation needed ] At our present state of knowledge questions regarding Appian's sources cannot be resolved.[ citation needed ]
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings written in the Latin language. The beginning of Latin literature dates to 240 BC, when the first stage play was performed in Rome. Latin literature would flourish for the next six centuries. The classical era of Latin literature can be roughly divided into the following periods: Early Latin literature, The Golden Age, The Imperial Period and Late Antiquity.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors, and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire. He served as Roman consul in 140, 145, and 161.
Numidia was the ancient kingdom of the Numidians located in what is now Algeria and a smaller part of Tunisia and small part of Libya in the Maghreb. The polity was originally divided between Massylii in the east and Masaesyli in the west. During the Second Punic War, Masinissa, king of the Massylii, defeated Syphax of the Masaesyli to unify Numidia into one kingdom. The kingdom began as a sovereign state and later alternated between being a Roman province and a Roman client state.
Marcus Cornelius Fronto, 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 Laberius Priscus as his colleague. Emperor Antoninus Pius appointed him tutor to his adopted sons and future emperors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.
The gens Claudia, sometimes written Clodia, was one of the most prominent patrician houses at ancient Rome. The gens traced its origin to the earliest days of the Roman Republic. The first of the Claudii to obtain the consulship was Appius Claudius Sabinus Regillensis, in 495 BC, and from that time its members frequently held the highest offices of the state, both under the Republic and in imperial times.
The gens Sulpicia was one of the most ancient patrician families at ancient Rome, and produced a succession of distinguished men, from the foundation of the Republic to the imperial period. The first member of the gens who obtained the consulship was Servius Sulpicius Camerinus Cornutus, in 500 BC, only nine years after the expulsion of the Tarquins, and the last of the name who appears on the consular list was Sextus Sulpicius Tertullus in AD 158. Although originally patrician, the family also possessed plebeian members, some of whom may have been descended from freedmen of the gens.
From its origin as a city-state on the peninsula of Italy in the 8th century BC, to its rise as an empire covering much of Southern Europe, Western Europe, Near East and North Africa to its fall in the 5th century AD, the political history of Ancient Rome was closely entwined with its military history. The core of the campaign history of the Roman military is an aggregate of different accounts of the Roman military's land battles, from its initial defense against and subsequent conquest of the city's hilltop neighbors on the Italian peninsula, to the ultimate struggle of the Western Roman Empire for its existence against invading Huns, Vandals and Germanic tribes. These accounts were written by various authors throughout and after the history of the Empire. Following the First Punic War, naval battles were less significant than land battles to the military history of Rome due to its encompassment of lands of the periphery and its unchallenged dominance of the Mediterranean Sea.
In ancient Rome a promagistrate was an ex-consul or ex-praetor whose imperium was extended at the end of his annual term of office or later. They were called proconsuls and propraetors. This was an innovation created during the Roman Republic. Initially it was intended to provide additional military commanders to support the armies of the consuls or to lead an additional army. With the acquisitions of territories outside Italy which were annexed as provinces, proconsuls and propraetors became provincial governors or administrators. A third type of promagistrate were the proquaestors.
The Sibylline Books were a collection of oracular utterances, set out in Greek hexameters, that, according to tradition, were purchased from a sibyl by the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, and were consulted at momentous crises through the history of the Republic and the Empire. Only fragments have survived, the rest being lost or deliberately destroyed.
The Third Servile War, also called by Plutarch the Gladiator War and the War of Spartacus, was the last in a series of slave rebellions against the Roman Republic, known as the Servile Wars. The Third was the only one directly to threaten the Roman heartland of Italy. It was particularly alarming to Rome because its military seemed powerless to suppress it.
The gens Terentia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Dionysius mentions a Gaius Terentilius Arsa, tribune of the plebs in 462 BC, but Livy calls him Terentilius, and from inscriptions this would seem to be a separate gens. No other Terentii appear in history until the time of the Second Punic War. Gaius Terentius Varro, one of the Roman commanders at the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC, was the first to hold the consulship. Members of this family are found as late as the third century AD.
The gens Octavia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome, which was raised to patrician status by Caesar during the first century BC. The first member of the gens to achieve prominence was Gnaeus Octavius Rufus, quaestor circa 230 BC. Over the following two centuries, the Octavii held many of the highest offices of the state; but the most celebrated of the family was Gaius Octavius, the grandnephew and adopted son of Caesar, who was proclaimed Augustus by the senate in 27 BC.
Annia Cornificia Faustina Minor was a daughter of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and his wife, Faustina the Younger. She was sister to Lucilla and Commodus. Her maternal grandparents were Antoninus Pius and Faustina the Elder, and her paternal grandparents were Domitia Lucilla and praetor Marcus Annius Verus. She was named in honor of her late paternal aunt Annia Cornificia Faustina.
Roman historiography stretches back to at least the 3rd century BC and was indebted to earlier Greek historiography. The Romans relied on previous models in the Greek tradition such as the works of Herodotus and Thucydides. Roman historiographical forms are usually different from their Greek counterparts, however, and often emphasize Roman concerns. The Roman style of history was based on the way that the Annals of the Pontifex Maximus, or the Annales Maximi, were recorded. The Annales Maximi include a wide array of information, including religious documents, names of consuls, deaths of priests, and various disasters throughout history. Also part of the Annales Maximi are the White Tablets, or the "Tabulae Albatae", which consist of information on the origin of the Roman Republic.
PubliusCornelius Tacitus was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is considered by modern scholars to be one of the greatest Roman historians. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature, and has a reputation for the brevity and compactness of his Latin prose, as well as for his penetrating insights into the psychology of power politics.
The reign of Marcus Aurelius began with his accession on 8 March 161 following the death of his adoptive father, Antoninus Pius, and ended with his own death on 17 March 180. Marcus first ruled jointly with his adoptive brother, Lucius Verus. They shared the throne until Lucius' death in 169. Marcus was succeeded by his son Commodus, who had been made co-emperor in 177.
The gens Catia was a plebeian family at Rome from the time of the Second Punic War to the 3rd century AD. The gens achieved little importance during the Republic, but held several consulships in imperial times.
This section of the timeline of Hispania concerns Spanish and Portuguese history events from the Carthaginian conquests to before the barbarian invasions.
The gens Magia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned at the time of the Second Punic War. Although several of them performed useful service to the Roman state, none of the Magii ever held the consulship.
The gens Sallustia, occasionally written Salustia, was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned in the time of Cicero, and from that time they attained particular distinction as statesmen and writers. The most illustrious of the family was the historian Gaius Sallustius Crispus, who wrote valuable works on the Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy of Catiline, which still exist.