A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

a Roman comic poet, of whom very little more is known than that he died at Rome in B. C. 78, and was buried at the second milestone on the Praenestine road. (Hieronym. in Euseb. Chron. Ol. 175, 3.) His surname Atta was given him, according to Festus (s. v.), from a defect in his feet, to which circumstance many commentators suppose that Horace alludes in the lines (Ep. 2.1. 79),

  1. Recte, necne, crocum floresque perambulet Attae
  2. Fabula, si dubitem
but the joke is so poor and far-fetched, that we are unwilling to father it upon Horace. It appears, however, from this passage of Horace, that the plays of Atta were very popular in his time. Atta is also mentioned by Fronto (p. 95, ed. Rom.); but the passage of Cicero (pro Sestio, 51), in which his name occurs, is evidently corrupt.