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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Thucydides Bilingual Anthology : DEMOCRACY OF THE BEST

from Thucydides' History, 2.65, * Translated by R. Crawley, * Greek Fonts


UCH were the arguments by which Pericles tried to cure the Athenians of their anger against him and to divert their thoughts from their immediate afflictions. As a community he succeeded in convincing them; they not only gave up all idea of sending to Lacedaemon, but applied themselves with increased energy to the war; still as private individuals they could not help smarting under their sufferings, the common people having been deprived of the little that they were possessed, while the higher orders had lost fine properties with costly establishments and buildings in the country, and, worst of all, had war instead of peace. In fact, the public feeling against him did not subside until he had been fined. Not long afterwards, however, according to the way of the multitude, they again elected him general and committed all their affairs to his hands, having now become less sensitive to their private and domestic afflictions, and understanding that he was the best man of all for the public necessities.

ὑπὸ τοῦ πρώτου ἀνδρὸς ἀρχή

Τοιαῦτα ὁ Περικλῆς λέγων ἐπειρᾶτο τοὺς Ἀθηναίους τῆς τε ἐς αὑτὸν ὀργῆς παραλύειν καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν παρόντων δεινῶν ἀπάγειν τὴν γνώμην. οἱ δὲ δημοσίᾳ μὲν τοῖς λόγοις ἀνεπείθοντο καὶ οὔτε πρὸς τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους ἔτι ἔπεμπον ἔς τε τὸν πόλεμον μᾶλλον ὥρμηντο͵ ἰδίᾳ δὲ τοῖς παθήμασιν ἐλυποῦντο͵ ὁ μὲν δῆμος ὅτι ἀπ΄ ἐλασσόνων ὁρμώμενος ἐστέρητο καὶ τούτων͵ οἱ δὲ δυνατοὶ καλὰ κτήματα κατὰ τὴν χώραν οἰκοδομίαις τε καὶ πολυτελέσι κατασκευαῖς ἀπολωλεκότες͵ τὸ δὲ μέγιστον͵ πόλεμον ἀντ΄ εἰρήνης ἔχοντες. οὐ μέντοι πρότερόν γε οἱ ξύμπαντες ἐπαύσαντο ἐν ὀργῇ ἔχοντες αὐτὸν πρὶν ἐζημίωσαν χρήμασιν. ὕστερον δ΄ αὖθις οὐ πολλῷ͵ ὅπερ φιλεῖ ὅμιλος ποιεῖν͵ στρατηγὸν εἵλοντο καὶ πάντα τὰ πράγματα ἐπέτρεψαν͵ ὧν μὲν περὶ τὰ οἰκεῖα ἕκαστος ἤλγει ἀμβλύτεροι ἤδη ὄντες͵ ὧν δὲ ἡ ξύμπασα πόλις προσεδεῖτο πλείστου ἄξιον νομίζοντες εἶναι.

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