Reading Response #1: Pericles Funeral Oration

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Reading Response #1: Pericles Funeral Oration

Post  Mr. Fisher on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:42 pm

Pericles’ Funeral Oration (from Thucydides, 430 B. C. E.)



Background: At the end of the first year of the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians held, as was their custom, an elaborate funeral for all those killed in the war. The funeral oration over these dead was delivered by the brilliant and charismatic politician and general, Pericles, who perished a little bit later in the horrifying plague that decimated Athens the next year. The Funeral Oration is the classic statement of Athenian ideology, containing practically in full the patriotic sentiment felt by most Athenians.

Instructions: Read the Funeral Oration carefully and respond to the 4 questions below in a reply to this post.

Due: Tuesday, November 30th before class.
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I have no wish to make a long speech on subjects familiar to you all: so I shall say nothing about the warlike deeds by which we acquired our power or the battles in which we or our fathers gallantly resisted our enemies, Greek or foreign. What I want to do is, in the first place, to discuss the spirit in which we faced our trials and also our constitution and the way of life which has made us great. After that I shall speak in praise of the dead, believing that this kind of speech is not inappropriate to the present occasion, and that this whole assembly, of citizens and foreigners, may listen to it with advantage.

Let me say that our system of government does not copy the institutions of our neighbors. It is more the case of our being a model to others, than of our imitating anyone else. Our constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people. When it is a question of settling private disputes, everyone is equal before the law; when it is a question of putting one person before another in positions of public responsibility, what counts is not membership of a particular class, but the actual ability which the man possesses. No one, so long as he has it in him to be of service to the state, is kept in political obscurity because of poverty. And, just as our political life is free and open, so is our day-to-day life in our relations with each other. We do not get into a state with our next-door neighbor if he enjoys himself in his own way, nor do we give him the kind of black looks which, though they do no real harm, still do hurt people’s feelings. We are free and tolerant in our private lives; but in public affairs we keep to the law. This is because it commands our deep respect.
We give our obedience to those whom we put in positions of authority, and we obey the laws themselves, especially those which are for the protection of the oppressed, and those unwritten laws which it is an acknowledged shame to break.

And here is another point. When our work is over, we are in a position to enjoy all kinds of recreation for our spirits. There are various kinds of contests and sacrifices regularly throughout the year; in our own homes we find a beauty and a good taste which delight us every day and which drive away our cares. Then the greatness of our city brings it about that all the good things from all over the world flow in to us, so that to us it seems just a natural to enjoy foreign goods as our own local products . . . .

Our love of what is beautiful does not lead to extravagance; our love of the things of the mind does not make us soft. We regard wealth as something to be properly used, rather than as something to boast about. As for poverty, no one need be ashamed to admit it: the real shame is in not taking practical measures to escape from it. Here each individual is interested not only in his own affairs but in the affairs of the state as well; even those who are mostly occupied with their own business are extremely well informed on general politics—this is a peculiarity of ours: we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all. We Athenians, in our own persons, take our decisions on policy or submit them to proper discussions: for we do not think that there is an incompatibility between words and deeds; the worst thing is to rush into action before the consequences have been properly debated. And this is another point where we differ from other people. We are capable at the same time of taking risks and of estimating them beforehand. Others are brave out of ignorance; and, when they stop to think, they begin to fear. But the man who can most truly be accounted brave is he who best knows the meaning of what is sweet in life and of what is terrible, and then goes out undeterred to meet what is to come.

Again, in questions of general good feeling there is a great contrast between us and most other people. We make friends by doing good to others, not be receiving good from them. This makes our friendship all the more reliable, since we want to keep alive the gratitude of those who are in our debt by showing continued goodwill to them: whereas the feelings of one who owes us something lack the same enthusiasm, since he knows that, when he repays our kindness, it will be more like paying back a debt than giving something spontaneously. We are unique in this. When we do kindnesses to others, we do not do them out of any calculations of profit or loss: we do them without afterthought, relying on our free liberality. Taking everything together, then, I declare that our city is an education to Greece, and I declare that in my opinion each single one of our citizens, in all the manifold aspects of life, is able to show himself the rightful lord and owner of his own person, and do this, moreover, with exceptional grace and exceptional versatility. And to show that this is no empty boasting for the present occasion, but real tangible fact, you have only to consider the power which our city possesses and which has been won by those very qualities which I have mentioned. Athens, alone of the states we know, comes to her testing time in a greatness that surpasses what was imagined of her. In her case, and in her case alone, no invading enemy is ashamed at being defeated, and no subject can complain of being governed by people unfit for their responsibilities. Mighty indeed are the marks and monuments of our empire which we have left. Future ages will wonder at us, as the present age wonders at us now. We do not need the praises of a Homer, or of anyone else whose words may delight us for the moment, but whose estimation of facts will fall short of what is really true. For our adventurous spirit has forced an entry into every sea and into every land; and everywhere we have left behind us everlasting memorials of good done to our friends or suffering inflicted on our enemies.This, then, is the kind of city for which these men, who could not bear the thought of losing her, nobly fought and nobly died . . . .

Perhaps I should say a word or two on the duties of women to those among you who are now widowed. I can say all I have to say in a short word of advice. Your great glory is not to be inferior to what God has made you, and the greatest glory of a woman is to be least talked about by men, whether they are praising you or criticizing you. I have now, as the law demanded, said what I had to say. For the time being our offerings to the dead have been made, and for the future their children will be supported at the public expense by the city, until they come of age. This is the crown and prize which she offers, both to the dead and to their children, for the ordeals which they have faced. Where the rewards of valor are the greatest, there you wil find also the best and bravest spirits among the people. And now, when you have mourned for your dear sons, you must depart.
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Questions:

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
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Questions/Answers

Post  JMertes on Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:03 pm


1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?
Pericles mentions what makes Athens distinguished from other city-states is the spirit they hold and they're government. He explains how Athens is a model for neighboring communities with her democratic constitution. In Athens, Pericles says, everyone must take a part in the government. Also they can enjoy their city in a recreational way.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?
Everyone is Athens has the responsibility of taking part in the government. It doesn't matter what social class they are in.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?
It looks like in Athens there is poverty, women are discriminated a bit, and they don't have very good relationships with other city-states.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
Yes, even if it's not entirely true, it is a good way of seeing what the people of Athens believed in, and how they saw their own society.

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Re: Reading Response #1: Pericles Funeral Oration

Post  andy urena on Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:23 pm

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?
What makes Athens great is that Athens is an education to greece. This compares to the other city states because all the others look up to them.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?
The responsability of and athenian citizen is to take part in the government. If they didnt take part in government they were considered useless.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?
Some problems that i see with pricles description of athens is that he uses woman as objects. He said that woman shouldnt do anything so that men wouldnt praise her or critisize.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
Yes the funeral oration is a reliable source about the athenian culture because it gives the point of view of an athenian. It also tells us what every athenian was sopposed to do

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Answers

Post  Maria Jose on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:10 pm

Questions:

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?
Athenians institution of government. Their government is democratic, everyone takes part in it no matter what class they are in because everyone is equal before the law. When they are done with working they have time to recreate their spiritual beliefs.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?
No matter what class you are in you need to help in with the government. Athenians should treat people with respect and good without expecting anything in return.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?
Pericles makes Athens look too perfect as if they didn't have any imperfections and they were the greatest of all. They describe and treat women as if they weren't humans, with a lot of discrimination.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
Not really, because there might be things in there that aren't completely true. Pericles exaggerates a lot so Athens looks perfect.

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the funeral oration questions

Post  julia oriol on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:11 pm

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?
Athens has it’s own unique government of democracy. It was direct law and all people where equal before the law. So everyone was treated the same even if they were poor or rich. The ideals of the people and culture weren’t extravagant or soft. Poverty isn’t something to be ashamed as long as people try to succeed in it, also you cant brag about wealth. So the Athenians tried to equal everything out. The Athenians are also good to others without asking for anything back. They do it out of morality not out of wanting something back.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?
The Athenian people have the responsibility to make sure they have the right to rule other people. The citizenship is responsible, educated, fair towards others. Women have as a glory to be less talked about men whether its celebrating them or criticizing them.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?
Pericles makes the Athens city-state to perfect, we have to remember when he was giving this speech it was to encourage the people and make them have confidence. Also in what he says to the women is a little harsh and I disagree in the way he ‘treats’ them.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
I agree with it might be or might not for several reasons. It describes their democracy and cultural beliefs which leads us to understand the way of thinking back then and relate to them .
yes it is they describe democracy which leads us to a clue about what they had in government
they’re beliefs in society and how a leader thinks. Also they’re leader was in mourning for they’re dead soldiers and trying to give the city state the confidence they needed so he might have exaggerated the things a little. Instead of saying what really was.

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Re: Reading Response #1: Pericles Funeral Oration

Post  Talia A. on Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:17 pm

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?
According to the what Pericles said, "our system of government does not copy the institutions of our neighbors," is because Athens has a unique and efficient way of governing their democracy and a free and equal political life and that makes them great. Also how much they care for and respect everyones decisions. This compares to other city-states because unlike Athenian's the other places are violent, they don't give freedom to their people and they don't have the same care for them.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?
The responsibilities of Athenian citizenship is to be part of the government and to help it. The Athenians had to have a educated and responsible way of being toward the government.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?
The Pericles' description of Athens is too ideal and perfect. There is no city-state that has no problems and is flawless. The other problem I found was the attitude he thought towards women, and how they should be treated.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
A funeral oration may be a reliable source because it explains the culture, government and past, but like Pericles they exaggerate what they say.

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Re: Reading Response #1: Pericles Funeral Oration

Post  Offek on Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:52 pm

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states? A. Athens had a democracy, everyone played a part in the government. Athens was also a very educated state, many people want to schools and had Yo serve in military for 2 years.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles? A. The responsibilities of the Athenians are to serve in government activities, be well educated and respect the laws.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens? A. The problems in his writing about athens, is that he thinks only about hisself and his country, in his opinion his country is perfect. There is no way to make his city better. He also criticizes the woman about their ability A BIG PROBLEM!

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
I think a funeral oration is NOT a reliable source of information because it is told by only one person that thinks his culture is perfect. There is no way he will say something bad about his culture, therefore it is not s good source.
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Re: Reading Response #1: Pericles Funeral Oration

Post  chiaracasoni on Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:46 pm

1. According Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?
Athens ruled by democracy, meaning the majority would take place in the politics. It gave some authority to women, unlike other ancient Greek city states. This government respected others and their opinions, people weren’t judged very much about their social classes.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?
Athenian citizens had to play a role in the democratic government in any way, but they must be well educated to be able to do that. They must treat everyone fairly and with respect. They must all obey the laws and never break them.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?
Pericles thinks of Athens as if it were the best place on earth, it is flawless to him, but its too unrealistic. He treats women very poorly, as if they were no one, they barely had rights. He claimed that it was best for a woman not to be spoken of. He has a bias towards men, he believes more in them. For him, women aren't supposed to do much, just stay at home.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
Yes because it very accurately writes about their ideals, but may not necessarily reflect the reality because he is writing in a time of grief(sorrow) and he wants to encourage people, heal the people... He wants people to feel good about themselves. The democracy itself can tell us their way of thinking, and so can their treatment if people, and that is all about culture.

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Drew's Answers

Post  Drew Smity Smith on Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:27 pm

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?
First of all Athens treated all social classes equally, any man (over the age of thirty) could participate in government. Second of All Athenians were well rounded people, they had education and good military training. This is much different from other city states for example; Sparta does not let the male citizens out of the barracks until they were quite old.
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2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?
Pericles believed that an Athenian had to be educationally experienced, law obeying and they must participate in government (in any way)

3. What problems do you see in Pericles description of Athens?
I think Pericles description of Athens shows that he thinks it cant be improved in anyway possible and that it is the best of all city-states, that is bad because he could make stupid decisions in war and he could think that he could conquer anywhere but really he couldn't and that could end out horribly. Also Pericles attitude towards women is terrible.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
I don't think a funeral oration would be a reliable source for info because the leaders could exaggerate and make things seem a lot better then they really are. monkey cyclops cat alien pale No elephant

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Pericles funeral oration

Post  kknoff on Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:41 am


1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?
according to Pericle the democracy government, the education, the equivalency of everyone no matter what social class hey ere in and their early military training made them fierce warriors who were always ready to fight for their state.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?
according to Pericle the people were to participate in government activities. if they did not they were pretty useless to the state. everyone was to treat everyone with respect and be kind and generous. people shared stuff without wanting anything back and you were not to give black looks to your neighbors.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?
Pericle is blinded by power. he has so much power that he see his state as the best most perfect state ever when really there was many flaws that he could not see.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
no this is not a reliable source of information because Pericle deffinently exaggerated on how great Athens was because he was blind with power. he also treated womed badly even though that is the work that they should be doing to keep a good household. the men did harder jobs then them and i think that they saw that so they didnt rebel. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil affraid affraid affraid

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Pericles’ Funeral Oration answers

Post  paolasainz on Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:33 pm

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states? What makes Athens great is that they work together as models to the other civilizations by letting everyone be equal and free. They have the same rights no matter if they are poor or rich and they all can be part of the government.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles? All the men had to be part of the government it doesn't matter the social class they were only their thoughts.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?
All rules were strict and had to be followed. They are poor and there was no way to get out of it. The decisions of their family was not decided in their own the governments were involved too.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not? It is not because when people say funeral orations do not talk about many people unless many people died in some kind of war or accident.

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RE: Pericles Funeral Oration

Post  Noah Smith on Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:39 pm

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?
In Pericles Funeral Oration he talks mentions what made Athens different from all the other city-states is that they all take part in their Democracy. So that means that each and every Athenian is important.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?
The Athenians had many responsibilities ONE was that they had to serve in the government, TWO the Athenians must be well educated, THIRD The must respect the laws, and FOURTH they must treat everyone fairly and with respect.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?
All of the Athenian women i think are a little discriminated. The women should have the same rights as the men, both are equal. If the women want to be a black smith they should be aloud to be a black smith. Maybe the women would be better at being a black smith because they probably have gentler hands and more agile.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?
Yes, I think that the funeral oration is a reliable source because it came from the point of view of an Athenian. It gives us a good perspective of how life was back then. It gave us a picture of the way the lived their everyday life.
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Reading Response

Post  Josh Montoya on Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:09 pm

1. Pericles thinks that Athens is great because their governments is a democracy. This makes them great because the choice in the hands of their people. Also because they have extra time to enjoy recreational activities. He also thinks Athens is great because of their love.
2. An Athenian citizen must take part in the government in some way or another to be a responsible citizen.
3. Pericles describe the Athens as the perfect city state, he made it sound as if it was flawless. No civilization even today is that perfect, every place has a few problems. There is no way that any civilization can be that great I’m sure that Pericles stretched the truth a little.
4. It can be to a certain extent but it will usually be sort of bias because it’s only coming from one person.
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World History Reading Response #1

Post  Philippe Bissonnette on Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:30 pm

1. According to Pericles, what precisely makes Athens great? How does this compare to other city-states?

What Pericles says is that Athens has a great way of government because everyone takes place in it. Any person can participate in the government and that the other city-states around them should follow what they are doing. This compares to other city-states because no one had the same way of government and that they would prefer to have everyone do what they did, they also listened to anyone that had an idea in the government and they would take it in consideration.

2. What are the responsibilities of Athenian citizenship as described by Pericles?

The responsibility of an average Athenian citizen was that they had to participate in the government, but it was only the smartest and the kindest that would be a loud to be in the government.

3. What problems do you see in Pericles’ description of Athens?

What I saw as a default in Pericles description of Athens was that he thought that women were no use and that the men did everything. This is back then women were not as good as men in physical jobs but now a day’s women are the equal of men, but that happened much later in history. Pericles gust said that women were nothing and that they had no rights and that women were only good to stay home and that is was not good to talk about them.

4. Is a funeral oration a reliable source for information about a culture? Why or why not?

Yes after all I do think this is a reliable source of information about this culture because they thought that education was important and that their government was more about their people and not about war of other thing like such. It also shows how the people thought of women and of what they thought of men. However this is a speech about bringing up the moral of Athens and it is not a good information packed speech. However it is a good speech.





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