Appians Basiliké, Italiké, Sikeliké: new edition, translation and commentary


FWF-Project
P26345(02/2014 – 01/2017)

Project leader
Andreas Hofeneder

The objective of the project is to provide a new edition, complete with translation and comprehensive commentary, of Appian’s Basiliké, Italiké and Sikelikè kaì nesiotiké. These three fragmentarily preserved books are the only ones of the Rhomaïká for which no commentaries have yet been published. On the one hand, the pre-project of the applicant on Appian’s Keltiké, funded by the FWF (Austrian Science Fund), shall be continued and on the other hand the last large gap in the scientific research about Appian shall be closed.

These books, representing part of the work of the Alexandrian historian, cover the regal period, the early Republic and the history of Roman conquests of the Mediterranean islands. Due to the fragmentary condition of the three books, as well as the negative judgment towards Appian as historian (the effects of which can still be felt today), even ancient history research has devoted too little attention to these texts. This is a mistake, because Appian provides in the fragments much valuable information which is either undocumented elsewhere or differs significantly to those traditions handed down by other authors (like Polybius, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Livy etc.). A new edition is necessary because the last critical edition, still current even today, of Viereck & Roos shows significant deficits. On the one hand, three fragments are missing which have since been recognized as belonging to the first two books of Appian, and on the other hand, there are four fragments assigned to the Basiliké (Bas. FF 10–13) which most likely belong to the Italiké.

The projected edition shall be divided into two main parts, an introduction and the commentary itself. The introduction shall cover in detail the complex problems of the secondary tradition (excerpta Constantiniana, Suda, Photios, codex Parisinus graec. Suppl. 607 A, Lexikon perì syntáxeos). Furthermore, conjectures about the content of the lost parts of these books shall be offered. The formal commentary shall contain the Greek text of each fragment and a self-composed German translation. Subsequently, an evaluation of each fragment with consideration of all ancient parallel evidence, as well as the extensive modern secondary literature, will be made. The question of sources and the historic context of each individual fragment shall be treated in detail. Further, similarities to and deviations from other literary tradition shall be elaborated on in order to determine Appian’s position within the historiographic traditions. The aim of the commentary is to provide historians as well as philologists all the information necessary for an understanding of the fragments.

The projected book shall fulfill not only a desideratum of research about Appian, but shall also contribute to a clearer understanding of Byzantine epitomisation, as well as to a proper treatment of fragmentarily transmitted historiography. Not least, historical research on the Roman monarchy and Republic will benefit from this work, as it shall make a thus far underestimated and neglected source accessible.