Appianou Alexandreōs Rōmaika

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by Appianus of Alexandria

Appian was a Greek historian from Alexandria at the end of the first century CE into the second century CE. [1] 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 into a procurator position under Emperor Antoninus Pius. [2] This high-ranking position gave him the financial resources and freedom to work on his Roman History. [3]

As a history of Rome, Appian’s work covers a significant span of centuries prior to his birth. [4] Consequently, he had to use other sources in order to get appropriate material. [5] It is argued by some scholars that Appian used general knowledge, memory and notes, and direct sources in order to compile his history. [6] 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). [7] Despite the difficulties with reading and inability to take Appian’s history at face value, it is very significant for covering the period of the Roman Civil Wars (133-35 BCE). [8] 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. [9]

Appianou Alexandreōs Rōmaika = Appiani Alexandrini Romanarum Historiarum pars Prior

Title page from Appianou Alexandreōs Rōmaika = Appiani Alexandrini Romanarum Historiarum pars Prior, 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
Volumes 1 volume set
Pages {{{pages}}}
Desc. {{{desc}}}
Location [[Shelf {{{shelf}}}]]
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

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[10] lists the 1670 edition published in Amsterdam based on copies owned by Jefferson (he sold one of these to the Library of Congress[11]; his grandson, Francis Eppes sold the other in 1873). George Wythe's Library[12] on LibraryThing indicates "Precise edition unknown." The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's recommendation and purchased the 1670 edition published in Amsterdam.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full contemporary vellum with raised bands and lozenges on covers. Contains finely-engraved title-pages. Purchased from Richard Smith.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

External Links

Google Books


  1. "Appian"] in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World, ed. by John Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Gregory S. Bucher, “The Origins, Program, and Composition of Appian’s Roman History,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 130 (2000): 412.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  11. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 2nd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 1:36 [no.78].
  12. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on April 21, 2013,