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PREFACE

through White’s Loeb. As well as his clear and careful (if now inevitably somewhat dated) translation, White, one of the rare Loeb translators who was not a professional classicist, also wrote in his own preface of qualities in Appian’s history that few others appreciated until much later in the twentieth century. It is a pleasure, then, to salute and follow in the footsteps of my Loeb predecessor.

I would like to thank my students at Trinity College Dublin, who with open mind, good humor, and considerable acuity embraced Appian as a set text and helped with some knotty problems of translation. My colleagues John Dillon and, particularly, Ashley Clements have also been very generous with their time and philological expertise. I am most grateful to them.

BMcG Dublin, March 2019

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INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

LIFE OF APPIAN

The second-century AD historian Appian of Alexandria is one of our main sources for the history of the Roman Republic, particularly for the second and first centuries BC, but we do not know a great deal about him.1 He is usually assumed to have been born toward the end of the first century AD, in the midnineties, since a fragment (fr. 19) of his Arabian history (Book 24) records his dramatic escape in Egypt from a party of Jewish insurgents pursuing him in the Nile delta during the revolt of the Jews in AD 115 to 117. He was clearly an adult at the time, but probably only a young man: references in the Preface of his work to nine hundred years of Roman history (Praef. 9.34) and nearly two hundred years since the beginning of the monarchy (Praef. 7.24) seem to indicate that he was writing the Preface around 150.

That Appian flourished in this period is also clear from his friendship with the great lawyer and letter-writer Marcus Cornelius Fronto, who became suffect consul in 142. An exchange of letters with Fronto is preserved among Fronto’s correspondence, as is a letter from Fronto to the

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