The Athenians respected the warrior class and placed them among the top members of their society. Beloved by historians, it offers a glimpse into a pivotal moment in ancient Greek history. A History of the Greek City States, 700—338 B. It is for that reason that called him one of the greatest statesmen and military leaders in history. Those dead who were recovered are in fact within view. Some may say that Bush or Obama wisely used crisis to their favor.
Pericles' Funeral Oration can be compared to several more modern speeches, most notably Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Somewhere in between, Barack H. There is mature scene and language. More than two thousand years earlier, Pericles delivered his Funeral Oration during a public funeral held for the dead Athenians of the Peloponnesian War. And in the matter of education, whereas they from early youth are always undergoing laborious exercises which are to make them brave, we live at ease, and yet are equally ready to face the perils which they face. And the fruits of the world are indeed available at Aegean ports such as Piraeus, Athens' harbor. Neither is poverty an obstacle, but a man may benefit his country whatever the obscurity of his condition.
Pericles' Funeral Oration is sometimes compared with. Berkeley: University of California Press. At that time, people in Athens had a custom of holding a public funeral for the people who died in war. As a research question in examining this artifact, we may ask what rhetorical means a politician in an executive position uses to effectively address his people in a time of crisis in order to garner support from his or her people, particularly in calling them to some great action or sacrifice. Die Attische Politik seit Perikles.
Again, these conflicts can easily be interpreted as allegories of Athens' victory over the Persians. For communications studies and rhetorical assessment, the speech provides something else. If deeds be in question, those who are here interred have received part of their honors already, and for the rest, their children will be brought up till manhood at the public expense: the state thus offers a valuable prize, as the garland of victory in this race of valor, for the reward both of those who have fallen and their survivors. Some of you are of an age at which they may hope to have other children, and they ought to bear their sorrow better; not only will the children who may hereafter be born make them forget their own lost ones, but the city will be doubly a gainer. We practice no periodical deportations, nor do we prevent our visitors from observing or discovering what an enemy might usefully apply to his own purposes. Go to for a look at one of those 6th century shrines.
The terms were rejected by the Spartans, and with neither side willing to back down, the two cities prepared for war. Note, too, that Pericles provides scant mention of the enemy who caused these deaths in battle. Then the reputation of many would not have been imperiled on the eloquence or want of eloquence of one, and their virtues believed or not as he spoke well or ill. The people of Athens, including those from the countryside whose land was being pillaged by their enemies, were kept in crowded conditions within the walls of Athens. .
These concerns noted, he declares that it is tradition for words to be spoken on such an occasion, so he hesitantly obliges. In addition, he ties all of his compliments together as if they were all one logical argument explaining Athenian superiority. The key terms summon notions of obligation faced not only by Pericles in giving the speech, but for the nation as a whole in the conflict they face. On the other hand, if I must say anything on the subject of female excellence to those of you who will now be in widowhood, it will be all comprised in this brief exhortation. Interpretative Comments on the Pericles' Funeral Oration. See original text in , , , from Plato 1903. And not contented with ideas derived only from words of the advantages which are bound up with the defense of your country, though these would furnish a valuable text to a speaker even before an audience so alive to them as the present, you must yourselves realize the power of Athens, and feed your eyes upon her from day to day, till love of her fills your hearts; and then, when all her greatness shall break upon you, you must reflect that it was by courage, sense of duty, and a keen feeling of honor in action that men were enabled to win all this, and that no personal failure in an enterprise could make them consent to deprive their country of their valor, but they laid it at her feet as the most glorious contribution that they could offer.
The second half of the speech was coded and examined as a whole, a more traditional use of the generative method. But before I praise the dead, I should like to point out by what principles of action we rose ~ to power, and under what institutions and through what manner of life our empire became great. With every crisis there is a larger scope. His audience is the Who's Who of Athens at the time - contemporary poets, artists, and philosophers. And we pay special regard to those laws that are for the protection of the oppressed and to all the unwritten laws that we know bring disgrace upon the transgressor when they are broken.
You know that your dead have passed away amid manifold vicissitudes; and that they may be deemed fortunate who have gained their utmost honor, whether an honorable death like theirs, or an honorable sorrow like yours, and whose share of happiness has been so ordered that the term of their happiness is likewise the term of their life. He has, as yet, made no mention of their war enemy Sparta, yet the comparison is strongly implied. In their democracy, as in any democracy, the laws cover all not just certain groups of people. For all men praise the dead, and, however preeminent your virtue may be, I do not say even to approach them, and avoid living their rivals and detractors, but when a man is out of the way, the honor and goodwill which he receives is unalloyed. Tying the honor of the dead — the stated purpose of the oration — with a call to arms, and doing so with such intricacy, makes the two almost inseparable for the audience as well. They had reason to be. Though he has not yet mentioned the coming battles or preparations thereof, he is clearly laying out a way of life worth fighting for.
The living have envy to contend with, while those who are no longer in our path are honoured with a goodwill into which rivalry does not enter. And the brave Athenian soldiers, even when fighting on foreign soil, have little trouble overcoming their adversaries. He speaks of how open and free they are, how accepting of foreigners they can be, and how in spite of their easygoing, pleasure centered lifestyle, they maintain the strongest military in Greece. Although they live the easy life, the people of Athens are equally ready to face the challenges which their enemies face. This piece is a funeral oratory, a speech written to honor fallen Athenian heroes at the end of the first year of the Peloponnesian War. The Plague of Athens c.
No enemy, in fact, has even engaged our total military power because our practice is constantly to attend to the needs of our navy, as well as to send our troops on many land excursions. And, I'm glad I didn't overlook this speech, which I'd never read before now. The Boule, or Council of the 500, was charged with administering decisions made by the Ekklesia and met in the Bouleterion in the Agora. By the end of the oration, Pericles has brilliantly reshaped and remolded all Athenians so that they are all potentially aristoi, within a democracy that is in a sense really an arisrokratia. For a complete rundown on the events that led to Athens' supremacy in the Aegean in the fifth century, go to and pages. We do believe that what is damaging is to go into action in a crucial situation before the people have been fully instructed in debate.