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It was an established Athenian practice by the late 5th century to hold a public funeral in honour of all those who had died in war. Then fumebre funeral procession was held, with ten cypress coffins carrying the remains, one for each of the Athenian tribesand another for the remains that could not be identified.
Finally they were buried at a public grave at Kerameikos. The last part of the ceremony was a speech delivered by a prominent Athenian citizen. Several funeral orations from classical Athens are still extant, which seem to corroborate Thucydides ‘ assertion that this was a regular feature of Athenian funerary custom in wartime.
Although Thucydides records the speech in the first person as if it were a word for dkscurso record of what Pericles said, there can be little doubt that he edited the speech at the very least. Thucydides says early in his History that the speeches presented are not verbatim records, but are intended to represent the main ideas of what was said and what was, according to Thucydides, “called for in the situation”.
Nevertheless, Thucydides was extremely meticulous in his documentation, and records the varied certainty of his sources each time. Significantly he begins recounting the speech by saying: The Funeral Oration is significant because it differs from the usual form of Athenian funeral speeches.
The speech begins by praising the custom of the public funeral for the dead, but criticises the inclusion of the speech, arguing finebre the “reputations of many brave men” should “not be imperilled in the mouth of a single individual”.
Pericles begins by praising the dead, as the other Athenian funeral orations do, by regard the ancestors of present-day Athenians 2. At this point, however, Pericles departs most dramatically from the example of other Athenian funeral orations and skips over the great martial achievements of Athens’ past: The freedom we enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life.
There, far from exercising a jealous surveillance over pegicles other, we do not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbour for doing what he likes In the climax of his praise of Athens, Pericles declares: No, holding that vengeance upon their enemies was more to be desired than any personal blessings, and discugso this to be the most glorious of hazards, they joyfully determined to accept the risk Thus, choosing to die resisting, rather than epricles live submitting, they fled only from dishonour With the linkage of Athens’ greatness complete, Pericles moves to addressing his audience.
In his speech, Pericles states that he had been emphasising the greatness of Athens in order to convey that the citizens of Athens must continue to support the war, to show them that what they were fighting for was of the utmost importance. To help ddiscurso his point he stated that the soldiers whom he was speaking of gave their lives to a cause to protect the city of Athens, its citizens, and its freedom. That if anyone should ask, they should look at their final moments when they gave their lives to their country and that should leave no doubt in the mind of the doubtful.
That the soldiers put aside their desires and discurao for the greater cause. Because as they are described by Pericles, Athenian citizens were distinct fuebre the citizens of other nations — they were open minded, tolerant, and ready to understand and follow orders. Where their system of democracy allowed them to have a voice amongst those who made important decisions that would affect them.
Therefore, he proceeds to point out that the greatest honour and act of valour in Athens is to live and die for freedom of the state Pericles believed was ciscurso and more special than any other neighbouring city.
Pericles then turns to the audience and exhorts them to live up to the standards set by the deceased, “So died these men as becomes Athenians. You, their survivors, must determine to have as unfaltering a resolution in the field, though you may pray that it may have a happier outcome. Pericles ends with a short epilogue, reminding the audience of the difficulty of the task of speaking over the dead. The audience is then dismissed. Thucydides’ Greek is notoriously difficult, but the language of Pericles Funeral Oration is considered by many to be the most difficult and virtuosic passage in the History of the Peloponnesian War.
Perifles style is deliberately elaborate, in accord with the stylistic preference associated with the sophists.
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There are several different English translations of the speech available. Peter Aston wrote a choral version, So they gave their bodies published in It is uncertain to what degree, if any, Lincoln was directly influenced by Pericles’ Funeral Oration. Wills never claims that Lincoln drew on it as a source, though Edward Everettwho delivered a lengthy oration at the same ceremony at Gettysburg, began by describing the “Athenian example”.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Funeral oration ancient Greece.
Discurso funebre pericles Stock Photo: – Alamy
Retrieved 1 January Greek text and English translation thereof available online at the Perseus Project. Discrso also PlatoMenexenus. The bones were kept for the funeral at the end of the year. Additionally Plato authored a possibly satirical version of a funeral oration, the Menexenus.
See Ziolkowski, John Thucydides and the Tradition of Funeral Speeches at Periclea. The Invention of Athens. A Historical Commentary On Thucydides. University of Michigan Press.
Retrieved November 26, Retrieved 28 January An Evaluation” Charles E. Simon and Schuster pp. The New York Review of Books. The Art of Abraham Lincoln”.