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Attĭcus, T. Pomponius

A Roman of an old and wealthy equestrian family, born B.C. 109. He received a good education in boyhood and youth, and went in the year B.C. 88 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. Caecilius. He now became Q. Caecilius 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 B.C. 32.

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 magistrates, with contemporaneous notices. 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 copying the writings of his contemporaries. In philosophy, he was an Epicurean. The fragments of the Liber Annalis will be found in Peter, Hist. Frag. 214.

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