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Aulus Licinius Archias

Aulus Licinius Archias

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Aulus Licinius Archias was a Greek
Roman Greece
Roman Greece is the period of Greek history following the Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC until the reestablishment of the city of Byzantium and the naming of the city by the Emperor Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire...

A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 born in Antioch
Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. It is near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey.Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the...

 in Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 (modern Antakya
Antakya is the seat of the Hatay Province in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria. The mayor is Lütfü Savaş.Known as Antioch in ancient times, the city has historical significance for Christianity, as it was the place where the followers of Jesus Christ were called Christians for the first...

 in Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

). In 102 BC, his reputation having been already established, especially as an improvisatore, he went to Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, where he was well received amongst the highest and most influential families. His chief patron was Lucullus
Lucius Licinius Lucullus , was an optimate politician of the late Roman Republic, closely connected with Sulla Felix...

, whose gentile name he assumed. In 93 BC he visited Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 with his patron, on which occasion he received the citizenship of Lucanian Heraclea
Heraclea (Lucania)
Heraclea was an ancient city of Magna Graecia, situated in Lucania on the Gulf of Tarentum , but a short distance from the sea, and between the rivers Aciris and Siris , the site of which is located in the modern comune of Policoro, Province of Matera, Basilicata,...

, one of the federate towns, and indirectly, by the provisions of the Lex Plautia Papiria
Lex Plautia Papiria
The Lex Plautia Papiria was a Roman plebiscite enacted amidst the Social War in 89 BCE. Sponsored by the Tribunes of the Plebs, M. Plautius Silvanus and C. Papirius Carbo, the law expanded civitas, or citizenship...

, that of Rome. In 62 BC he was accused by a certain Gratius of having assumed the citizenship illegally; and Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 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 Gaius Marius
Gaius Marius
Gaius Marius was a Roman general and statesman. He was elected consul an unprecedented seven times during his career. He was also noted for his dramatic reforms of Roman armies, authorizing recruitment of landless citizens, eliminating the manipular military formations, and reorganizing the...

 and Lucullus in the Cimbrian and Mithridatic Wars
Mithridatic Wars
There were three Mithridatic Wars between Rome and the Kingdom of Pontus in the 1st century BC. They are named for Mithridates VI who was King of Pontus at the time....

, and that he was engaged upon a poem of which the events of Cicero's consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

ship formed the subject. The Greek Anthology
Greek Anthology
The Greek Anthology is a collection of poems, mostly epigrams, that span the classical and Byzantine periods of Greek literature...

contains thirty-five epigram
An epigram is a brief, interesting, usually memorable and sometimes surprising statement. Derived from the epigramma "inscription" from ἐπιγράφειν epigraphein "to write on inscribe", this literary device has been employed for over two millennia....

s under the name of Archias, but it is doubtful how many of these (if any) are his work.