Il tragico e il paradossale: le proscrizioni dei triumviri nella Storia romana di Appiano


  • Fabio Guidetti

Parole chiave:

Ancient Greek historiography, Tragic history, Paradoxography, Appian, Aristotle, Polybius


The article examines the section devoted to the individual stories of the triumviral proscriptions (43-42 BC) in book 4 of Appian’s Civil Wars, with a focus on its structure, the use of the sources, and the narrative techniques deployed by the author. The analysis interprets this section in the light of two trends typical of Greek historiographical writing, namely the so-called ‘tragic history’ and the paradoxical literature, showing Appian’s mastery of these narrative tools, as well as
his engagement with the Greek historiographical and philosophical reflections of the Classical and Hellenistic period, from Thucydides to Aristotle and Polybius. The results demonstrate that the section on the triumviral proscriptions should not be seen as a mere digression with respect to the main body of Appian’s historical arrative, but rather as an integral part of it. The aim of the section was to present the readers with a sequence of individual stories which, although undoubtedly theatrical and paradoxical, were nonetheless described as truthful.