Appianou Alexandreōs Rōmaika = Appiani Alexandrini Romanarum Historiarum pars Prior[-Altera]

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by Appian of Alexandria

Appianou Alexandreōs Rōmaika

Title page from Appianou Alexandreōs Rōmaika, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Appianus of Alexandria
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Amstelodami: Ex officinâ Joh. Janssonii à Waesbergen, et Johannis à Someren
Date 1670
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language Greek and Latin
Volumes 2 volume set
Pages {{{pages}}}
Desc. 8vo (20 cm.)
Location Shelf H-2
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]
Half-title, volume one.
Appian (c. AD 95–c. AD 165) was a Greek historian from Alexandria. He became a Roman citizen and moved to Rome after the Jewish uprising in Alexandria of 116-117CE. After working as an advocate (somewhat like a modern-day attorney), Appian’s friendships and connections helped him work his way up to a procurator position under Emperor Antoninus Pius. This high-ranking position gave him the financial resources and freedom to work on his Roman History. [1]

As a history of Rome, Appian’s work covers a significant span of centuries prior to his birth. Consequently, he had to use other sources in order to get appropriate material. It is argued by some scholars that Appian used general knowledge, memory and notes, and direct sources in order to compile his history. At points, it seems to be an unusual mixture of valid data (likely taken from previous authors) and errors (Appian’s attempts to analyze historical events and significance). Despite these difficulties, it is very significant for covering the period of the Roman Civil Wars (133-35 BCE). None of the original sources about the Roman Civil Wars, which Appian used for this portion of his History, survive fully to this date, so his recounting is crucial.[2]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Appianus. variorum. 2.v. 8vo." and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The Brown Bibliography[3] lists the 1670 edition published in Amsterdam based on copies owned by Jefferson (he sold one of these to the Library of Congress[4]; his grandson, Francis Eppes sold the other in 1873). George Wythe's Library[5] on LibraryThing indicates "Precise edition unknown." The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's recommendation and purchased the 1670 Amsterdam edition.

Half-title, volume two.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full contemporary vellum with raised bands and lozenges on covers. Purchased from Richard Smith.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

See also


  1. "Appian" in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World, ed. John Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  2. Gregory S. Bucher, “The Origins, Program, and Composition of Appian’s Roman History,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 130 (2000): 412.
  3. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  4. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 1:36 [no.78].
  5. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on April 21, 2013.

External Links

Read volume two of this book in Google Books.