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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Appian \Ap"pi*an\,

  1. [L. Appius, Appianus.] Of or pertaining to Appius.

    Appian Way, the great paved highway from ancient Rome trough Capua to Brundisium, now Brindisi, constructed partly by Appius Claudius, about 312

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Appian of Alexandria (; Appianòs Alexandreús; ; ) was a Roman historian of Greek origin who flourished during the reigns of Emperors of Rome Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.

He was born c. 95 in Alexandria. After having filled the chief offices in the province of Aegyptus (Egypt), he went to Rome c. 120, where he practised as an advocate, pleading cases before the emperors (probably as advocatus fisci), that in 147 at the earliest he was appointed to the office of procurator, probably in Egypt, on the recommendation of his friend Marcus Cornelius Fronto, a well-known litterateur. Because the position of procurator was open only to members of the equestrian order (the "knightly" class), his possession of this office tells us about Appian's family background.

His principal surviving work (Ῥωμαικά Rhomaiká, known in Latin as Historia Romana and in English as Roman History) was written in Greek in 24 books, before 165. This work more closely resembles a series of monographs than a connected history. It gives an account of various peoples and countries from the earliest times down to their incorporation into the Roman Empire, and survives in complete books and considerable fragments. The work is very valuable, especially for the period of the civil wars.

The Civil Wars, five of the later books in the corpus, concern mainly the end of the Roman Republic and take a conflict-based approach to history.

Appian (disambiguation)

Appian (Αππιανός) was a Roman historian. Appian may also refer to:

  • St. Appian, 4th-century martyr


  • Appian Way (Via Appia), an important ancient Roman road, constructed by Appius Claudius Caecus
  • Appian Way, Burwood, Sydney, street in the suburb of Burwood in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


  • Appian Graphics, supplier of multi-monitor graphics accelerators
  • Appian Publications & Recordings, British company specialising in the restoration and re-issue of early recordings of classical music
  • Appian Technology, previously called ZyMOS Corporation, a semiconductor manufacturing company in Sunnyvale, California

See also

  • Appia (disambiguation)
  • Apian (disambiguation)

Usage examples of "appian".

My tomb on the bank of the Tiber reproduces, on a gigantic scale, the ancient vaults of the Appian Way, but its very proportions transform it, recalling Ctesiphon and Babylon with their terraces and towers by which man seeks to climb nearer the stars.

O but the dark evening in the Appian way I nearly spoke to Mrs Clinch O thinking she was.

I saw the Forum, or what was left of it, and the Appian Way, and the Coliseum, looking like a mouse-eaten cheese.

The only thing he ever did for Rome was to aim at a child on the Appian Way and run him over.

Then Sabinus bade them all good-bye and led Silvanus safely to the Appian Way, where they parted.

Two days later Ior rather my colleaguehands over the ransom money down the Appian Way and recovers the picture.

And if you think I could get from a classroom in Siena to the Appian Way in under two hours, you have a higher estimation of my poor old car than it deserves.

Below, on either side, the ancient sepulchral monuments that lined the Appian Way sped by in a blur of indistinct form.

When the Holmes house was taken down, he went to live with an old domestic in a small house on the street amusingly called Appian Way.

Hal is mentally strolling down the Appian Way in bright Eurosunlight, eating a cannoli, twirling his Dunlop racquets by the throats like six-shooters, enjoying the sunshine and cranial silence and a normal salivary flow.

This was a modern district of residences, shops, and businesses, just off the Via Cristoforo Colombo, a broad, traffic-heavy avenue that snaked south from the center of Rome, running roughly parallel to the ancient Appian Way.

Or embassies from regions far remote, In various habits, on the Appian road, Or on the AEmilian--some from farthest south, Syene, and where the shadow both way falls, 70 Meroe, Nilotic isle, and, more to west, The realm of Bocchus to the Blackmoor sea.

Captains Gris and Bleu, dressed in tight-fitting police uniforms, stood erect and motionless behind the trunks of two Appian maples on opposite sides of the winding road motionless except for their right hands, which they flexed at their sides, thumbs caressing the short hollow needles that protruded from the inverted rings.

As soon as Belisarius had fortified his new conquests, Naples and Cumae, he advanced about twenty miles to the banks of the Vulturnus, contemplated the decayed grandeur of Capua, and halted at the separation of the Latin and Appian ways.

  As soon as Belisarius had fortified his new conquests, Naples and Cumae, he advanced about twenty miles to the banks of the Vulturnus, contemplated the decayed grandeur of Capua, and halted at the separation of the Latin and Appian ways.