Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes
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Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes
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ATTICUS HERODES, Tiberius Claudius, a very wealthy citizen of Athens, was born about 104 A.D. His grandfather s estates had been confiscated for treachery, but the fortunes of the family had been restored by the discovery in his father s house of an enormous sum of money, which the Emperor Nerva permitted them to retain. This great wealth Herodes afterwards increased by his marriage. He received a careful education under the most distinguished masters of the time, and specially devoted himself to the study of oratory, to excel in which seems to have been the ruling motive of his life. While very young he delivered a speech before one of the emperors; but it was so ill received that he was with difficulty restrained from throwing himself into the Danube. He ultimately attained to great celebrity as a speaker and as a feacher of rhetoric. Among his pupils were Marcus Aurellas and Lucius Verus. He was highly esteemed by the Antonines, particularly by Aurelius, and received many marks of favour, among others the archonship at Athens and the consulate at Rome. Atticus is principally celebrated, however, for the vast sums he expended on public purposes. He built at Athens a great race-course of marble from Pentelicus, and a splendid musical theatre, called the Odeum. 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 it is said did not dare 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 bene factor. His wealth, and, it is reported, some disagreement with regard to one of the provisions of his father s will, roused up the enmity of the Athenians against him. He withdrew from Athens, and resided at his villa near Marathon, where he died about 180 A.D. None of his writings are extant.