Historian, philosopher, and general, Arrian was born into a wealthy Greek family in Nicomedia, in Asia Minor. He was a pupil and friend of the philosopher Epictetus, whose lectures he published at Athens. For six years, from 131 to 137, he served as governor of Cappadocia under the emperor Hadrian. It was during this time that he successfully drove back invading Alans. Arrian wrote several geographical and historical works, including the Indica, an account of a voyage to India. He is best known, however, as author of the Anabasis. A much praised and valuable account of the life of Alexander the Great, it is based on the writings of Ptolemy I and Aristobulus, two of Alexander's generals. He modeled the work on Anabasis of Xenophon. Arrian died at an advanced age during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.