Taken from Appian's Roman History, the five books collected here form the sole surviving continuous historical narrative of the era between 133 and 35 BC - a time of anarchy and instability for the Roman Empire. A masterly account of a turbulent epoch, they describe the Catiline conspiracy; the rise and fall of the First Triumvirate; the murder of Julius Caesar; the formation of the Second Triumvirate by Antonius, Octavian and Lepidus; and brutal civil war. A compelling depiction of the decline of the Roman state into brutality and violence, The Civil Wars portrays political discontent, selfishness and the struggle for power - a struggle that was to culminate in a titanic battle for mastery over the Roman Empire, and the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra by Octavian in 31 BC. John Carter's modern translation conveys the compelling style of the original. His extensive introduction provides an in-depth assessment of Appian as historian and places the work in context.