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summary of the funeral oration

3 Pages
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Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA232H1
Professor
Victoria Wohl

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Every year the Athenians honoured those who died during the war. The bones would
be collected in a tent thats erected and then people make offerings, after which
there is a funeral procession where the bones are carried in cypress wood coffins
outside the city. One coffin per tribe and an empty one to signify the missing. Those
who died at Marathon are buried in the battlefield itself to show their great
achievement.
After the bones are buried, one person whos considered intellectual is chosen for a
eulogy after which everyone leaves. In this particular funeral Pericles, son of
Xanthippus was chosen.
His speech: a lot of ppl think its an honour to speak for the dead. I dont agree. Its
a hard thing to do- to balance their brave actions with the words of one single
person. When the listener knows the facts, he thinks the orator speaks to little,
others think he speaks too much and becomes jealous. Praise of other people is
tolerable only up to a certain point, the point where one still beliebes that one could
do oneself some of the things one is hearing abt. Once u get beyod this point, you will
find ppl becoming jealous and incredulous. But giving a speech is the tradition so ill
follow it.
Ill start by praising our ancestors because they gave us a free country. And our
fathers who added to it and gave it to us. They all deserve our praise. We have also
added to the power of the state and have organized it so that it can take care of its
self in times of both war and peace.
No point in talking abt how we achieved this. We all know about all the wars.
Instead, ill talk abt our spirit during times of difficulty and how our constitution and
way of life make us great. Then ill praise the dead
Our form of governance is unique. We do not copy our neighbours, instead we are the
model. Its a democracy because the power is in the hands of the majority. In
disputes, everyone is equal. Ability counts for responsibility not who you are. If he is
capable of service to the country, poverty does not stop someone from being in the
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Description
Every year the Athenians honoured those who died during the war. The bones would be collected in a tent thats erected and then people make offerings, after which there is a funeral procession where the bones are carried in cypress wood coffins outside the city. One coffin per tribe and an empty one to signify the missing. Those who died at Marathon are buried in the battlefield itself to show their great achievement. After the bones are buried, one person whos considered intellectual is chosen for a eulogy after which everyone leaves. In this particular funeral Pericles, son of Xanthippus was chosen. His speech: a lot of ppl think its an honour to speak for the dead. I dont agree. Its a hard thing to do- to balance their brave actions with the words of one single person. When the listener knows the facts, he thinks the orator speaks to little, others think he speaks too much and becomes jealous. Praise of other people is tolerable only up to a certain point, the point where one still beliebes that one could do oneself some of the thi
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