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ARCHIAS, AULUS LICINIUS, Greek poet, was born at Antioch in Syria 120 B.C. In 102, his reputation having been already established, especially as an improvisatore, he came to Rome, where he was well received amongst the highest and most influential families. His chief patron was Lucullus, whose gentile name he assumed. In 93 he visited Sicily with his patron, on which occasion he received the citizenship of Heracleia, one of the federate towns, and indirectly, by the provisions of the lex Plautia Papiria, that of Rome. In 61 he was accused by a certain Gratius of having assumed the citizenship illegally; and Cicero successfully defended him in his speech Pro Archia. This speech, which furnishes nearly all the information concerning Archias, states that he had celebrated the deeds of Marius and Lucullus in the Cimbrian and Mithradatic wars, and that he was engaged upon a poem of which the events of Cicero’s consulship formed the subject. The Greek Anthology contains thirty-five epigrams under the name of Archias, but it is doubtful how many of these (if any) are the work of the poet of Antioch.

Cicero, Pro Archia; T. Reinach, De Archia Poeta (1890).

Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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