Thucydides’ History Book 2: The Funeral Oration

Chapter 41

Summing up, I say that the entire city is an instruction for the Hellas, and that according to each man himself, it seems to me, from among us the body would most nimbly furnish autonomy, gracefully and for the largest variety (of deeds). And the power of the city indicates that, in the present circumstances, this is not a clamour of words more than that fact of deeds, if by these ways we acquired it. For she alone of those now comes to her trial stronger than reported, and she alone is neither resented by her enemy, suffering harm by one such as she, nor is a fault-finding to the subject, since he is not ruled by worthy men. With great signs, and by furnishing power not in any way at all unattested, by those now and those hereafter we shall be marveled at, and needing nothing besides, neither a praising Homer nor anyone who would gladden a moment with epic poetry, and truth of the deed shall harm their intent, but rather that the whole sea and the accessible earth was forcibly overpowered by our boldness, and having colonized everywhere together we established eternal remembrances of our deeds, both wroth and noble. Concerning such a city one knows that by nobly doing justice, she is not diminished when those who do battle die, and that every single one of those remaining would likely lay down his life on her behalf.

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