(Or Lucius Attius)
Roman poet and playwright. Born 170 BCE (probably in Pisaurum in Umbria), died c. 86 BCE.
A younger contemporary of Marcus Pacuvius, Accius is often considered to rival Pacuvius as a tragedian. In his lifetime, Accius wrote at least 45 tragedies, usually dealing with Greek subjects (Andromeda, Medea, Philoctetes, etc.). He is also the author of at least two praetextae (one on the subject of Decius Mus and the other on Brutus the Liberator).
A prolific writer, he also wrote the Didascalia, a brief history of Greek and Latin poetry; an work in verse on agriculture; and historical annals in verse. Accius is also the first great grammarian of Latin mentioned in the classical sources.
Accius' plays were dignified, and laden with pathos. As one of the first Latin poets to do so, he expressed an appreciation for the beauty of nature.
Most commonly quoted of Accius' plays is his Atreus, which contained the memorable phrase "Oderint dum metuant" ("Let them hate me, so long as they fear me"), which was claimed by Suetonius to have been frequently quoted by the emperor Caligula.