Appian and the Romans

Appian and the Romans

A Conference at the University of Sydney
5–7 July 2010

Venue: The Centre for Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies of Australia (CCANESA) at the University of Sydney

Dr Kathryn Welch



The Conference

“Who I am, who have written these things, many indeed know, and I have already indicated. To speak more plainly I am Appian of Alexandria, having reached the highest place in my native country, and having been, in Rome, a pleader of causes before the emperors, until they deemed me worthy of being made their procurator. ” (Appian, Preface, 15)

Appianus of Alexandria, historian, imperial official and friend of important Romans, was born in Alexandria in AD 95 but lived for much of his life in the Rome of Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161).

We know little more of Appian’s life than what he tells us in his preface. His autobiography was lost along with significant parts of his work. But much survives, providing scholars of Roman History with some of their most important evidence. Organised by region and by campaign, Appian treated the ‘civil’ and ‘foreign’ wars of the Romans at length. For the period 42-35 he provides our most detailed ancient record, as he does for parts of Rome’s campaigns in Spain in the second century and Illyria in the first.

For generations Appian was written off as a mere ‘compiler’ but he has recently become the subject of significant attention. New critical editions of his works have been published and more are to follow. Our conference aims to bring together several strands of scholarship in order to provide an overall assessment of his contribution to our knowledge of the past. We warmly invite proposals to speak on works other than the Bella Civilia though we expect and hope for extensive treatment of this critically important text.

The University of Sydney is pleased to host the conference which will be held from 5-7 July 2010.


The Series: Ancient Historians and Ancient Rome

In 2007 Dr Eleanor Cowan of the University of Leicester, Dr Kathryn Welch of the University of Sydney and Dr Anton Powell, founding editor of the Classical Press of Wales, joined forces to plan a series of conferences examining the key authors of Roman History whose work was in need of wider examination. The series was launched in 2008 by Dr Cowan with a conference on the early Imperial author Velleius Paterculus. The papers from that conference are currently being prepared for publication. Professor John Rich has proposed a third, on Cassius Dio, in Nottingham in 2012. Our conference will be the second in this series.


Speakers and Proposed Topics

Kavita Ayer (Macquarie) ‘Representations of the Roman People in Appian’s Civil Wars I-II’

Kai Brodersen (Erfurt Universität) ‘Appian and Eutychia

James Chlup (Manitoba University) ‘Appian on M. Licinius Crassus’

Eleanor Cowan (Sydney) ‘Appian on Deceit’

Danijel Dzino (Macquarie University) ‘From political imagination to provincial space: Appian’s Illyrike as the final stage of the Roman construction of Illyricum’

Daniel Gargola (University of Kentucky) ‘Appian on the Province of Africa’

Bronwyn Hopwood (University of New England) ‘Hortensia Speaks: On Saving the State and Utilitas in the Mundus Muliebris

Trevor Mahy (St Andrews) ‘Crowd scenes in Appian’s Civil Wars’

Hannah Mitchell (St Andrews) ‘Appian on monarchia

Josiah Osgood (Georgetown) ‘Breviarium totius imperii: the Background to Appian’s Roman History’

Luke Pitcher (University of Durham) ‘The Loves of Appian’

Anton Powell (Classical Press of Wales) ‘Appian and the defence of Augustus’

John Rich (University of Nottingham) ‘Appian and Roman Imperialism’

Tom Stevenson (University of Queensland) ‘Appian’s presentation of the Pharsalus campaign’

Martin Stone (University of Sydney) ‘Tiberius Gracchus and the ethne of Italy’

Fiona Tweedie (University of Sydney) ‘Appian’s characterisation of Scipio Aemilianus’

Kathryn Welch (University of Sydney) ‘Appian and C. Cassius Longinus: whose ideology?’

Click here to download the draft programme (PDF)


Conference Sponsors

The University of Sydney
The Faculty of Arts, The University of Sydney
The School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
The Department of Classics and Ancient History

The Australasian Society for Classical Studies

The Classical Association of New South Wales