(Titus Pomponius Atticus)

109–32 BC

Pomponius Atticus is well known mainly because he was a close correspondent of Cicero. Hundreds of his personal letters have been preserved that give important insights into the history of the times. He is an interesting character in that he went to great lengths to avoid the political strifes of the time, by moving himself and all of his assets to Greece, and striving to stay on good terms with all parties. He is called Atticus because of his long residence in Greece. It is also because of his long residence in Greece that we have a twenty-five year series of letters written to and from his close friend Cicero. Atticus's family was associated with the Marian party, but he left for Athens in 86 B.C. probably because he foresaw the coming calamities. He became reacquainted with Cicero soon afterward, when the latter went to Athens as a young man to study oratory. He finally returned to Rome in 63 B.C., the year of Cicero's consulship, but even then he stayed aloof from politics at all times, refused all offices and was on excellent terms with such enemies as Pompey and Caesar, and Octavius and Antony. His only daughter was married to Agrippa, and his granddaughter was married to Tiberius. Ironically, in the case of both of these happy marriages, Augustus forced a divorce in order that their husbands would be free to marry his daughter Julia for political purposes.

Key events during the life of Atticus:

86 BC
Voluntarily moved self, and all assets to Greece to avoid political strife in Rome.
  Became reacquainted with Cicero during his study in Athens; continued correspondence for 25 years.
63 BC
Returned to Rome, but continued to travel frequently to Athens.
43 BC
Protected Antony's family and so was saved from proscription that killed Cicero.
32 BC

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Atticus  in  Roman Life in the Days of Cicero  by  Alfred J. Church
Roman at Athens  in  Pictures from Roman Life and Story  by  Alfred J. Church

Short Biography
Cicero Orator. Leader of aristocratic party. Put down Catiline conspiracy. Well known writer.
Julius Caesar Conquered Gaul, prevailed in civil war. Mastermind of Roman empire. Killed by senators.
Pompey Very renowned general. Defeated pirates. Led opposition to Caesar in civil war.
Antony With Octavius, led empire after Caesar's death. Liaison with Cleopatra caused downfall.
Augustus Caesar First emperor. Reigned for over fifty years. Established the Imperial system.