Lucius Accius

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Lucius Accius (170 BC – 86 BC) was a Roman tragic poet, literary scholar and playwright. Accius was born in 170 BC at Pisaurm, a town founded in the Ager Gallicus in 184 BC. He was the son of a freedman and freedwoman, probably from Rome. 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) writes of having conversed with him on literary matters.


  • Oderint dum metuant.
    • Let them hate, so long as they fear.
    • From Atreus, quoted in Seneca, Dialogues, Books III–V "De Ira", I, 20, 4. (16 BC)
  • Unhappy is he whose fame makes his misfortunes famous.

Quotes about Accius[edit]

  • Accius was a writer of tragedies, and being once asked why he, whose dialogue was celebrated for its energy, did not engage in the practice at the bar, answered, because in his tragedies he could make his characters say what he pleased; but that at the bar he should have to contend with persons who would say anything but what he pleased.
    • John Quincy Adams, in Lectures On Rhetoric And Oratory: Delivered To The Classes Of Senior And Junior Sophisters In Harvard University, Vol. 2 (1810), p. 91

External links[edit]

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