Lucius Accius


Lucius Accius

Infobox Writer
name = Lucius Accius


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birthdate = 170 BCE
birthplace =
deathdate = 86 BCE
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nationality = Roman
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Lucius Accius (170 - c. 86 BC), or Lucius Attius,Citation
last = Jocelyn
first = H.D.
author-link =
contribution = Accius, Lucius
editor-last = Hornblower
editor-first = Simon
title = Oxford Classical Dictionary
volume = 1
pages = 3
publisher = Oxford University Press
place = Oxford
year = 1996
contribution-url =
] was a Roman tragic poet and literary scholar. The son of a freedman, Accius was born at Pisaurum in Umbria, in 170 BC. The year of his death is unknown, but he must have lived to a great age, since Cicero (born 106 BC, hence 64 years younger) speaks of having conversed with him on literary matters. [Cicero, "Brutus", 28]

Literary works

He was a prolific writer and enjoyed a very high reputation. [Horace, "Epistles", ii.i, 56; Cicero, "", 24] The titles and considerable fragments (about 700 lines) of some fifty plays have been preserved. Judging from the titles and fragments, scholars have surmised that most, if not all, of these poems were tragic in nature (although Pliny the Younger does rank him among the erotic poets). [Pliny the Younger, "Epistulae" 5.6]

Most of his poetical works were imitations or free translations of the Greek, especially Aeschylus. The earliest of these was most likely the "Atreus", which was performed in 140 BC, but which is now lost. [Cicero, "Brutus" 229] He also wrote on some Roman subjects, one of which, an examination of the tyranny of L. Tarquinius Suberbus and his expulsion by Lucius Junius Brutus, titled "Brutus", and was probably written in honor of his patron D. Brutus. [Cicero "De Legibus". ii.21, "". 11] His favorite subjects were the legends of the Trojan War and the house of Pelops. [cite encyclopedia
last =
first =
authorlink =
title =
encyclopedia = Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
volume = 1
pages =
publisher =
location =
date = 1911
url =
accessdate = 2007-08-18
] While only fragments remain, the most important of which were preserved by Cicero, they seem sufficient to justify the terms of admiration in which Accius is spoken of by the ancient writers. He is particularly praised for the strength and vigor of his language and the sublimity of his thoughts, [Cicero ' 24, ' 56, &c.; Horace "Epodes" ii.1.56; Quintilian x.1. § 97; Aulus Gellius xiii. 2] [cite encyclopedia
last = Smith
first = William
authorlink =
title = Accius, Lucius
encyclopedia = Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
volume = 1
pages = 6
publisher =
location =
date = 1867
url = http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/0015.html
accessdate = 2007-08-18
] , and although the grandiloquence of his literary style was on occasion mocked by some of his peers, [Porph. "Hor. Serm." 1.10.53] he continued to be cited by other writers long after his death.

Accius wrote other works of a literary character: "Libri Didascalicon", a treatise in verse on the history of Greek and Roman poetry, and dramatic art in particular; also "Libri Pragmaticon", "Parerga", and "Praxidica", of which no fragments remain; and a hexameter "Annales" containing the history of Rome, like that of Ennius.

As a grammarian

Accius also attempted to introduce innovations in Latin orthography and grammar, most of which were attempts to change written Latin to more faithfully reproduce its actual pronunciation. Few of these caught on, although his preference against giving Greek names Latin endings had quite a few supporters, particularly Varro, who dedicated his "De ambiguitate litterarum" to Accius. [Varro, "De lingua Latina" 10.70]

A spelling convention of writing long vowels double (such as "aa" for long "ā") is also associated with him, and is found in texts concurrent with his lifetime.

Politics and temperament

Accius was politically conservative, and generally noted for his dignity and reserve. He did however believe that one with literary gifts, such as himself, ought to be accorded more respect than someone who, through no effort of their own, was merely born to nobility. He was, by some accounts, a self-important man, ["Rhetorica ad Herennium" 1.24] and some writers expressed a wry amusement at the larger-than-life statutes of himself he had erected in the temple of the Muses. [Pliny the Elder, "Naturalis Historia" 34.19]

A saying attributed to Accius was "oderint dum metuant" ("let them hate, as long as they fear"), later a famous motto of Caligula.

References

*1911
*SmithDGRBM


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lucius Accius — (* um 170 v. Chr. bei Pesaro, Marken; † um 90 v. Chr.) war ein römischer Tragödiendichter. Er entstammte einer Freigelassenenfamilie; sein genaues Todesjahr ist zwar unbekannt, er muss jedoch ein hohes Alter erreicht haben, da Cicero (106–43 v.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lucius Accius — (ou Attius) est un célèbre auteur de tragédies latines et d ouvrages d érudition né à Pisaurum, aujourd hui Pesaro dans les Marches en 170 av. J. C. et mort à Rome en 86 av. J. C.. Pline l Ancien rapporte qu’il se fit dresser dans le temple des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Акций Луций (Lucius Accius) — (170 до н. э. — после 90 до н. э.), римский драматург и филолог. С именем Акция связан расцвет римской сценической трагедии. Свыше 40 трагедий на греческие сюжеты; «Брут», «Энеады» — на темы римской истории …   Большой Энциклопедический словарь

  • Accius — Lucius Accius (* um 170 v. Chr. bei Pesaro, Marken; † um 90 v. Chr.) war ein römischer Tragödiendichter. Er entstammte einer Freigelassenenfamilie; sein genaues Todesjahr ist zwar unbekannt, er muss jedoch ein hohes Alter erreicht haben, da… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Accius — Lucius Accius Lucius Accius (ou Attius) est un célèbre auteur de tragédies latines et d ouvrages d érudition né à Pisaurum, aujourd hui Pesaro en Ombrie en 170 av. J. C. et mort à Rome en 86 av. J. C.. Pline l Ancien rapporte qu’il se fit dresser …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ACCIUS — (ACCIUS 170 ? ACCIUS 86) Lucius Accius (parfois aussi écrit Attius) est, sans nul doute, le plus grand poète tragique romain. Il était fils d’un affranchi qui avait reçu un lot de terre près de Pisaurum, en Ombrie. On pense qu’il connut Pacuvius… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Accius (disambiguation) — Accius may refer to:* Accius, Latin poet of the 16th century * Lerema accius, butterfly commonly known as Clouded Skipper * Lucius Accius, Roman tragic poet born in 170 BC * Tiberius Accius, prosecutor in the murder trial of Aulus Cluentius… …   Wikipedia

  • Lucius — (Luzius) war ein römischer Vorname (praenomen), der selten auch als Familienname (nomen gentile) und Beinamen (cognomen) verwendet wurde. Er wurde meistens nur mit der Abkürzung L. wiedergegeben. Der Name leitet sich vermutlich von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Accius — Accius, 1) A. Rävius (Attus Navus), Wahrsager zu Rom. Als der König Tarquinius I. bei seinen neuen Einrichtungen der Rittercurien von A. aufgefordert wurde, deshalb erst die Augurien zu fragen, wollte der König seine Sehergabe prüfen u. fragte… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Accius — Accĭus (Attius), Lucius, röm. Dichter und Grammatiker, geb. 170 zu Pisaurum in Umbrien, gest. etwa 84 v. Chr., bes. berühmt durch seine Nachdichtungen griech. Tragödien (die erhaltenen Bruchstücke in Ribbecks »Tragicorum Romanorum fragmenta«, 3.… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon


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