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TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

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My reasons for translating the works of Appian are that they constitute an indispensable part of Roman history, that they are not accessible in English, and that none of the persons more competent to perform the task have seen fit to undertake it. The last English translation, made in 1679, is not now obtainable, and would not be readable if obtainable.

All that we know about Appian as an individual is gleaned from his own writings and from the letters of Fronto, the tutor of Marcus Aurelius. It is supposed that he was born about A.D. 90, and that he died about A.D. 160. He left an autobiography, as he tells us at the conclusion of his Preface, but it was lost early. It was not known to Photius in the ninth century, although Appian's historical works were all extant at that time. He tells us in his Preface also that he was a native of Alexandria,' in Egypt, and that he came to Rome where he practised the profession of an advocate in the courts of the emperors until they appointed him procurator. As he says in the same paragraph that he had reached the highest place in his own country, it is inferred that he was procurator of Egypt. A fragment of his works, brought to light in recent years,' speaks of a war against the Jews in Egypt in which he had an adventure. This was probably the war waged by the Emperor Trajan to suppress the Jewish insurrection in that country A.D. 117, the year of Trajan's death. It is inferred, therefore, that Appian did not come to Rome till the reign of Hadrian, and that he lived there until the reign of Antoninus Pius, and that he was appointed procurator by the latter. Among the letters of Fronto, discovered by Cardinal Mai,” is one addressed to Antoninus Pius asking the appointment of his friend Appian as procurator as a mark of distinction in his old age, not that he (Appian) desires it to gratify his ambition, or for the sake of the pay. Age and bereavement are mentioned among the reasons why this distinction should be conferred, and Fronto vouches for his friend's honor and integrity. A letter from Appian to Fronto, in a fragmentary state, and Fronto's reply, both written in Greek, are among the finds of Cardinal Mai, but they are of slight importance. Appian had sought to give two slaves to Fronto as a present, and Fronto, from motives of delicacy, had declined to accept them. So Appian writes to Fronto and asks why it should be considered improper for friends to accept presents from friends, when it is not considered improper for cities to accept gifts from their own citizens, or even from strangers. This is all that we know of Appian as a person. He

1 A papyrus recently unearthed and published by the Egypt Exploration Fund (Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Part I. p. 62, London, 1898) contains the record of the arraignment of a certain Appianus of Alexandria at Rome before the Emperor (probably Marcus Aurelius) for participation in a rebellion. The accused describes himself as “a nobleman and a gymnasiarch.” Our Appian might possibly have been alive then, but he could not have been the person on trial, since the latter was addressed by one of his friends present as a young man.

says in his Preface (Sec. 9) that Rome had then existed 900 years, which would imply that his book was published, in whole or in part, about A.D. 150 ; i.l., during the reign of Antoninus Pius. The Testimonia Veterum, which Schweighäuser places at the beginning of his third volume, tells us that Stephanus of Byzantium (sixth century), in his geographical dictionary, referred to Appian in three places, and that Evagrius (A.D. 531-593) mentioned the names of five Greek writers of Roman history, of whom Appian was one. The earliest detailed account of Appian's works that has reached us is that of Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who died A.D. 891. Photius wrote an encyclopedia of literature called the Myriobiblon, containing notices of 280 authors whose works were then extant, together with extracts from some of them. Of Appian he said (Cod. 57):

1 Concerning the Divination of the Arabs, vol. ii. p. 489. 2 Frontonis Reliquiæ, Berlin, 1816, p. 27.

“We read the Roman history of Appian in three volumes, embracing twenty-four books. The first book contains the exploits and doings of the seven kings. It is entitled Rome under the Kings. The second embraces all of Italy except the part along the Adriatic gulf, and is entitled Italian Roman history. The next includes the war of the Romans against the Samnites, a great nation and one hard to conquer. The Romans waged war with them eighty years, and with difficulty subjugated them and the nations allied with them. This is called the Samnite Roman history. The fourth, as it contains the wars of the Romans against the Gauls, is called the Gallic Roman history. The remaining books are styled in like manner: the fifth, Sicily and the Islands, since it relates to the Sicilians and the islanders ; the sixth, Spanish; the seventh, Hannibalic, embracing the war of the Romans against Hannibal the Carthaginian; the eighth, African, Carthaginian, and Numidian; the ninth, Macedonian; the tenth, Grecian and Ionian; the eleventh, Syrian and Parthian; the twelfth, Mithridatic.

“ Thus far are exhibited the transactions of the Romans with foreign nations and their wars with them. The next books treat of the internal dissensions of the Romans and their wars with each other, and are entitled the Civil Wars, first, second, and so on to the ninth, which is the twenty-first of the whole history. The twenty-second book is called The Hundred Years, the next after that the Dacian, and the twenty-fourth, the Arabian. These are the divisions of the whole history.

“ The first book of the Civil Wars contains those which Marius and Sulla waged against each other. The next treats

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of the contest between Pompey and Julius Cæsar, and of the great battles they fought, showing how fortune turned the scale in favor of Cæsar, and how he put Pompey to flight. Next come the wars of Antony and Octavius Cæsar (Augustus) against the murderers of the first Cæsar, at which time also many illustrious Romans were put to death without any

kind of trial, and, finally, how they fell out (I mean Antony and Augustus) and warred against each other with powerful armies and great slaughter, showing how victory finally declared itself in favor of Augustus, and how Antony, bereft of allies, was pursued as a fugitive to Egypt where he took his own life. In the same book, which is the last one of the Civil Wars, Egypt was brought under Roman sway, and the Roman government fell under the monarchy of Augustus. His history begins [here follows the first of the Excerpta]. ...

“His history begins, as I have said, with Æneas, and goes on to the boys Romulus and Remus. Then from Romulus, the founder, it gives a detailed account of events to the time of Augustus, and thence disconnectedly to that of Trajan.

“This Appian was an Alexandrian by birth. At first he pleaded causes at Rome, and afterwards was deemed worthy to be appointed procurator of the emperors. His style is simple and unaffected, and his history adheres strictly to the truth, and he, if anybody, is careful in his account of military operations. Whether to arouse by speech the spirits of the dejected soldier, or to calm the fiery one, or to portray emotion, or to express anything else by words, he stands in the first rank. He flourished in the times of Trajan and of Hadrian.”

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The lexicon of Suidas (about A.D. 970) contains a brief account of the works of Appian, but it is extremely confused. He takes the title of the first book for the title of the whole work. He mentions three books relating to the affairs of Italy, one relating to the Gallic wars in Italy, and one relating to the Punic wars in Italy. Next, he says

that the civil wars of the Romans are treated separately. Then he speaks of the Gallic wars on the river Rhine and those (waged by Julius Cæsar. Finally, he says that Appian wrote nine books of Roman history. He concludes by saying that some persons spell the name of Appian with one p.

An anonymous writer of the Middle Ages inscribed upon a manuscript copy of Appian a list of his works differing somewhat from that of Photius, and especially in making the whole number of books twenty-two instead of twenty-four, and the whole number of books of the Civil Wars five instead of nine. This list was copied again and again, so that at the time of the revival of learning in Europe it was found in several codices. This list differed from that of Photius also, in assigning to the Parthian book a place separate from the Syrian.

We may as well dispose of this Parthian book now. It was a forgery. It consists of extracts from Plutarch's biographies of Crassus and of Antony, copied verbatim and foisted upon Appian's works by somebody who lived earlier than Photius. Appian has nowhere said that he had written a Parthian history, but only that he intended to write one. The probability is that he did not carry that intention into effect, but that some early book maker observing the expressed intention of the author, pieced together these extracts from Plutarch and patched them upon the genuine books in order to add to the market value of his product. So the Parthian book passed into the works of Appian and was regularly reproduced, printed, and translated, until 1557 when William Xylander accidentally discovered that it was copied word for word from Plutarch. He concluded from internal evidence that it had been foisted upon Appian's history by some enterprising book maker. There was a gap in the history from the death of Crassus to the expedition sent by Antony against the Parthians, under the command of Ventidius. If Appian had stolen a Parthian history from Plutarch he would not have overlooked that gap of seventeen years. He would have put something into it.

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