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The Importance of the Warrior Class Exposed in Funeral Oration of Pericles

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There are two important matters that the "Funeral Oration of Pericles" proves, these two matters are, the great respect that Athenians have for their warrior class and how the Athenians were exceedingly proud of their city and its customs. The following paper discusses the way of life of Athenians and how the Funeral Oration of Pericles influenced it.

It is a well-known fact that the Athenians had a great deal of respect for the warrior class and believed them to be among the top members of their society. The warriors were seen as the top portion of their classes. They are classified as hero's and/ or idols. The Athenians were also extremely proud of their city and its traditions. To the people of Athens their country was at the top and there was no other country that could be superior. The purpose of the funeral oration was not only to respect the departed but also to reward the citizen's national pride and their passion to defend their country.

The oration was a eulogy that focuses on the prominence of Athens and her ancestors. A member of the family gave the eulogy, generally it was a son if possible. It was required by the law for the dissertation to have some necessary components. The speech had to be in regard to the lives of both the deceased and the ancestors of the deceased. At the end of the eulogy that Pericles gave he spoke in reference to the soldiers and the ancestors of Athens. Although it seemed that he was not sure if he had an impact on the people and he was unsure as to if he had been able to get through to the citizens of Athens. He states, "My task is now finished. I have performed it to the best of my ability, and in words, at least, the requirements of the law are now satisfied." (Thucydides, 109) ...


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... die for their country and it's people. Athenians set a goal for themselves, they wanted to love and shield their state in all ways possible and they wanted to choose the most honourable way to die, that being during battle. The reason this way of death is seen to be so honourable is because it showed that the soldiers fully loved their country and it meant that they had completed their goal. "And where the rewards for merit are greatest, there are found the best citizens." (Thucydides, 109)

In conclusion, it can be said that the Funeral Operation proved how important and significant the warrior class was in Athens and how the people of Athens had a great respect for their city and it's customs.

Works Cited

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War. Web 6 April 2015
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0200%3Abook%3D2&force=y



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