Pericles and Funeral Oration for Kids and Teachers Illustration

Funeral Oration

Pericles was a famous Greek general. He gave a speech in Athens, a public speech, honoring the many warriors who were killed in battle after the first year of the Peloponnesian War. It was the custom at the time to honor the dead each year who had died defending their city-state, the city-state of Athens.

Scholars found a written record of this speech. It is an incredible speech. It talks about democracy and Athenian patriotism. It shares a great deal about life in Athens and events in Greek history. In his speech, Pericles states that the citizens of Athens must continue to support the war. He wanted to emphasis that what they were fighting for was of the upmost importance. He stated that the soldiers who died gave their lives to protect the city of Athens, its citizens, and its freedom. Even though this speech was written a couple thousand years ago, it is still a moving and powerful speech today.

His speech rallied support for the war. Unfortunately, the war lasted 27 years. Many people died, including Pericles. Sparta ultimately won. They controlled Athens for about 10 years, and then gave Athens back its independence.

Pericles' Funeral Oration Summary

The Peloponnesian War, between Athens and Sparta

See: Roots of Democracy

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