================================================== In ancient Athens prosecutions could be initiated by any citizen or group of citizens. There were no D. A.'s (public prosecutors) as there are today. Meletus authored the written indictment against Socrates in 399 B.C.E. and, thus, is the principal prosecutor. At least on the surface that is. He would have been quite young at the time and far less skillful in the political arena than another prosecutor, Anytus.

For this reason, many scholars consider Anytus the real "power behind the throne" regarding the prosecution of Socrates. Some evidence exists that Meletus, a poet by trade, may have been a bona fide religious fanatic who was far more concerned with the charge of impiety lodged against Socrates than with the corruption charge. In any event, Plato portrays him as a very serious and patriotic sort of fellow who probably sincerely believed the prosecution of Socrates was for the good of his city-state of Athens. The third person who forms part of the prosecution is Lycon.