dinsdag 1 december 2009

Titus Pomponius Atticus

Titus Pomponius Atticus, born in 109 B.C., lost his father in 88 or earlier,
but not later than the autumn of 86 B.C.

In 58 B.C. he became by way of a testamentary adoption son and heir to Q.Caecilius, an uncle on his mother’s side, making his official designation, Q.Caecilius Pomponianus Attica.

“L.Lucullus (Ponticus), who married Servilia’s sister was not only the friend and benefactor but also the prospective heir of Atticus’ uncle Caecilius. History does not tell Lucullus reactions to the scandalous discovery in 58 that Caecilius had in fact left his millions (ca. 10 mill.) and name to his nephew instead of to his noble patron. Public reprobation of Caecilius’ duplicity was such that they dragged his body through the streets.” (Valerius Max. VII.8, 5)

On December 2th, 56 B.C. Atticus wedded a certain young lady named Pilia, who bore him in 51 a daughter, Caecilia Attica.

In 47 Atticus published his Annali containing the names of every curule magistrate of each year, the laws, peace treaties, wars, and the genealogies of famous countrymen. On request of Marcus Brutus he wrote a genealogy on the Junii Bruti including their magistracies and dates. On request of Claudius Marcellus he did the same for the Marcelli, ditto for Cornelius Scipio (Scipio Africanus minor, an Aemili by birth), Fabius Maximus and the Aemilii.

He was the life-long friend, and publisher of Cicero’s volumeminous work. Of their correspondency during many years only Cicero’s letters have come down to us, thanks to his secretary and freedman, Tiro.

When his friend was murdered in 43 by the triumviri he obviously bore no hard feelings toward those responsible for his friend’s death for he remained on friendly terms with his murderers for the rest of his life. So much so that in about 37 he gave his daughter in wedlock to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa: friend, general, consul, future son-in-law, co-ruler and designated successor of Augustus.

In 42, when Atticus was 67, his mother died at the age of 90 years, which should make her date of birth about 132 B.C.

Atticus’ adagium was: Tranquillitati serviebat (peace of mind).
During the Civil Wars and all the political feuds he stayed strictly neutral in each and every conflict and from time to time subsidized both sides indiscriminately.
He had however through his large fortune and many connections great indirect influence.

Atticus owned a house on the Quirinalis built by Tamphilus, which was left to him by his uncle. Furthermore, since 68, an estate in Epirus near Buthrotum on the coast opposite Corfu. Also properties at Arretium and Nomentum.

Atticus died on March 31th, 32 B.C., three months after his 77th birthday.
Attended on his deathbed were his son-in-law Agrippa, L.Cornelius Balbus, and Sex.Peducaeus.

He was buried in the tomb of his uncle on mothers
side, Q.Caecilius, on the Via Appia
near the 5e mile stone.

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