The Age of Pericles, by Philipp Von Foltz. (1853)

Pericles gave the Funeral Oration after 490BC to honour the Athenian soldiers who had died at one of the opening battles of the Peloponnesian War. But it was not only the soldiers that were praised. A great believer in democracy, Pericles spoke about the city of Athens, with positive references of democracy. His speech was later blasted as propaganda for he positively emphasised on both his city’s freedom and empire.

The speech was about Athenian patriotism and the government, giving scholars a great deal of information about life and events in this time. It was a usual routine that orators, such as Thucydides (who composed Pericles’ Oration), invented the speeches for the people that they wrote about, basing it on their own knowledge. Indeed, Thucydides did use his own knowledge, but he also managed to capture the attitudes of many Athenians at the time.