Titus Pomponius Atticus

Titus Pomponius Atticus (109-32 B.C.), Roman literary patron. He was born in Rome of a wealthy family, one of the most distinguished of the equites (knights). About 88 B.C., while still a young man, he moved to Athens to avoid the civil warfare between Sulla and Marius in Italy, and there lived the life of an Epicurean philosopher, devoting himself to study. His surname derives from this long residence in Attica. When peace was restored to Rome he returned there in 65 B.C., inheriting ten million sesterces from his miserly uncle, Quintus Caecilius. His house on the Quirinal became a literary gathering place.

Atticus, adhering to his policy of personal political neutrality, became and remained the riend of such diverse figures as Caesar, Pompey, Brutus, Cassius, Marcus Antonius, and Octavian, but his closest friend was Cicero, whose brother, Quintus Cicero, married Pomponia, the sister of Atticus.

Atticus wrote several works, including a history of Cicero's consulship, none of which have been preserved. In 32 B.C. he was seized with an illness he believed to be incurable, and starved himself to death. A panegyrical biography of Atticus by Cornelius Nepos survives, as well as Cicero's Letters to Atticus.

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