Appian's Civil Wars offers a masterly account of the turbulent epoch from the time of Tiberius Gracchus (133 BC) to the tremendous conflicts which followed the murder of Julius Caesar. For the events between 133 and 70 BC he is the only surviving continuous narrative source. The subsequent books vividly describe Catiline's conspiracy, the rise and fall of the First Triumvirate, and Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon, defeat of Pompey and untimely death. The climax comes with the birth of the Second Triumvirate out of anarchy, the terrible purges of Proscriptions which followed, and the titanic struggle for world mastery which was only to end with Augustus's defeat of Antony and Cleopatra. If Appian's Roman History as a whole reveals how an empire was born of the struggle against a series of external enemies, these five books concentrate on an even greater ordeal. Despite the rhetorical flourishes, John Carter suggests in his Introduction, the impressive 'overall conception of the decline of the Roman state into violence, with its sombre highlights and the leitmotif of fate, is neither trivial nor inaccurate'.
Taken from Appian's Roman History, the five books collected here form the sole surviving continuous historical narrative of the era between 133 and 35 BC - a time of anarchy and instability for the Roman Empire. A masterly account of a turbulent epoch, they describe the Catiline conspiracy; the rise and fall of the First Triumvirate; the murder of Julius Caesar; the formation of the Second Triumvirate by Antonius, Octavian and Lepidus; and brutal civil war. A compelling depiction of the decline of the Roman state into brutality and violence, The Civil Wars portrays political discontent, selfishness and the struggle for power - a struggle that was to culminate in a titanic battle for mastery over the Roman Empire, and the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra by Octavian in 31 BC. John Carter's modern translation conveys the compelling style of the original. His extensive introduction provides an in-depth assessment of Appian as historian and places the work in context.
John Carter is a historian living in the US.
The Civil Wars - Appian Translated with an Introduction by John Carter Acknowledgments Introduction Bibliographical Note Notes on the Translation Table of Dates THE CIVIL WARS Book I Book II Book III Book IV Book V Notes Appendix Maps: A. Northern and Central Italy B. Southern Italy and Sicily C. Greece and the Aegean Basin D. Provinces and Kingdoms of the East Index
This is an extract from what survives of the enormous history of Rome from the kings to his own time by the 2nd-century Alexandrian writer, Appian. It covers the increasing violence that changed the face of Roman politics and society from Tiberius Gracchus, through the enormously influential struggles of Sulla and Marius, Caesar and Pompey, to Octavian nad Mark Antony (though not the resolution at Actium). The dense narrative has a relentless momentum, relating the birth of an empire through its internal conflicts. The translation is supported by a very thorough introduction, an appendix covering Roman social organization, and maps. This is a book for lovers of the history of power struggles, and for students of the period who wish to compare this verison of famous events with those of other, sometimes better-known, Roman historians. (Kirkus UK)
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