Thucydides’ History Book 2: The Funeral Oration

I fell a little behind in my translations. Chapter 39 may come at a later date but it’s really not likely.

Chapter 40

For we love the noble with thrift and we love knowledge without moral weakness ; and we make use of wealth more for opportunity of deed than for the clamour of word, and to be working poor is not to be acknowledged by anyone as shameful, but rather it is more shameful not to escape it by work ; in the same men, the care of domestic matters simultaneous with matters of state, and in others although betaking themselves toward works, they understand matters of state without defect ; for we alone believe that he who takes no share of any of these is not unworldly but useless, and we ourselves indeed either we decide upon matters rightly or at least deeply ponder them, we hold that arguments do no harm to deeds but rather, failing to learn more beforehand by argument prior to coming upon what must be done by deed. For we are different from this such that the same people are especially bold but also reflect upon that which we put our hand to try ; whereas for others, ignorance is courage and calculation bears hesitation. They might be righteously judged most powerful in spirit who recognizing both fearsome things and pleasurable most clearly, and due to this do not turn away from dangers.

And we oppose most men concerning matters for the spirit, for we acquire our allies not by being treated well but rather by doing it. For he is more steadfast who has acted concerning favours owed, such that through good will for what he has given, he saves them ; but he who owes a favour is less keen1, knowing that he will pay back virtue not as a favour but as a debt. And we alone give any aid not by calculating profit more than by fearless trust of liberty.

1. The Greek here is actually ἀμβλύτερος (ambluteros), a comparative form of ἀμβλύς, meaning dull, blunt, lacking a edge.

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