|“||For those of us about to die... We salute you! I die a free man!||„|
Atticus is the tritagonist of the 2014 historical film Pompeii. He is a gladiator who wants to win his last fight to gain freedom. He befriends Milo. After Vesuvius eruption begins, he helps him and Cassia to escape disaster.
Atticus is portrayed by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.
Atticus is muscular man of African descent, without hair on head and with short, black facial hair. He wears black outfit.
As a champion of Pompeii and gladiator, who strongly believes that he has to win only one more fight to gain freedom, Atticus initially seems ready to kill any other gladiator to achieve his goal. The readiness to killing, however, doesn't make him a cruel man. When meeting Milo he initially tries to befriend with him (although the first thing he says to Milo is that he owes him two rations of wine, he had to give up because of lost bet, he never demanded it; and more, when Milo's back was wounded, he had “wasted” one more portion to disinfect his wounds). Next day, he learns that exactly Milo would be his opponent in the final duel, and they do practice fight, but in the process Atticus demonstrates his honorable attitude, kicking the assassin who tried to kill Milo and saving him. When discussing with Milo, that he will kill him, he has promised him honorable and humanitarian (blow from the front and quick) death. After the both gladiators create bond, especially after fighting arm in arm on arena, Atticus finally offers to help Milo save Cassia, although initially wanted leave the town straight away, and goes to harbor only on Milo’s suggestion. He also sends Milo to save Cassia when she was abducted by senator Corvus, wishing to help both of them and taking Proculus on himself, although he, most probably, was aware, that by doing this he won’t be able to escape from Pompeii. During times of trial, he saved the life of stranger Roman girl and returned her to her mother, although he was freshly betrayed by said Romans. Such actions by him prove his good heart, honesty and being honorable.
At the time, when Milo has arrived to Pompeii, Atticus resided in the dungeon of the amphitheater and was Pompeii's champion gladiator, who was supposed to win one last battle on the arena to earn freedom. Sitting in his cell. He saw Milo, when one of other gladiators spoke about him, that he must be The Celt, who, as they are saying, is “faster even than you [Atticus]”. Atticus seemed to be skeptical to that. Then, the brawl between Milo and Big Thracian started; Atticus bet in favor of the latter gladiator and lost two rations of wine. It turned out, that later Milo was put to the single cell with Atticus.
On the next day morning, Atticus asked Milo about his name, but he refused to talk, stating, that their only work is to kill each other. Later, during exercises on the arena Graecus has appointed Milo as his opponent for his final fight, and they performed a practice fight. The forces seemed more or less equal, with Milo finally managing to set Atticus to the ground. At that moment, Atticus noticed Big Thracian trying to attack Milo from behind with an improvised knife, so he kicked him, causing him to fall and drop his weapon. The fighting was interrupted by Graecus and Milo has noticed a knife, when Bellator separated them. On Milo's question why did he save his life, Atticus answered, that “no gladiator should die from the blade to the back”, but he promised to Milo, that on gladiator show to take place next day it would be him who will kill him and “blow would come from the front”. Milo immediately made the mirror statement for Atticus.
At the evening, Atticus discusses with Milo about how Atticus would be set free and what is victory over Rome for a slave gladiator. They both commented about their weak points when fighting. Next, they were taken to villa, where, together with two other gladiators, were put on show for noble Pompeian women, being guests at the party held there. Atticus seemed to be all right with that, calling it “not so bad” night work. One of such women was even interested in inspecting Atticus' weaponry and paid for that, but apparently he didn't feel any kind of discomfort due to this.
During the party the quakes has occurred; questioned by Milo if that's normal, he took it lightly, saying that mountain is angry from time to time.
After returning to the amphitheater, Atticus tends Milo's wounds, which he has gained after receiving fifteen lashes. The wine he used to disinfect wounds he called the “terrible waste”. Next quakes occured, and we learn, that Atticus has had a family, which was slaughtered by Romans twenty years earlier. Atticus also said, that at nights he tries to recall their faces, but can't do that, and that he knows, that one day gods would take him back to them. After that, Milo and Atticus introduced to themselves properly.
The next day was a day of the games. But, due to Graecus executing Corvus' orders, that Milo on the first fight to die first, and Bellator's suggestion to Greaecus, that famous gladiator, Atticus, would make the audience more content when dying on the arena in the last fight, both gladiators are sent to fight in group combat as comrades-in-arms instead as enemies in one-to-one.
On the gladiator fight, which was a “reconstruction” of the Celtic Rebellion, Atticus fought using a battleaxe. He got the idea to hack the decoration and make it fall on couple of enemy gladiators. After the combat, Atticus and Milo were the only survivors. After Milo attempted assassination of Corvus, they both were surrounded by soldiers. While senator wanted to execute them both, Cassia saved their lives by encouraging other spectators to vote “thumbs up”, so Corvus was forced to retreat from sentencing them straight away. Corvus get mad and Cassia was taken away from the audience box. Atticus, disappointing by Roman betrayal, admitted to Milo, that he was right about him never gaining freedom on the basis of the Roman law. Then senator Corvus has organized duel between Milo and Corvus' lieutanant, Proculus, so Atticus is escorted from the arena into its underground.
Atticus reunites with Milo, when he, fighting with Proculus, fell into the basement through rift after Vesuvius eruption has started and released all gladiators locked in cells. When others killed Bellator and Proculus fled, Atticus and Milo reached to the surface and witnessed the landscape of destruction. The cloud of smoke from Vesuvius had obscured the sunlight, when they heard woman's voice pleading for help: she was Aurelia, Cassia's mother, asking Milo to save her daughter and telling, that she's in villa, after which she has died. Pair of gladiators left the amphitheater.
In the town Milo decided to look for Cassia, but when Atticus agreed to go with him, he argued, that he would do it on his own, while Atticus would continue to harbor (as Atticus has his freedom, while Cassia is freedom for Milo). So, gladiators parted their ways: Milo ran to villa, while Atticus was heading for harbor.
On the way to the harbor Atticus climbed up and saw the approaching tsunami wave. He shouted to people to go back and started to run away from the coastline. When people were trying to escape the wave, which flew on the streets in coastal part of the town, a girl was separated from her mother. Atticus took the child, brought her to safety out of the reach of tsunami and returned to mother. Then, he left them and went back to the center of Pompeii.
Near amphitheater, Atticus met Milo and Cassia. He huged with Milo and told him, that harbor is destroyed. They decided to go back to amphitheater to get horses, using which they would leave the town to the south.
At the arena, Atticus left Cassia and Milo and went underground to fetch horses. Soon, Milo joined him. Atticus put hands on Milo's mouth to quiet him, because Romans were there. After some time they went up to the arena to see, that Corvus has captured Cassia, chaining her to the chariot. Senator sent Proculus and his remaining soldiers to fight with gladiators, while he ran away on chariot. Milo and Atticus quickly defeated soldiers, with only Proculus left on the battlefield. Then, Atticus told Milo to leave Corvus' lieutenant for him and go rescue Cassia. Milo agreed, said farewell him and left.
Then Atticus was fighting with Proculus. Exchanging blows, Atticus was heavily wounded after Proculus has thrown gladius into his abdomen. Atticus, however, has managed to break the sword, forced remains of the blade into neck of the begging enemy, and, before killing him, teaching, that gladiators don't beg, and thus Roman can't die equal to the gladiator.
Atticus, still alive but completely exhausted due to his wounds, stood up, but fell on knees. He stayed for some time kneeling, until he saw Vesuvius' pyroclastic flow approaching. He stood up, and seconds before surge engulfed him, shouted, that he dies a free man.