The Ancient Library

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On this page: Atilla – Atimetus – Atinia Gens – Atius – Atlas



than, the former ; and this would be a sufficient reason why Sedigitus classed him among the comic poets, without having recourse to the improbable conjecture of Weichert (Poet. Latin. Reliquiae, p. 139), that he had turned the Electra of Sopho­cles into a comedy. Among his other plays we have the titles of the following: Miffoyovos (Gic. Tusc. Disp, iv. 11), Boeotia (Varr. L. L. vi. 89, ed. Mliller), "Aypoutos, and Commorientes. (Varr. ap. Gell. iii. 3.) According to another reading the last three are attributed to a poet Aquillius. With the exception of a line quoted by Cicero (ad Ait. xiv. 20), and a few words preserved in two passages of Varro (L. L. vii. 90, 106), nothing of Atilius has come down to us. Cicero (ad Alt. 1. c.) calls him poeta durissimus, and Licinius describes him as ferreus scriptor. (Cic. d& Fin. I. c.)



ATILLA, the mother of Lucan, was accused by her own son, in A. d. 66, as privy to the conspiracy against Nero, but escaped punishment, though she was not acquitted. (Tac. Ann. xv. 56, 71.)

ATIMETUS, a freedman and paramour of Do-mitia, the aunt of Nero, accused Agrippina of plotting against her son Nero, A. d. 56. Agrippina, however, on this occasion, obtained from Nero the punishment of her accusers, and Atimetus accord­ingly was put to death. (Tac. Ann. xiii. 19, 21, 22.)

ATIMETUS, P. ATTIUS, a physician, whose name is preserved in an ancient inscription, and who was physician to Augustus. Some writers suppose that he is the same person who was a con­temporary of Scribonius Largus, in the first century after Christ, and who is said by him (De Compos. Medicam. c. 29. § 120) to have been the slave of a physician named Cassius, and who is quoted by Galen (De Compos. Medicam. sec. Locos, iv. 8, vol. xii. p. 771), under the name of Atimetrus ('Art-

A physician of the same name, who is mentioned in an ancient inscription with the title Archiater, is most probably a diiferent person, and lived later than the reign of Augustus. (Fabric. Bibl. Gr. vol. xiii. p. 94, ; Rhodius, Note on Scribon. Larg. pp. 188-9.) [W. A. G.]

There is an epitaph on Claudia Homonoea, the wife of an Atimetus, who is described as the freed­man of Pamphilus, the freedman of the emperor Tiberius, which has been published by Burmann (Anth. Led. vol. ii. p. 90), Meyer (Antlt. Lat. n. 1274), and Wernsdorf (Pott. Lat. Min. vol. iii. p. 213), and is in the form of a dialogue, partly in Latin and partly in Greek, between Homonoea and her husband. This Atimetus is supposed by some writers to have been the same as the slave of Cassius, mentioned by Scribonius (Wernsdorf, vol. iii. p. 139); and Lipsius (ad Tac. Ann. xiii. 19) imagines both to be the same as the freedman of Domitia spoken of above ; but we can come to no certainty on the point.

ATINIA GENS, plebeian. None of the mem­bers of this gens ever attained the consulship ; and the first who held any of the higher offices of the state was C. Atinius Labeo, who was praetor b. c. 188. All the Atinii bear the cognomen labeo.

ATIUS. 1. L. atius, the first tribune of the second legion in the war with the Istri, b. c. 178. (Liv. xli. 7.)

2. C. atius, the Pelignian, belonged to the


Pompeian party, and had possession of SuIfflO, when Caesar invaded Italy, b. c. 49. Caesar de­spatched M. Antony against the town, the in­habitants of which opened the gates as soon as they saw Antony's standards, while Atius cast himself down from the wall. At his own request he was sent to Caesar, who dismissed him unhurt, (Caes. B. C. i. 18.) Cicero writes (ad Ait. viii. 4) as if Atius himself had surrendered the town to Antony.

ATLAS ("A-rAas), according to Hesiod (Theog. 507, &c.), a son of Japetus and Clymene, and a brother of Menoetius, Prometheus, and Epimetheusj according to Apollodorus (i. 2. $3), his mother's name was Asia; and, according to .Hyginus (Fab. Praef.*), he was a son of Aether and Gaea. For other accounts see Diod. iii. 60, iv. 27; Plat. Cri-tias, p. 114; Serv. ad Aen. iv. 247. According to the description of the Homeric poems, Atlas knows the depth of all the sea, and bears the long columns which keep asunder, or carry all around (dtu(f)ls e%oi>crf), earth and heaven. (Od. i. 52.) Hesiod only says, that he bore heaven with his head and hands. (Comp. Aeschyl. Prom. 3475 &c.; Pans. v. 18. § 1, 11. § 2.) In these passages Atlas is described either as "bearing heaven alone, or as bearing both heaven and earth ; and several mo­dern scholars have been engaged in investigating which of the two notions was the original one. Much depends upon the meaning of the Homeric expression dfttyis e%ovcn; if the signification is " the columns which keep asunder heaven and earth," the columns (mountains) must be conceived as being somewhere in the middle of the earth's surface; but if they mean " bear or support all around," they must be regarded as forming the cir­cumference of the earth, upon which the vault of heaven rests apparently. In either case, the mean­ing of keeping asunder is implied. In the Homeric description of Atlas, the idea of his being a super­human or divine being, with a personal existence, seems to be blended with the idea of a mountain. The idea of heaven-bearing Atlas is, according to Letronne, a mere personification of a cosmographic notion, which arose from the views entertained by the ancients respecting the nature of heaven and its relation to the earth; and such a personification, when once established, was further developed and easily connected with other myths, such as that of the Titans. Thus Atlas is described as the leader of the Titans in their contest with Zeus, and, being conquered, he was condemned to the labour of bear­ing heaven on his head and hands. (Hesiod, I. c.; Hygin. Fab. 150.) Still later traditions distort the original idea still more, by putting rationalistic inter­pretations upon it, and make Atlas a man who was metamorphosed into a mountain. Thus Ovid (Met. iv. 630,&c., comp. ii. 296) relates, that Perseus came to him and asked for shelter, which he was refused, whereupon Perseus, by means of the head of Me­dusa, changed him into mount Atlas, on which rested heaven with all its stars. Others go still further, and represent Atlas as a powerful king, who possessed great knowledge of the courses of the stars, and who was the first who taught men that heaven had the form of a globe. Hence the expression that heaven rested on his shoulders was regarded as a mere figurative mode of speaking. (Diod. iii. 60? iv. 27; Paus. ix. 20. § 3; Serv. ad Aen. i. 745 ; Tzetz. ad LycopJir. 873.) At first, the story of Atlas referred to one mountain only,

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