THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ATTICUS HERODES, TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS (c. A.D. 101-177), Greek rhetorician, was born at Marathon in Attica. He belonged to a wealthy and distinguished family, and received a careful education under the most distinguished masters of the time, especially in rhetoric and philosophy. His talents gained him the favourable notice of Hadrian, who appointed him praefect of the free towns in the province of Asia (125). On his return to Athens, he attained great celebrity as an orator and teacher of rhetoric, and was elected to the office of archon. In 140 he was summoned by Antoninus Pius to undertake the education of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, and received many marks of favour, amongst them the consulship (143). He is principally celebrated, however, for the vast sums he expended on public purposes. He built at Athens a great race-course of Pentelic marble, and a splendid musical theatre, called the Odeum in memory of his wife Regilla, which still exists. At Corinth he built a theatre, at Delphi a stadium, at Thermopylae hot baths, at Canusium in Italy an aqueduct. He even contemplated cutting a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth, but was afraid to carry out his plan because the same thing had been unsuccessfully attempted before by the emperor Nero. Many of the partially ruined cities of Greece were restored by Atticus, and numerous inscriptions testify their gratitude to their benefactor. His latter years were embittered by family misfortune, and having incurred the enmity of the Athenians, he withdrew from Athens to his villa near Marathon, where he died. He enjoyed a very high reputation amongst his contemporaries, and wrote numerous works, of which the only one to come down to us is a rhetorical exercise On the Constitution (ed. Hass, 1880), advocating an alliance of the Thebans and Peloponnesians against Archelaus, king of Macedonia. The genuineness of this speech, which is of little merit, has been disputed.

Philostratus, Vit. Soph. ii. 1; Fiorillo, Herodis Attici quae supersunt (1801); A Biographical Notice of A.H. (London, 1832), privately printed; Fuelles, De Herodis Attici Vita (1864); Vidal-Lablache, Hérode Atticus (1871).


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