Pericles Funeral Oration Essay

749 Words3 Pages
Sierra Rettenmund
The documents Thucydides and Aristotle reveal quite a few things about the responsibilities and benefits of being a citizen of a polis. Greek civilization had a strong understanding of the relationship between the people and community. Greeks believed that if they did what they were supposed to do for their country that their leaders would reward them.
Thucydides was an Athenian general who lost a battle in the early years of the war, after he was exiled from Athens he spent the rest of the war tracking the progress of the conflict and wrote its history. His work gave an in-depth look at how the war affected Greek civilization. The document Pericles’ Funeral Oration was given by Pericles, the leading Athenian statesman in
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He was well known for his ideas about science, politics, and ethics. Aristotle considered which kind of political state was the best. He told people that they must inquire what was the best constitution for most states, and the best life for most men. Stating that neither should assume a standard of virtue above ordinary people, or that an education is exceptionally favored by nature and circumstances. The best state should have regard to the life in which the majority are able to share. In every state, there are three elements, one being very rich, another is poor and the third is a mean (average). Aristotle claims that it is admitted that moderation or the mean is the very best, therefore it will clearly be best to possess the gifts of fortune in moderation. He then goes on to say that whoever greatly excels in beauty, strength, birth or wealth or on the other hand, who is very poor, weak, and disgraced find it very hard to rationalize like those of the mean. Aristotle believed that the middle class was least likely to shrink from rule. Those who have too much good fortune, strength, wealth and friends are neither willing nor able to submit to authority. If they experience luxury when they are brought up they never learn the habit of obedience. The poor on the other hand who are too degraded. So that the one class can’t obey and the other may only rule to

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