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Statesmanship and War: Pericles’ Funeral Oration

Date: Sunday, Aug. 22 | 7:00–8:30 PM EDT

This seminar will read the Funeral Oration of Pericles in Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War. Our aim will be to appreciate the conception of politics and statesmanship advanced in this speech. In what does the greatness of Athens consist? What are the virtues of its citizens, and how do they compare with their ancestors? Why is this war worth fighting? What is the meaning of death in battle? What can—or should—a public speech honoring the fallen hope to accomplish? These are some of the questions we shall ask in reflecting on this text.

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