Pericles’ Funeral Oration, was a speech given by Pericles, but written by Thucydides. This was a very powerful speech that gave praise to pass fallen soldiers and talked about the democracy of Athens in one. This speech was given around the time of the Peloponnesian War which was fought by the Delian League (which was headed by Athens) against the Peloponnesian League (which was headed by Sparta). In this speech that spoke of brave soldiers and Athenian pride, Pericles spoke of how his military was the strongest in Greece, and he advocated for the people to have strong national pride. Pericles more or less stated that anyone who didn’t lend a hand in politics, somehow, was more or less useless in the grand scheme of the government and making its laws.
Pericles also explained how the concept of democracy favors the majority of people in opposition to just a select few or just the wealthy. Democracy gives everyone an equal chance to be heard and voice their opinion, as well as tend to the government so that it caters to their needs. These ideals relate to our current view of democracy these days. Democracy in our current times has exactly the same meaning and same purpose. The purpose of a democracy in Pericles’ times were to cater to the majority’s opinion and get everyone involved in politics, just as the purpose of democracy now is the same. This is also what was mentioned in the textbook when it spoke on Athenian democracy.
The only difference that I found in democracy from the past that the textbook mentioned that is different from recent times is that, democracy is defined as, “a type of government in which all citizens administered the workings of government”. A citizen back then was considered any MAN with a parent that was also a citizen. This meant that the rule of democracy and participation in politics mostly applied to and worked for adult men. Besides what was mentioned, I don’t believe that Pericles left anything out of the speech, as he was incredibly thorough. In this oration he made sure to fully touch base on acknowledging the dead soldiers and the political Athenian pride.