Saturday, 25 April 2015

Lysias On Remembering Warriors

 #sydney #anzac #greekorators #classical culture

 #Lysias on remembering warriors

for the Anzacs and Others

If you are a student of ancient Greek history and culture you may have read Pericle's funeral oration as reported by Thucydides.

Other orators also gave orations at state funerals.

#Lysias gave as one reason for honouring the dead by giving a speech about their deeds of valour that

"they also are events which all men ought to remember .....
honouring them on such occasions as this and finding in the achievements of the dead as many lessons for the living."

After describing the Athenians valour during the Persian Wars he told his listeners that the dead should be remembered in public and private as men fighting for the right and democracy  who prized valour above all else and he also called on people to support and honour surviving family members, parents, widows, orphans.

At the end of this speech he said something that may well be the origin of a certain statement that appears on many war memorials.

Conincidence or indirect quote Lysias said this:

"For I say their memory can never grow old
while their honour is every man's envy.

I hope you all had a great and good Anzac day despite the ghastly weather in Sydney!?

Lysias' funeral oration appears in the Loeb bilingual edition in which you can compare the original Greek to the English translation.