previous next

[144] "It is not fitting, citizens, that the funeral oration of so great a man should be pronounced by me alone, but rather by his whole country. The decrees which all of us, in equal admiration of his merit, voted to him while he was alive -- the Senate and the people acting together -- I will read, so that I may voice your sentiments rather than my own." Then he began to read with a severe and gloomy countenance, pronouncing each sentence distinctly and dwelling especially on those decrees which declared Cæsar to be superhuman, sacred, and inviolable, and which named him the father of his country, or the benefactor, or the chieftain without a peer. With each decree Antony turned his face and his hand toward Cæsar's corpse, illustrating his discourse by his action, and at each appellation he added some brief remark full of grief and indignation; as, for example, where the decree spoke of Cæsar as the father of his country he added that this was a testimonial of his clemency; and again, where he was made sacred and inviolable and everybody else was to be held unharmed who should find refuge with him,-- "Nobody," said Antony, "who found refuge with him was harmed, but he, whom you declared sacred and inviolable, was killed, although he did not extort these honors from you as a tyrant, and did not even ask for them. Most servile are we if we give such honors to the unworthy who do not ask for them. But you, faithful citizens, vindicate us from this charge of servility by paying such honors as you now pay to the dead."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (L. Mendelssohn, 1879)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: