The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Atticus



power. The loss of the works of Atticus renders it impossible for us to form an independent opinion, and even if they had come down to us, it is doubt­ful whether we could judge of them as favourably as the ancients did ; for we know, that although he did not neglect the study of the best Attic orators, yet he took Critias as his great model. Among his numerous works the following only are specified by the ancients : 1. Aoyot auTO(r%e5iOi, or speeches which he had delivered extempore. 2. AmAe|6iS, treatises or dialogues, one of which was probably the one mentioned in the Etymologicum Magnum (5. v. apffT]^ Trepl yd^ov (rv{j.6iwff€ws. 3. 'E^Tj/x-eptSes1, or diaries. 4. 'ETncrroAcu'. All these works are now lost. There exists an oration Trepl TroAtretas, in which the Thebans are called upon to join the Pe-loponnesians in preparing for war against Archelaus, king of Macedonia, and which has come down to ' us under the name of Atticus Herodes. But the genuineness of this declamation is very doubtful; at any rate it has very little of the character which the ancients attribute to the oratory of Atticus. The " Defensio Palamedis," a declamation usually ascribed to Gorgias the Sophist, has lately been at­tributed to Atticus Herodes by H. E. Foss in his dissertation De Gorgia Leontino, &c. Halae, 1828, 8vo. p. 100, &c. ; but his arguments are not satis­factory. The declamation Trzpl TroTuretas is printed in the collections of the Greek orators, and also by R. Fiorillo in his Herodis Attici quae super sunt^ admonitionibus illustr., Leipzig, 1801, 8vo., which work contains a good account of the life of Atticus Herodes. (Compare Philostratus, Vit. Soph. ii. 1; Suicl. s. v. 'Hpco5?]s; Westermann, Gesch. der Griech. Beredtsamk. § 90.)

At the beginning of the sixteenth century, 1607, two small columns with inscriptions, and two others of Pentelic marble with Greek inscriptions, were discovered on the site of the ancient Triopium, the country seat of Atticus, about three miles from Rome. The two former are not of much importance, but the two latter are of considerable interest. They are written in hexameter verse, the one consisting of thirty-nine and the other of fifty-nine lines. Some have thought, that Atticus himself was the author of these versified inscriptions ; but at the head of one of them there appears the name Map/ceAAou, and, as the style and diction of the other closely resemble that of the former, it has been inferred, that both are the productions of Marcellus of Sida, a poet and physician who lived in the reign of M. Aurelius. These inscriptions, which are known by the name of the Triopian in­ scriptions, have often been printed and discussed, as by Visconti (Inscrizioni grecclie Triopee, con 'versioni ed osservazioni, Rome, 1794, fol.), Fiorillo (I. c.), in Brunck's Analecta. (ii. 302), and in the Greek Anthology. (Append. 50 and 51, ed. Tauch- nitz.) [L. S.]

ATTICUS, NUME'RIUS, a senator and a man of praetorian rank, who swore that after the death of Augustus he saw the emperor ascending up to heaven. (Dion Cass. Ivi. 46 ; Suet. Aug. 100.)

ATTICUS, a platonic philosopher, lived in the second century of the Christian era, under the emperor M. Aurelius. (Syncell. vol. i. p. 666, ed. Dindorf.) Eusebius has preserved (Pra&p. Ev. xv. 4—9? &c.) some extracts from his works, in which he defends the Platonic philosophy against Aristotle. Porphyry (Vit. Plotin. c. 14) makes mention of the uTro^^uara of a Platonic Atticus,


but they may have been written by Herodes Atticus.

ATTICUS, T. POMPO'NIUS, was born at Rome, b. c. 109, three years before Cicero, and was descended from one of the most an­cient equestrian families in the state. His proper name after his adoption by Q. Caecilius, the brother of his mother, was Q. Caecilius Q. F. Pomponianus Atticus, by which name Cicero ad­dressed him when he congratulated him on his acces­sion to the inheritance of his uncle. (Ad Att. iii. 20.) His surname, Atticus, was probably given him on account of his long residence in Athens and his intimate acquaintance with .the Greek lan­guage and literature.

His father, T. Pomponius, was a man of culti­vated mind; and as he possessed considerable pro­perty, he gave his son a liberal education. He was educated along with L. Torquatus, the younger C. Marius, and M. Cicero, and was distinguished above all his school-fellows by the rapid progress which he made in his studies. His father died when he was still young; and shortty after his father's death the first civil war broke out. Atticus was connected by ties both of affinity and friend­ship with the Marian party; for his cousin Anicia had married the brother of the tribune, P. Sulpicius Rufus, one of the chief opponents of Sulla, and Atticus himself was a personal friend of his old school-fellow, the younger Marius. He resolved, however, to take no part in the contest, and ac­cordingly withdrew to Athens in B. c. 85, with the greater part of his moveable property, under the pretext of prosecuting his studies. The de­termination which he came to on this occasion, he steadily adhered to for the rest of his life. Con­tented with his equestrian rank, he abstained from suing for public honours, and would not mix himself up with any of the political parties into which all classes were divided for the next fifty years. But notwithstanding this, he lived on the most intimate terms with the most distinguish­ed men of all parties; and there seems to have been a certain charm in his manners and conver­sation which captivated all who had intercourse with him. Though he had assisted the younger Marius with money in his flight, Sulla was so much pleased with him on his visit to Athens in b. c. 84, after the Mithridatic war, that he wished to take him with him to Rome ; and on Atticus desiring to remain in Athens, Sulla presented him with all the presents he had received during his stay in that city. Atticus enjoyed also the friend­ship of Caesar and Pompey, Brutus and Cassius, Antony and Octavianus. But the most intimate of all his friends was Cicero, whose correspondence with him, beginning in the year b. c. 68 and con­tinued down to Cicero's death, supplies us with various particulars respecting the life of Atticus, the most important of which are given in the article cicero. Atticus did not return to Rome till b. c. 65, when political affairs had become more settled; and the day of his departure was one of general mourning among the Athenians, whom he had assisted with loans of money, and benefited in various ways. During his residence at Athens, he purchased an estate at Buthrotum in Epeirus, in which place, as well as at Athens and afterwards at Rome, he spent the greater part of his time, engaged in literary pursuits and commercial under­takings. He died in b. c. 32, at the age of 77, of

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of