Calati'nus, A. Ati'lius
a distinguished Roman general in the first Punic war, who was twice consul and once dictator. His first consulship falls in B. C. 258, when he obtained Sicily as his province, according to Polybius (1.24
), together with his colleague C. Sulpicius Paterculus but according to other authorities alone, to conduct the war against the Carthaginians.
He first took the town of Hippana, and afterwards the strongly fortified Myttistratum, which he laid in ashes. (Zonar. 8.11
, where he is erroneously called Latinus instead of Calatinus.) Immediately after he attacked Camarina, but during the siege he fell into an ambush, and would have perished with his army, had it not been for the generous exertions of a tribune who is commonly called Calpurnius Flamma, though his name is not the same in all authorities. (Liv. Epit. 17
; Plin. Nat. 22.6
; Oros. 4.8
; Florus, 2.2.13
, who erroneously calls Atilius Calatinus dictator ; Aurel. Vict. De Vir. Illustr.
39; Gel. 3.7
; Frontin. Stratag.
After his escape from this danger, he conquered Camarina, Enna, Drepanum, and other places, which had till then been in the possession of the Carthaginians. Towards the close of the year he made an attack upon Lipara, where the operations were continued by his successor. On his return to Rome he was honoured with a triumph. In B. C. 254 he was invested with the consulship a second time. Shortly before this event the Romans had lost nearly their whole fleet in a storm off cape Pachynum, but Atilius Calatinus and his colleague Cn. Cornelius Scipio Asina built a new fleet of 220 ships in the short space of three months, and both the consuls then sailed to Sicily.
The main event of that year was the capture of Panormus. (Plb. 1.38
; Zonar. 8.14
.) In B. C. 249 Atilius Calatinus was appointed dictator for the purpose of carrying on the war in Sicily in the place of Claudius Glycia.
But nothing of importance was accomplished during his dictatorship, which is remarkable only for being the first instance in Roman history of a dictator commanding an army out of Italy. (Liv. Epit. 19
; Suet. Tib. 2
; Zonar. 8.15
; D. C. 36.17
.) Several years later, in B. C. 241, he was chosen as mediator between the proconsul C. Lutatius Catulus and the praetor Q. Valerius, to decide which of the two had the right to claim a triumph, and he decided in favour of the proconsul. (V. Max. 2.8.2
.) Beyond the fact that he built a temple of Spes nothing further is known about him. (Cic. De Leg.
2.11, De Nat. Deor.
2.23; Tac. Ann. 2.49
; comp. Liv. 24.47
.) A. Atilius Calatinus was a man highly esteemed both by his contemporaries and by posterity, and his tomb was adorned with the inscription " unum hune plurimae consentiunt gentes populi primarium fuisse." (Cic. De Senect.
17, De Finib.
2.35, pro Planc.