Arrian

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Lucius Flavius Arrianus 'Xenophon' (ca. 86 - 160), known in English as Arrian (Ἀρριανός), and Arrian of Nicomedia, was a Roman (ethnic Greek)[3] historian, public servant, a military commander and a philosopher of the 2nd-century Roman period. As with other authors of the Second Sophistic, Arrian wrote primarily in Attic (Indica is in Herodotus' Ionic dialect, his philosophical works in Koine Greek) . His works preserve the philosophy of Epictetus, and include the Anabasis of Alexander, an important account of Alexander the Great, as well as the Indica a description of Nearchus' voyage from India following Alexander's conquest, and other short works. He is not to be confused with the Athenian military leader and author, Xenophon from the 4th century BC, whose best-known work was also titled Anabasis. Arrian is generally considered one of the best sources on the campaigns of Alexander as well as one of the founders of a primarily military-based focus on history.

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Arrian's life

Arrian was born of Greek ethnicity[4][5][6] in the coastal town of Nicomedia (present-day Izmit), the capital of the Roman province of Bithynia[7], in what is now north-western Turkey, about 70 km from Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul). He studied philosophy in Nicopolis in Epirus, under the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, and wrote two books about the philosopher's teachings. At the same time he entered the Imperial service, and served as a junior adviser on the consilium of Gaius Avidius Nigrinus, governor of Achaea and a close friend of the future Emperor Hadrian, around 111-114. Very little is known about his subsequent career - though it is probable that he served in Gaul and on the Danube frontier, and possible that he was in Baetica and Parthia - until he held the office of Consul in 129 or 130. In 131 he was appointed governor of the Black Sea province of Cappadocia and commander of the Roman legions on the frontier with Armenia. It was unusual at this time for a Greek to hold such high military command.

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