), an Athenian, son of Anthemion, was the most influential and formidable of the accusers of Socrates. (Plat. Apol.
p. 18b.; Hor. Sat.
2.4. 3.) His father is said to have made a large fortune as a tanner, and to have transmitted it, together with his trade, to his son. (Plat. Men.
p. 90a.; Xen. Apol.
§ 29; Schol. ad Plat. Apol. l.c.
) Anytus seems to have been a man of loose principles and habits, and Plutarch alludes (Alc.
p. 193d, e.; Amat.
p. 762c, d.) to his intimate and apparently disreputable connexion with Alcibiades. In B. C. 409, he was sent with 30 ships to relieve Pylos, which the Lacedaemonians were besieging; but he was prevented by bad weather from doubling Malea
, and was obliged to return to Athens. Here he was brought to trial on the charge of having acted treacherously, and, according to Diodorus and Plutarch, who mention this as the first instance of such corruption at Athens, escaped death only by bribing the judges. (Xen. Hell. 1.2.18
; Diod. 13.64
; Plut. Cor.
p. 220b.; Aristot. apud Harpocr. s. v. Δεκάζων
But see Thirlwall's Greece,
vol. iv. p. 94.)
He appears to have been, in politics, a leading and influential man, to have attached himself to the democratic party, and to have been driven into banishment during the usurpation of the 30 tyrants, B. C. 404. Xenophon makes Theramenes join his name with that of Thrasybulus; and Lysias mentions him as a leader of the exiles at Phyle, and records an instance of his prudence and moderation in that capacity. (Plat. Men.
p. 90; Apol.
p. 23e.; Xen. Apol.
§ 29; Hell.
2.3. §§ 42, 44 ; Lys. c. Agor.
The grounds of his enmity to Socrates seem to have been partly professional and partly personal. (Plat. Apol.
pp. 21-23 ; Xen. Mem. 1.2
. §§ 37, 38; Apol.
§ 29; Plat. Men.
p. 94, in fin.
) The Athenians, according to Diogenes Laertius (2.43), having repented of their condemnation of Socrates, put Meletus to death, and sent Anytus and Lycon into banishment. For the subject generally, see Stallbaum ad Plat. Apol.
pp. 18, b., 23, e.; Schleiermach. Introd. to the Menon, in fin. ;
vol. iv. pp. 274-280.