The Ancient Library

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On this page: Atticus – Attis – Attius – Atys – Auge – Augeas or Augias – Augures



a number of writers (AtthidSgrdphi), among whom Androtion and Phil5ch6rus (g.v.) deserve special mention. These writings were much quoted by the grammarians.

Attlcus. (1) T. Pomponius. A Roman of an old and wealthy equestrian family, born 109 b.c. He received a good education in ; boyhood and youth, and went in the year 88 B.C. to Athens, where he lived until 65, devoting himself entirely to study, and much respected by the citizens for his generosity and cultivated refinement. In 65 he returned to Rome, to take possession of the inherit­ance left him by his uncle and adoptive father, Q. Csecilius. He now became Q. Csecilius Pomponianus. From this time onward he lived on terms of intimacy with men like Cicero, Hortensius, and Cornelius Nepos, who wrote a life of him which we still possess. He avoided public life and the strife of parties. This fact, in addition to his general amiability and good nature, enabled him during the civil wars to keep on the best of terms with the leaders of the conflicting parties, Cicero, Brutus, and Antonius. He died after a painful illness, of voluntary starvation, in the year 32 b.c.

Atticus was the author of several works, the most considerable of which was a history (liber annalis) dedicated to Cicero. This gave a short epitome of the bare events of Roman history down to b.c. 54, arranged | according to the series of consuls and other I magistrates, with contemporaneous notices. I But his most important contribution to . Latin literature was his edition of the letters which he had received from Cicero. He also did great service by setting his numerous slaves to work at copying the writings of his contemporaries.

(2) Herodes Atticus. See heeodes.

Attis (or Atys). A mythical personage in the worship of the Phrygian goddess Cybele-Agdistis. The son of this goddess, so ran the story, had been mutilated by the gods in terror at his gigantic strength, and from his blood sprang the almond-tree. : After eating its fruit, Nana, daughter of the river Sangarius, brought forth a boy, whom she exposed. He was brought up first among the wild goats of the forests, and afterwards by some shepherds, and grew up so beautiful that Agdistis fell in love with him. Wishing to wed the daughter of the king of Pesslnus in Phrygia, he was driven to madness by the goddess. He then fled to the mountains, and destroyed his manhood at the foot of a pine-tree, which received his spirit, while ;

from his blood sprang violets to garland the tree. Agdistis besought Zeus that the body of her beloved one might know no corruption. Her prayer was heard ; a tomb to Attis was raised on Mount Dindymus in the sanctuary of Cybele, the priests of which had to undergo emasculation for Attis' sake. A festival of several days was held in honour of Attis and Cybele in the beginning of spring. A pine-tree, felled in the forest, was covered with violets, and carried to the shrine of Cybele, as a symbol of the departed Attis. Then, amid tumultuous music, and rites of wildest sorrow, they sought and mourned for Attis on the mountains. On the third day he was found again, the image of the goddess was purified from the contagion of death, and a feast of joy was celebrated, as wild as had been the days of sorrow.

Attius. See accids.

Atys. See attis.

Auge. Daughter of Aleus of Tegea, and mother of Telephus by Heracles.

Augeas or Augias. (Gr. Augeias in verse, Augeas in prose). Son of Helios, or, accord­ing to another account, of Phorbas, and Herinione. He was king of the Epeians in Elis, and one of the Argonauts. Besides his other possessions, for which Agamemnon and Trophonius built him a treasure-house, he was the owner of an enormous flock of sheep and oxen, among which were twelve white bulls, consecrated to the Sun. When Heracles, at the command of Eurystheus, came to cleanse his farmyard, Augeas pro­mised him the tenth part of his flock. But, the task completed, he refused the reward, on the ground that the work had been done in the service of Eurystheus. Heracles replied by sending an army against him, which was defeated in the passes of Elis by Eurytus and Cteatus, sons of MolISne. But Heracles appeared on the scene, and slew the Molifinidae, and with them their uncle Augeas and his sons. (See molionid^e.)

Augures [not probably, from avis, a bird, but from a lost word, aug-o, to tell; so " declarers " or " tellers "]. A priestly collegium at Rome, the establishment of which was traditionally ascribed to Ro­mulus. Its members were in possession of the knowledge necessary to make the arrangements for taking the auspices, and for their interpretation when taken. Their assistance was called in on all those oc­casions on which the State had to assure itself, through auspices, of the approval of the gods. The collegium originally con-

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