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date: 01 October 2022

epitaphios (logos)locked

epitaphios (logos)locked

  • John Frederic Dobson
  •  and Simon Hornblower

Extract

A funeral speech, delivered, according to Athenian custom, by a citizen chosen on grounds of intellect and distinction (Thuc. 2. 34, perhaps just a way of introducing *Pericles (1)), at a public funeral of those who had fallen in battle. This practice, said to have been unique to Athens (Dem. 20. 141) and arguably introduced 464 bce, was continued into Roman times and was clearly a solemn and important occasion. But before *Hyperides the only certain names of speakers chosen are those of Pericles in 440 (Plut. Per. 8) and 431, *Demosthenes (2) after the battle of *Chaeronea (338), and Archinus at some date in between.The conventional form comprised: tribute to the virtues of the dead, sometimes with particular reference to their youth; summary of their country's glorious achievements in the past (especially in the *Persian Wars); *consolation to relatives; and exhortation to the survivors to imitate their virtues.

Subjects

  • Greek History and Historiography

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