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[158] So ingrained in our nature is our hostility to them that even in the matter of our stories we linger most fondly over those which tell of the Trojan and the Persian wars,1 because through them we learn of our enemies' misfortunes; and you will find that our warfare against the barbarians has inspired our hymns, while that against the Hellenes has brought forth our dirges;2 and that the former are sung at our festivals, while we recall the latter on occasions of sorrow.

1 Cf. Isoc. 9.6.

2 “Victories over the barbarians call for hymns, but victories over the Hellenes for dirges,” said Gorgias in his Epitaphios, and Isocrates may have had his words in mind. The Gorgias fragment is quoted by Philostr. Lives of the Sophists, 493.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Edward S. Forster, Isocrates Cyprian Orations, 76
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Isocrates, Evagoras, 6
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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