Those who praise your ancestors, men of Athens, seem to me to choose an acceptable theme, which yet fails to do any real service to those whom they eulogize; for when they attempt to speak about achievements to which no words could possibly do justice, they earn for themselves the reputation of clever speakers, but leave their hearers with a lower estimate of the merits of those famous men. Indeed, I think the best testimony to their merits is the length of time that has elapsed, during which no other men have been able to surpass their achievements.

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