Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
I feel ye now I feel ye in your strength
O spells more sure than e'er Judan King
Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane!
O charms more potent than the rapt Chaldee
Ever drew down from out the quiet stars.
EDGAR A. POE.
To JOSEPH EMERSON, D.D., LL.D.
PROFESSOR OF GREEK IN BELOIT COLLEGE
THESE LATE-COMING FRUITS OF HIS INSTRUCTION
Are Dedicated WITH THE REVERENCE AND AFFECTION OF THE TRANSLATOR
[figure in text: REDUCED FACSIMILE, VATICAN MS. GR. 141. XI CENTURY. FIRST PAGE OF THE PUNIC WARS]
MY reasons for translating the works of Appian are that they constitute an indispensable part of Roman history, that they are not accessible in English, and that none of the persons more competent to perform the task have seen fit to undertake it. The last English translation, made in 1679, is not now obtainable, and would not be readable if obtainable.
All that we know about Appian as an individual is gleaned from his own writings and from the letters of Fronto, the tutor of Marcus Aurelius. It is supposed that he was born about A.D. 90, and that he died about A.D. 160. He left an autobiography, as he tells us at the conclusion of his Preface, but it was lost early. It was not known to Photius in the ninth century, although Appian's historical works were all extant at that time. He tells us in his Preface also that he was a native of Alexandria,1 in Egypt, and that he came to Rome where he practised the profession of an advocate in the courts of the emperors until they appointed him procurator. As he says in the same paragraph that he had reached the highest place in his own country, it is inferred that he was procurator of Egypt. A fragment of his works, brought to
light in recent years,2 speaks of a war against the Jews in Egypt in which he had an adventure. This was probably the war waged by the Emperor Trajan to suppress the Jewish insurrection in that country A.D. 117, the year of Trajan's death. It is inferred, therefore, that Appian did not come to Rome till the reign of Hadrian, and that he lived there until the reign of Antoninus Pius, and that he was appointed procurator by the latter. Among the letters of Fronto, discovered by Cardinal Mai,3 is one addressed to Antoninus Pius asking the appointment of his friend Appian as procurator as a mark of distinction in his old age, not that he (Appian) desires it to gratify his ambition, or for the sake of the pay. Age and bereavement are mentioned among the reasons why this distinction should be conferred, and Fronto vouches for his friend's honor and integrity. A letter from Appian to Fronto, in a fragmentary state, and Fronto's reply, both written in Greek, are among the finds of Cardinal Mai, but they are of slight importance. Appian had sought to give two slaves to Fronto as a present, and Fronto, from motives of delicacy, had declined to accept them. So Appian writes to Fronto and asks why it should be considered improper for friends to accept presents from friends, when it is not considered improper for cities to accept gifts from their own citizens, or even from strangers.
This is all that we know of Appian as a person. He says in his Preface (Sec. g) that Rome had then existed 900 years, which would imply that his book was published, in whole or in part, about A.D. 150; i.e., during the reign of Antoninus Pius. The Testimonia Veterum, which Schweighuser places at the beginning of his third volume, tells us that Stephanus of Byzantium (sixth century), in his geographical dictionary, referred to Appian in three places, and
that Evagrius (A.D. 531-593) mentioned the names of five Greek writers of Roman history, of whom Appian was one. The earliest detailed account of Appian's works that has reached us is that of Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who died A.D. 891. Photius wrote an encyclopedia of literature called the Myriobiblon, containing notices of 280 authors whose works were then extant, together with extracts from some of them. Of Appian he said (Cod. 57) :--
" We read the Roman history of Appian in three volumes, embracing twenty-four books. The first book contains the exploits and doings of the seven kings. It is entitled Rome under the Kings. The second embraces all of Italy except the part along the Adriatic gulf, and is entitled Italian Roman history. The next includes the war of the Romans against the Samnites, a great nation and one hard to conquer. The Romans waged war with them eighty years, and with difficulty subjugated them and the nations allied with them. This is called the Samnite Roman history. The fourth, as it contains the wars of the Romans against the Gauls, is called the Gallic Roman history. The remaining books are styled in like manner: the fifth, Sicily and the Islands, since it relates to the Sicilians and the islanders; the sixth, Spanish; the seventh, Hannibalic, embracing the war of the Romans against Hannibal the Carthaginian; the eighth, African, Carthaginian, and Numidian; the ninth, Macedonian; the tenth, Grecian and Ionian, the eleventh, Syrian and Parthian; the twelfth, Mithridatic.
"Thus far are exhibited the transactions of the Romans with foreign nations and their wars with them. The next books treat of the internal dissensions of the Romans and their wars with each other, and are entitled the Civil Wars, first, second, and so on to the ninth, which is the twenty-first of the whole history. The twenty-second book is called The Hundred Years, the next after that the Dacian, and the twenty-fourth, the Arabian. These are the divisions of the whole history.
"The first book of the Civil Wars contains those which Marius and Sulla waged against each other. The next treats
of the contest between Pompey and Julius Csar, and of the great battles they fought, showing how fortune turned the scale in favor of Csar, and how he put Pompey to flight. Next come the wars of Antony and Octavius Csar (Augustus) against the murderers of the first Csar, at which time also many illustrious Romans were put to death without any kind of trial, and, finally, how they fell out (I mean Antony and Augustus) and warred against each other with powerful armies and great slaughter, showing how victory finally declared itself in favor of Augustus, and how Antony, bereft of allies, was pursued as a fugitive to Egypt where he took his own life. In the same book, which is the last one of the Civil Wars, Egypt was brought under Roman sway, and the Roman government fell under the monarchy of Augustus. His history begins [here follows the first of the Excerpta]. . . .
" His history begins, as I have said, with neas, and goes on to the boys Romulus and Remus. Then from Romulus, the founder, it gives a detailed account of events to the time of Augustus, and thence disconnectedly to that of Trajan.
"This Appian was an Alexandrian by birth. At first he pleaded causes at Rome, and afterwards was deemed worthy to be appointed procurator of the emperors. His style is simple and unaffected, and his history adheres strictly to the truth, and he, if anybody, is careful in his account of military operations. Whether to arouse by speech the spirits of the dejected soldier, or to calm the fiery one, or to portray emotion, or to express anything else by words, he stands in the first rank. He flourished in the times of Trajan and of Hadrian."
The lexicon of Suidas (about A.D. 970) contains a brief account of the works of Appian, but it is extremely confused. He takes the title of the first book for the title of the whole work. He mentions three books relating to the affairs of Italy, one relating to the Gallic wars in Italy, and one relating to the Punic wars in Italy. Next, he says that the civil wars of the Romans are treated separately. Then he speaks of the Gallic wars on the river Rhine and those waged by Julius Csar. Finally, he says that Appian wrote
nine books of Roman history. He concludes by saying that some persons spell the name of Appian with one p.
An anonymous writer of the Middle Ages inscribed upon a manuscript copy of Appian a list of his works differing somewhat from that of Photius, and especially in making the whole number of books twenty-two instead of twenty-four, and the whole number of books of the Civil Wars five instead of nine. This list was copied again and again, so that at the time of the revival of learning in Europe it was found in several codices. This list differed from that of Photius also, in assigning to the Parthian book a place separate from the Syrian.
We may as well dispose of this Parthian book now. It was a forgery. It consists of extracts from Plutarch's biographies of Crassus and of Antony, copied verbatim and foisted upon Appian's works by somebody who lived earlier than Photius. Appian has nowhere said that he had written a Parthian history, but only that he intended to write one. The probability is that he did not carry that intention into effect, but that some early book maker observing the expressed intention of the author, pieced together these extracts from Plutarch and patched them upon the genuine books in order to add to the market value of his product. So the Parthian book passed into the works of Appian and was regularly reproduced, printed, and translated, until 1557 when William Xylander accidentally discovered that it was copied word for word from Plutarch. He concluded from internal evidence that it had been foisted upon Appian's history by some enterprising book maker. There was a gap in the history from the death of Crassus to the expedition sent by Antony against the Parthians, under the command of Ventidius. If Appian had stolen a Parthian history from Plutarch he would not have overlooked that gap of seventeen years. He would have put something into it.
No sooner was Xylander's discovery made than the learned world divided into two opposing parties, one of which, led by Henry Stephen and Joseph Scaliger, held that Appian had committed a fraud, while the other adhered to the opinion of Xylander that he had been the victim of one. The controversy continued for two centuries, and we find participating in it Voss, Fabricius, Freinshem, Reimar, Baudoin and others, and finally Schweighuser. At first the preponderance of authority was against Appian, but there was a gradual change culminating in the masterly array of evidence and argument advanced by Schweighuser in defence of the integrity of the author whose text he had done so much to restore and purify.4 At present nobody sustains the charge advanced by Henry Stephen, that Appian had stolen a book from Plutarch. On the other hand Stephen has lost reputation as a critic by reason of his making the charge.
A discrepancy exists between Photius and the anonymous writer respecting the books of the Civil Wars, the former making them nine in number, the latter only five. Schweighuser explained this discrepancy by showing that Photius included in the Civil Wars four books that Appian himself designated as Egyptian history, and that these four books had been lost between the time of Photius and that of the anonymous writer.5 That there were four books of Egyptian history is proved by citations from them in fragments of Appian preserved in a MS. known as the Saint Germain Grammar and published in Bekker's Anecdota Grca. This explains the reason why the Civil Wars terminate so abruptly with the death of young Pompeius instead of going on to the battle of Actium, as Appian himself proposed. In Book I., Sec. 6, of the Civil Wars the author gives us his plan as follows: --
"On account of its magnitude I have divided the work, first taking up the events that occurred from the time of Sempronius Gracchus to that of Cornelius Sulla; next, those that followed to the death of Csar. The remaining books of the Civil Wars treat of those waged by the triumvirs against each other and the Roman people, until the end of these conflicts, and the greatest achievement, the battle of Actium, fought by Octavius Csar against Antony and Cleopatra together, which will be the beginning of the Egyptian history."
Under this plan the book containing the battle of Actium and the death of Antony and Cleopatra might have been designated either as the last book of the Civil Wars or as the first book of the Egyptian history. Evidently it was classed with the latter and perished with the remainder of that history, to our infinite regret.6 The book makers of the Middle Ages were concerned to keep alive the history of the civil wars of Rome. There was a sufficient demand for that part of Appian to keep copyists at work on it. There was not a sufficient demand for the Egyptian history. If the book makers and their public at that time were as undiscriminating as we have seen that Suidas was, we can easily understand how they allowed that important book to perish, simply because it was under a wrong title.
How the MSS. of Appian have fared from the earliest periods to which we can trace them, and what is their present condition, is told by the late Professor Mendelssohn, of the University of Dorpat, Russia, in the preface to his (Teubner) edition of this author. I had thought at first to prepare a summary from this, and from Schweighuser's preface, which would serve both for the student and the ordinary reader, but on reflection I concluded that the former would like to see the whole scope of Mendelssohn's work, which, while built upon that of Schweighuser, is even more thorough. I have accordingly translated Mendelssohn's Latin preface, and added it to my own as a separate essay, so that students can see all of it, and the ordinary reader can omit all of it if he chooses.
The praise which Mendelssohn bestows upon the great scholar who preceded him makes it unnecessary for me to recount the labors of Schweighuser on the text of Appian. Every one who speaks or thinks of that text thinks of Schweighuser. Everything dates before or after him. A few facts not mentioned by Mendelssohn may be here recapitulated. Schweighuser was professor of Greek in the University of Strassburg in the latter part of the eighteenth century. He was prompted to undertake the emendation of Appian by the English scholar, Samuel Musgrave, about the year 1780. He began to accumulate materials at first for the use of Musgrave, but the latter fell sick and was unable to use them. He urged Schweighuser to continue and complete the work and promised to contribute the notes he had made on the printed text of the author. Musgrave died soon afterward, but by some mistake his notes did not reach Schweighuser till two years later. Some additional notes of the German scholar Reiske came into his hands subsequently. The successive steps which he took to purify the text by the examination of the MSS., within his reach, and by the assistance of friends upon those not within his reach, are related by him in detail in his preface. Five years of incessant and well-directed labor were bestowed upon this revision, which was published in 1785 in three volumes containing 2851 octavo pages. No greater service was ever rendered by one man of letters to another.
Together with the Greek text Schweighuser printed the Latin version of Appian made by Sigismund Geslen and published at Basle in 1554, with such corrections as his own emendation had made necessary or his own scholarship suggested. This Latin translation of Geslen was a truly remarkable production considering the state of the text and of Greek learning at that time. "He was a man," says Schweighuser, "thoroughly versed in both Greek and Latin, and no less skilled in criticism than profound in his knowledge of Roman history. It was not the task of a mere interpreter that he performed, but, applying a healing hand to the corrupted text, he frequently and dexterously, but for the most part cautiously, restored in the happiest manner a countless number of passages which had been miserably deformed in his Greek copy, and in many places where the previous translator (Candidus) had gone widely astray, he expressed the true meaning of the author in language clear and terse." The translation of Geslen did not embrace the Spanish or the Illyrian history. The translation of the former which is found in Geslen's book was made by Clius Secundus Curio and that of the latter by Candidus. I was so fortunate as to procure a reprint of this book at an auction sale in this city two years ago. Geslen's Latin version as amended by Schweighuser, and still further by Dbner, is published in the Didot edition of Appian in parallel columns with the Greek text.
The table of contents of the present volumes shows what works of Appian have come down to us. The Excerpta are passages extracted from the lost books, and preserved in compilations made by others. They are of four or five different kinds, but are principally embraced in two compilations made by order of the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, about 950 A.D., one entitled "Concerning the Embassies" and the other "Concerning Virtues and Vices." Each of these books contains extracts from Appian and other ancient historians on the subjects named. Those of Appian from the former of the two compilations were first collected in a slovenly manner by Fulvio Orsini in Rome and published at Antwerp in 1580. Those from the latter were reproduced with great fidelity by Henry de Valois at Paris in 1634, from a MS. belonging to his friend Peiresc. Other excerpta have been preserved for us by Suidas. These, although numerous, are short and unimportant. A few have been collected by Cardinal Mai among his gleanings in the Vatican, but their authenticity is not established in all cases.
Appian has been accused of unduly favoring the Romans in his treatment of their wars and diplomacy with other nations. The accusation is not warranted. Impartiality and the judicial temper are his striking characteristics. These are especially shown in his treatment of the Numantine war, the third Punic war and the Mithridatic wars, in all of which the blame of their inception is put upon the Romans.
Appian was, however, a narrator of events, not a philosophic historian. His style is as destitute of ornament as a lawyer's brief, and in the narrative parts almost as arid. In the rhetorical passages, however, which are numerous, it is animated, forcible and at times eloquent. It has been the translator's aim to put the whole into smooth, idiomatic English, even at the risk of offending the taste which requires a translation to reproduce the author's style as well as his meaning. Occasionally Appian rises to the dignity of the best writers of the classical period. The introduction to the history of the civil wars is an example of this kind. Here the events leading up to the tragedy of Tiberius Gracchus move forward with a dignified and measured tread, which has been followed and imitated by many later historians of that period, but has been surpassed by none. Occasionally he gives us with startling clearness a glimpse of social and political conditions, but these are only incidental.7 His aim is to narrate events, not to pass judgment on them. And so, although he has given us a thousand pages filled with matter of absorbing interest, and has preserved for us facts and documents of the greatest value which, but for him, would have been wholly lost, he does not reach the first rank of historical writers.
Appian has been severely censured for want of accuracy in details. According to modern canons of criticism, accuracy is the first and indispensable requisite of the historian; but it was not so in the ancient world. General conformity to facts was of course necessary, but in most cases the aim of the ancient writer was to make an interesting book or to furnish a setting for the political ideas or the moral principles which he entertained. Appian was neither better nor worse in this respect than the average historian of the ancient world. He stands on the same plane with Plutarch, Dio Cassius, Suetonius, Florus, Velleius Paterculus, Diodorus Siculus, and Valerius Maximus, all of whom overlapped him here and there. Between himself and Plutarch there is a striking parallelism covering the whole period of the civil wars. In some places they use the same Greek phraseology, and this has led one modern commentator8 to the opinion that their common source here was a Greek, not a Latin, writer, since it would have been very remarkable if, in translating independently from the Latin, they had often used the same Greek words. After examining the passages cited by Dr. Vollgraff, and some that he has not cited, I concur in his opinion.
How far Appian is contradicted in matters of fact by better authorities than himself I have sought to show by footnotes accompanying the text, although I do not assume that I have made a complete census of such passages. The better authorities are:
I. The works of Cicero, especially the Letters, a historical mine without a parallel in the ancient world and still unexhausted.
II. Polybius, whose extant works, however, overlap those of Appian only in small part. Although Polybius was an eyewitness of the third Punic war, and of the destruction of Carthage, his history of those events and every other account except Appian's, has perished. That Appian drew from Polybius in part is proved by his citation in the Punic wars, Sec. 132.
III. Csar's Commentaries, including in this term the writings of Hirtius and of the unknown author or authors of the wars in Africa and Spain.
IV. The works of Sallust. These touch only a small part of Appian's history.
V. The works of Livy perhaps. It is open to dispute whether Livy is more to be depended upon than Appian in dealing with facts, but as Livy's works later than the conquest of Macedonia, B.C. 168, have perished, we have little opportunity for comparison, except with the Epitome, or table of contents, of his lost books.
It was the habit of ancient historians to put speeches into the mouths of their leading actors in order to present the ideas that moved peoples, or parties, or factions, and sometimes to deliver the author's moral lectures to mankind. This practice was introduced by Thucydides. It was, says Mr. Gilbert Murray,9 "a fatal legacy to two thousand years of history-writing after him." Appian followed the fashion. The speeches which he delivered in this way are the best part of his work in point of style. We feel that here we are listening to the practised debater, the trained pleader of causes in the imperial courts. If we could imagine these speeches to have been made by the men from whose mouths they proceed, we should wonder at the high range of dialectical skill and eloquence that prevailed in those times. We should wonder also that two speakers should show equal cleverness in maintaining opposite opinions so that we can scarcely decide, after reading their arguments, which of them ought to prevail. An excellent example is the conversation between Octavius and Antony.10 The whole debate that followed the assassination of Csar is forceful and lifelike, but the best speech in the course of the civil wars is the one ascribed to Cassius shortly before the battle of Philippi.11 It pleads in the strongest possible terms the expiring cause of the Roman republic, and makes us forget for the moment the detestable crime that Cassius had committed and was about to expiate with his own blood.
From what sources Appian drew the materials of his history is a perplexing question. He makes mention of Polybius,12 Hieronymus,13 Csar,14 Augustus,15 and Asinius Pollio,16 as authors, in such a way as to imply that he is quoting from them. He mentions the names of Varro,17 Fabius Pictor,18 Cassius Hemina,19 and Rutilius Rufus,20 as authors, but not in terms which imply any use of their works. He refers to two other authors about whom nothing is known; viz. Paulus Claudius21 and Libo.22 In the absence of any additional clues from the author himself respecting his authorities, resort must be had to the writings of those who preceded him. Two monographs on this subject, of comparatively recent date, in addition to that of Vollgraff, will be briefly noticed.23
Dr. Wynne considers only the five books of the Civil Wars. "Not only," he says, "does Appian almost every-where abstain from indicating his authorities, but a careful comparison of his books on the civil wars with other writers treating the same convinces me that most of the writings that served him as sources have perished, and that any one sedulously comparing Appian's histories with the extant writings of others treating the same events will be almost certainly persuaded that most of them he was either ignorant of, or neglected." He gives us a list of the works which Appian might have consulted for the first book of the Civil Wars, and thinks that he made use of those of Rutilius Rufus and of Posidonius (both in Greek and both lost), and also those of Livy, judging from Appian's general agreement with the Epitome of the latter. He does not believe that Appian drew anything from Cicero or Velleius Paterculus; or from Diodorus Siculus, or Valerius Maximus, for this book.
In the second book of the Civil Wars reference is made by Appian to Varro, to Pompey's and Csar's letters to the Senate, to Asinius Pollio, to Csar's Anti-Cato and to his "memoranda of the government," ὑπομνήματα τῆς ἀρχῆς. The references to Varro, and to the two last-mentioned works of Csar, are only incidental. They do not imply that anything was drawn from them. Asinius Pollio is mentioned as an authority, as also are the letters of Csar and Pompey to the Senate. The oration of Brutus justifying the murder of Csar and the funeral oration of Antony are in the second book. Both of these may have been genuine reports of the spoken words. The speech made by Brutus existed in manuscript at one time; for Cicero says that it was sent to him for revision.24 Dr. Wynne thinks that Appian may have drawn from the works of Tanusius Geminus, which are not now extant. He infers this because Appian makes allusion to a fact which Plutarch also records and for which the latter gives Tanusius as authority. He thinks also that the Memoirs of Augustus may have contributed something to the concluding chapters of this book, since we know that Appian used the Memoirs in other places, and we know from Dio Cassius that they contained the details of Csar's last will and testament.25 A large number of passages showing similarity between Appian and the Epitome of Livy are cited by Dr. Wynne together with a few discrepancies; and also some passages in Florus and Orosius drawn from the lost books of Livy which have their parallel in Appian's history, and which lead him to say that after carefully weighing all these passages he concludes that Appian is much indebted to Livy in this book and that he has resorted to him here oftener than in the former one. He thinks that Appian made considerable use of Csar's orations and of his Commentaries on the Civil War, but that he used other authorities also, the discrepancies between himself and Csar being thus accounted for. He thinks that Appian was not acquainted with the writings of Lucan, or of Suetonius, or of Plutarch.
Among the authorities for the third, fourth, and fifth books of the Civil Wars, in Dr. Wynne's opinion, were the history of Asinius Pollio, the Memoirs of Augustus, and very probably the writings of Messala Corvinus, and possibly those of P. Volumnius (the companion of Brutus at Philippi), from whom Plutarch makes citations which are found also in Appian. The edict of proscription signed by the triumvirs, Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, is an important addition to the fourth book of the Civil Wars. Dr. Wynne thinks that in this book also Appian drew much from Livy, but he cites also several contradictions which exist between the two. He acknowledges that his conclusions are uncertain and unsatisfactory wherever he goes beyond the very few writers whom Appian himself cites.
I cannot agree with Dr. Wynne's conclusions respecting either Csar or Livy. I had compared all of the Commentaries on the Civil Wars with the corresponding parts of Appian before Dr. Wynne's treatise fell into my hands, and had formed the opinion that Appian had not used Csar as an authority, except perhaps at second hand. I had reached the same conclusion as regards Livy also. Of all the commentators upon Appian's authorities with whom I am familiar, Vollgraff is the most satisfactory. He seeks to show that the sources of both Plutarch and Appian for the civil wars were mainly the writings of Greek, not Latin, authors, whose works have since perished. The illustrations with which he sustains this thesis, all being in the nature of internal evidence, are, to my mind, convincing.
Dr. Wynne concludes his essay by inquiring how much confidence should be reposed in Appian as a historian, and whether the orations and conversations with which his works abound can be considered genuine. His opinion, sustained by a large number of citations, is that Appian was a candid author, and that he aimed to give a true account of the events which he described, but that his work contains many faults which are to be attributed for the most part to the times in which he lived. Also that with a few exceptions, which are named, the speeches are either wholly composed by the author or are partly genuine and partly manufactured, the proportions of the one and the other being indeterminable. Among those that must be considered genuine is the conversation between Octavius and Lucius Antonius, preceding the surrender of Perusia,26 as the author expressly says that he has translated it from the Memoirs of the former.
Dr. Hannak deals only with the Excerpta. He takes them up seriatim and points out their sources, or what might have been their sources, in earlier writings now extant. For the first and second books he finds Dionysius of Halicarnassus the principal authority, a few passages being found in the pages of Diodorus Siculus. For the third (Samnite) book a few resemblances are found in Dionysius, but the greater number in Livy. In the fourth (Celtic) book Diodorus seems to be the principal authority, with one or two references to Csar. The Sicilian excerpta seem to have been mainly derived from Polybius, one being referable to the Epitome of Livy. The few Numidian fragments find striking resemblances in Sallust's Jugurthine War. Dr. Hannak thinks that King Juba's history may have furnished Appian with some of his material here. The Macedonian fragments are referable to Polybius and Livy. It is, of course, an open question whether Appian drew his materials from the sources where these resemblances are found, or from books now lost which were the common sources of Dionysius, Diodorus, and Livy, and of himself. I have compared all of Dr. Hannak's citations without being able to form any decided opinion on this question, except as to Polybius, and here my opinion is based on the fact already mentioned that Polybius is once quoted by Appian as an authority. In the fragmenta of Diodorus are several paragraphs which have a striking resemblance to passages in Appian's Spanish and Hannibalic books.
There have been two English translations of Appian, more or less complete, before this one, the first by W. B., in 1578, the second by J. D., in 1679. The former is in old English black-letter, and is not easy to read. It contains the five books of the Civil Wars, followed by a continuation written by the translator himself, bringing the history down to the death of Antony. A second part contains the Preface, the Mithridatic, Spanish, Punic, Syrian, Parthian, and Illyrian wars entire, and the Celtic epitome, and in that order. It does not contain the Hannibalic war. The matter is the same as that contained in the Latin version of Geslen, but not in the same order. As the Illyrian wars had not yet been published in Greek, it follows that W. B. must have translated this book from the Latin version of Candidus. Inspection shows this to be the fact, but it does not show that the remainder was translated from Geslen. I do not know who W. B. was.27
The translation of 1679 was made by a certain John Davies. It was published in folio, and a second edition was issued in 1690, but this seems to have been the unsold portion of the first, as it is identical with it in every particular except the title page. A third edition was published in 1703, but I have never seen a copy of it. It contains the Punic, Syrian, Parthian, Mithridatic, Illyrian, Spanish, and Hannibalic wars and the five books of the Civil Wars. Whatever may be said of Mr. Davies's knowledge of Greek, his use of English was very bad. M. Combes-Dounous, the French translator of the Civil Wars (1808), alludes to the translation of Davies in his preface thus: "While I was engaged in translating this historian, I had occasion to speak of him in the presence of an English lady quite well versed in ancient literature. This lady assured me that there was an English translation of Appian in existence. I begged her to try to procure a copy of it for me on her return to
London. In fact she took the trouble of searching for it in the great bookstore of Lackington, who declared that he knew of this translation, and added that it had been published under the name of the celebrated Dryden, who had had no share in it, but had allowed the obscure author of it to use his name to give his work some reputation and lustre. Lackington had promised to procure a copy of this translation, but the war which has broken out has prevented my gathering the fruit of this promise. Besides, this work must surely be quite rare even in England, since neither Fabricius nor Harles knew anything about it."
The first translation of Appian into a modern language was made by Alexander Braccio into Italian. It was published in two parts, the first at Rome in 1502, and the second at Florence in 1519. This was merely a translation of the Latin version of Candidus, but like its original it was immensely popular and ran through many editions in the course of the two following centuries. Two other Italian translations of parts of Appian were published in the sixteenth century -- that of Dolce in 1559, and that of Ruscelli in 1563.
The first French translation was made by Claude de Seyssel, Bishop of Marseilles. This also was made from the Latin version of Candidus. Its subsequent amendment, and its publication in 1544, after the death of Seyssel, are mentioned in Professor Mendelssohn's essay which follows this preface. A second edition was published in 1552, and a third in 1569. The latter contained a translation of the Spanish and Hannibalic books made by Philippe des Avennelles. A new French translation was made by Odet Philippe Desmares and published in 1659. I have never seen this work. J. J. Combes-Dounous, the third French translator, says that Desmares only revamped the French version of Seyssel with the help of the Latin version of Geslen. Combes-Dounous translated the Civil Wars only, in 1808. This is a scholarly work, abounding in valuable notes. Its only defect consists in using rather more words than are needed to convey the author's meaning. Combes-Dounous divided the books of the Civil Wars into chapters to avoid the appearance of heaviness, and put chapter-headings over each. Schweighuser had previously divided the whole of Appian into short sections. I have followed the example of Combes-Dounous as to all the books.
Other translations of Appian in modern tongues are mentioned in the Bibliography.
I have been engaged upon this translation for five years, in the intervals of more pressing occupations, and it has been at all times a pleasure and a recreation. If the work has been fairly well done, I shall consider it worth while to have drawn attention again to an author who has fallen into undeserved neglect. I think that all the precious memorials of antiquity ought to be accessible in English. The fact that any literary work propagated itself for more than a thousand years through the Dark Ages by the toilsome process of copying by hand is pretty good evidence that it is worth reading in a modern tongue. Appian deals with the most momentous events of the ancient world, and his work can never be lost sight of while men continue to take an interest in Roman history.
I have adhered to the old fashion of using the names Pompey and Antony, instead of Pompeius and Antonius, in order to avoid confusion with the names of Sextus Pompeius and Lucius Antonius, which are of frequent occurrence. For the same reason I have used the name Octavius for the adopted son and heir of Julius Csar, although Appian generally gives him the name of Csar after the death of the latter. In using the names of the gods in the old mythologies I have employed the Greek ones where they are
applicable in Greek countries, and the Latin ones elsewhere.
I have used the text of Mendelssohn (Teubner edition) generally, but with constant reference to that of the Didot edition, and to that of Schweighuser.
I owe hearty thanks to my friend Theodore Lyman Wright, Professor of Greek Literature and Art in Beloit College, for revising my work and correcting inaccuracies inevitable in the work of an amateur, and for numerous suggestions for bettering the phraseology. I desired to make a more ample recognition of Professor Wright's service than these lines convey, but he declined it.
My thanks are due to Father Ehrle, the Librarian of the Vatican, for permission extended to me, during a recent visit at Rome, to take photographs of specimen pages of the two oldest MSS. of Appian, for reproduction in this work. The one facing the Author's Preface bears the stamp of the Bibliothque Nationale of Paris, which shows that it was a part of the plunder carried away by the first Napoleon and restored after the Congress of Vienna.
The portraits used as illustrations were in part selected by myself at Rome and in part contributed from Duruy's History by the generosity of the American publishers of that work, Messrs. Dana Estes & Co., Boston. The maps, with one exception, are from Shuckburgh's History of Rome, by permission of the publishers, who are also the publishers of this work. I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. Strachan-Davidson and the Oxford University Press, the publisher of his Selections from Polybius, for permission to use his plan of the battle of Cann; also to Messrs Longmans, Green & Co. for permission to use the diagram of the harbor of Carthage contained in Mr. Bosworth Smith's Carthage and the Carthaginians.
NEW YORK, August, 1899.