The Oxford text of this passage reads as follows:This gives the received text and punctuation. No generally agreed meaning has been found in the opening sentence as it thus stands; nor have any of the numerous alternative versions which have been proposed gained widespread support. In this paper I suggest that good sense can, after all, be made of this passage in its received form.
This paper suggests that two much-discussed passages in Pericles' Funeral Speech in Thucydides Book 2, the first in 2.35.2, the second in 2.45.2, are more closely related than has previously been recognized: both express a negative view of praise - praise of the fallen; and of their widows. It proposes new interpretations of the passages in question: in the first sentence of 35.2 Pericles is contrasting the splendour of the funeralceremonywith the necessary restraint of a funeralspeech; in the second sentence (...) of 45.2 he seeks to hearten the widows of the fallen by reminding them, first, that marriage has brought them fulfilment as women and, secondly, that they, asAthenianwomen, can be relied upon to conduct themselves fittingly – in implicit contrast to the most celebrated, and notorious, of Greek women: Helen. (shrink)