Appian (Gr. Αππιανος), of Alexandria was a Greek historian of Rome who flourished during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian and Antoninus Pius.

He was born ca. AD 95 in Alexandria. He tells us that, after having filled the chief offices in the province of Egypt, he repaired to Rome ca. 120, where he practised as an advocate, pleading cases before the emperors. In 147 at the earliest he was appointed to the office of procurator, probably in Egypt, on the recommendation of his friend Marcus Cornelius Fronto. The position of procurator was open only to members of the equestrian class.

His work (Ρωμαικα, known in English as the Roman History) in twenty-four books, written in Greek before 165, is more a number 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. In spite of its unattractive style, the work is very valuable, especially for the period of the civil wars.


  • Editio princeps, 1551
  • Schweighauser, 1785
  • Bekker, 1852
  • Ludwig Mendelssohn, 1878-1905, Appiani Historia Romana, Bibliotheca Teubneriana
  • Paul Goukowsky, 1997-, Appien. Histoire romaine (Greek text, French translation, notes), Collection Budé

English translations:

  • W. B., 1578 (black letter) - possibly William Barker - used by Shakespeare
  • J. D[avies], 1679
  • Horace White, 1899 (Bohn's Classical Library);
  • Book i. edited by James Leigh Strachan-Davidson, 1902.

Michael Wolf, Appian, the Rise of Rome, and Monarchy: An Analysis of the Romaika through the Portrayal of Africanus and Aemilianus, Thesis (PDF)


  • This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which is in the public domain.
  • William Smith (ed) (1870), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology Vol 1 pp. 247-248

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