Biography of Lucio Accio (170-ca. 90 a.C.)

Latin dramatic author, born in Umbra Pisauro in 170 BC, in the bosom of a wealthy family. Despite the age difference, Acció was a friend of another great Latin playwright Pacuvius. BC must live up to the year 90 and Cicero in his Brutus, 107, assures that you get to know him. Despite his relationship with Pacuvius, close to the circle of Scipio, Acció did not belong to the circle and sought the protection or friendship of June gross Calaico (consul in 138 BC), in whose honour he/she composed verses in saturnio to celebrate his victory in Hispania and one fable Toga praetexta titled Brutus.

In the Decade of the 120 b.c., had a bitter dispute with the poet Lucilius, who did the subject of their attacks. Action not only dedicated himself to the composition of plays, but it also served part of his time to the study; Thus, wrote their Didascalicon libri IX, which traces a history of literature and, more specifically, of the drama from Homer and Hesiod down to his own time. There are only 22 lines, in which is mixed prose and verse, perhaps because it is a mixed gender of this ambitious project such as that found in Menipeas satires of Varro; However, these verses could also be explained as simple quotes by action of other authors.

Other works are the Annales, written in hexametros, which is about the months and Roman festivals. Also in verse were written his works entitled Parerga, whose content we is unknown, pragmatics, where once dealt in trocaicos verses of literary themes, and Sotadic, a collection of erotic poetry.

Accio, dramatic author.

In terms of his dramatic output, Acció highlighted as author of tragedies. We have received fragments of 46 works, most of which are based in the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides: to) more than forty verses, Epigoni, Eurysaces, Philocteta, Lemnius; (b) in more than twenty verses, Armorum iudicium (in which the Aeschylus original was enriched with some elements taken from the Sófocles Ayax), Astyanax, Atreus, Bacchae, Epinausimache, Medea, Phoenissae Telephus; (c) of less than twenty verses, Achilles, Aegisthus, Agamemnonidae, Alcestis, Alcmeo, Alphesiboea, Amphitryo, Andromeda, Antenoridae, Antigone, Athamas, Chrysippus, Clytaemestra, Deiphobus, Diomedes, Hecuba, Hellnes, Io, Melanippus, Meleager, Minos, Myrmidones, Neoptolemus, Nyctegresia, Oenomaus, Pelopidae, Persidae, Phinidae, Prometheus, Stasiastae, Tereus, Thebais, Troades. In addition to these tragedies of Greek theme, we know two fabulae praetextae, the aforementioned Brutus and the entitled Aeneadae or Decius.

Extensive fragments of Bacchae and Phoenissae allow to study more precisely the relationship of action with their original. It is checked so Acció acted with great freedom, which did not affect, however, the structure of the work. For the Romans, the tragedies of Accio, who was considered less than Pacuvius in wisdom, noted for their strength, their energy and a good characterization of the characters. He/She is discovered in a preference by the arguments of such violent and melodramatic. His rhetoric was pompous and somewhat overloaded due to its high, vigorous, solemn and sound style, which became a good model for the later rhetorical.

Through its fragments, also discovers his strong personality of a very self-confident, man of its relevance as a poet and influential in its time (don't vamo Acció was the head of the collegium poetarum). Action played an important role in the formation of a literary language not only through his works, but also as a scholar in the Alexandrian manner. Acció was the last great Roman tragic poet and his works were studied and read with delight by writers as Cicero, who felt a true passion for the Atreus, or Virgil, who availed themselves of some scenes of Clytaemestra for the description of the storm suffered by Aeneas and his fleet at the beginning of the first book of his Aeneid.


Editions and studies: A. Klotz, Scaenicorum Romanorum Fragmenta, Oldenburg, 1953; E. H. Warmington, Remains of Old Latin, London, 1967; O Ribbeck, Tragicorum Romanorum Fragmenta, Leipzig, 1897; F. Casaceli, Lingua e stile in action, Palermo, 1976; W Beare, the Roman scene, Buenos Aires, 1964; G E. Duckworth, The Nature of Roman Comedy, Princeton, 1952.

Teresa Jiménez-Calvente.