Atticus in The Chosen
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Atticus in The Chosen

by Angel Studios | September 10, 2023

In addition to historical figures we know from the Bible, The Chosen often features additional characters that help to fill in the story of Jesus and His followers. Atticus Aemilius is one such character; he represents those in opposing factions to the ministry, who develop a sympathy that benefits the movement. 

Atticus is an investigator sent from the Roman government to investigate the Zealots. His mission changes, along with his heart, when he discovers Jesus and His disciples, and observes their faith. Read on to discover the story of Atticus, and why he acts the way he does within The Chosen series. 

Image of Atticus in The Chosen

Who is Atticus in The Chosen and What Role Does He Play?

Atticus—whose full name is Atticus Aemilius Pulcher—is a cohorte urbanae, or an elite investigator for the Roman Empire. We first meet Atticus in the second season of the show, when he is sent from Rome to conduct an investigation into the Zealots.

On several occasions, Atticus protects and assists the disciples. He prevents harm from coming to Jesus and the migrants who travel to be healed and taught by Him, and he also spies on the Pharisees for valuable intelligence.

What role does Atticus play in The Chosen? Aticus Aemilius represents a connection between Jesus’ movement and the oppressive government seeking to snuff it out. Not only does he provide Jesus and the disciples with valuable insight and help to preserve the movement, but he also represents those of different demographics and statuses that were sympathetic to Jesus and His disciples’ plight and movement. 

Is Atticus in the Bible?

For all the meaningful scenes contributed by Atticus to The Chosen series, does he appear in the Bible?

The Bible does not contain any references to an Atticus, or any references to cohortes urbanae, or Roman investigators. Though Atticus does not have a direct biblical counterpart, The Chosen introduces Atticus in order to fill in the gaps in the narrative and present a more complete picture. 

The creators of The Chosen include as many directly mentioned individuals in the Bible as possible, in order to maintain accuracy in the series' storytelling. There are, however, certain areas in the story that benefit from an added character. These added characters, albeit fictional, provide deeper context and interact with historical characters to create greater impact. 

Atticus, while without an actual biblical counterpart, helps to complete the story of Jesus’ ministry. It makes sense that at least some individuals that belonged to the group’s opposition would experience a change of heart toward Jesus; it also makes sense that—given the information possessed by the writers of the Gospels into the intricacies of the Pharisees and the Romans—sympathetic individuals like Atticus would have leaked essential information.

Image of Atticus and Pilate

Key Moments Involving Atticus

Atticus’s character is first introduced in the fourth episode of Season 2 of The Chosen. He’s an investigator sent from Rome to find and investigate the Zealots, a group of Jewish extremists.  

Atticus Aemilius is successful in finding Simon, a Zealot, but is shocked when he sees him change and choose to begin following a popular rabbi named Jesus. Atticus becomes fascinated with Jesus and His disciples, and decides to follow them. 

Later in the show, it is revealed that Atticus is close with Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea. Despite this close association with enemies of Jesus and His mission, Atticus helps the group. When Quintus—a powerful figure in the Roman occupation of Capernaum and Matthew’s former employer—attempts to harm the Capernaum Tent City built by migrants following Jesus, Atticus protects them, in addition to spying on the Pharisees to benefit Jesus and the disciples. 

Who Plays Atticus in The Chosen?

Joining the cast of The Chosen, as Roman cohorte urbanae Atticus, is Elijah Alexander.  

A graduate of The Yale School of Drama and recipient of the Fox Fellowship, Alexander belongs to AEA, SAG, and AFTRA.

Alexander has been in the acting industry for over fifteen years, beginning in New York. He performed in such productions as Throne of Blood at BAM, as well as the Tony Award winning Broadway play Metamorphoses at Circle in the Square.

Alexander became a seasoned stage actor, traveled with Tantalus for two years, working for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He then worked at Denver Center; Yale Rep; Berkeley Rep; Great Barrington Stage; Old Globe; Southcoast Rep; GeVa; Syracuse Stage; and the Santa Fe, Oregon, Utah, and California Shakespeare Festivals. 

Before appearing in The Chosen, Alexander has had on-screen roles in Awake, Touch, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Emily’s Reasons Why Not, So Notorious, JAG, Summerland, and Guiding Light.

Unraveling Atticus' Character in The Chosen

We have seen Atticus grow gradually through the series thus far. Starting out on a mission from Rome to investigate the Zealots, Atticus becomes an unexpected ally to Jesus, His disciples, and their mission.

Atticus’ connections to Rome, and to Pontius Pilate specifically, make him an intriguing piece of the puzzle. We’re interested to see how his loyalties shift over the course of the show, and whether he’ll be able to continue to protect the ever-growing religious revolution brewing in Capernaum. 

Don’t miss the rest of Atticus’s development. Catch up on The Chosen for free in the Angel Studios app, available via mobile device or TV application.

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