1. An Athenian statesman and orator.
He was a native of Coele, and one of the leading Athenian patriots, who together with Thrasybulus and Anytus occupied Phyle, led the Athenian exiles back, and overthrew the government of the Thirty tyrants, B. C. 403. (Demosth. c. Timocrat.
It was on the advice of Archinus that Thrasybulus proclaimed the general amnesty (Aeschin. de Fals. Leg.
p. 338); Archinus, moreover, carried a law which afforded protection to those included in the amnesty against sycophantism. (Isocrat. in Callim.
p. 618.) Although the name of Archinus is obscured in history by that of Thrasybulus, yet we have every reason for believing that he was a better and a greater man. Demosthenes says, that he was often at the head of armies, and that he was particularly great as a statesman. When Thrasybulus proposed, contrary to law, that one of his friends should be rewarded with a crown, Archinus opposed the illegal proceeding, and came forward as accuser of Thrasybulus. (Aeschin. c. Ctesiph.
He acted in a similar manner when Thrasybulus endeavoured in an illegal way to procure honours for Lysias. (Plut. Vit. X. Orat.
p. 835f.; Phot. Bibl. 260
There are several other passages of ancient writers which attest that Archinus was a skilful and upright statesman.
He is also of importance in the literary history of Attica, for it was on his advice that, in the archonship of Eucleides, B. C. 403, the Ionic alphabet (Ἰωνικὰ γράμματα
) was introduced into all public documents. (Suid. s. v. Σαμίων ὁ δῆμος
.) Some ancient as well as modern writers have believed that Archinus wrote a funeral oration, of which a fragment was thought to be preserved in Clemens of Alexandria. (Strom. vi. p. 749.)
But this is a mistake which arose with Dionysius of Halicarnassus (De adm. vi dicend. in Demosth.
p. 178) from a misunderstood passage of Plato. (Menex.
p. 403.) See Valesius, ad Harpocrat.
p. 101, &c.; Ruhnken, Hist. Orat. Graec.
p. xlii.; Taylor, Lysiae Vita,
p. 141, &c.)