34.During the same winter, in accordance with an old national custom, the funeral of
those1 who first fell in this war was celebrated by the Athenians at the public charge.
The ceremony is as follows:
Three days before the celebration they erect a tent in which the bones of the dead are
laid out,and every one brings to his own dead any offering which he pleases.
At the time of the funeral the bones are placed in chests of cypress wood, which are
conveyed on hearses; there is one chest for each tribe.They also carry a single empty litter decked with a pall for all whose bodies are
missing, and cannot be recovered after the battle.
The procession is accompanied by any one who chooses, whether citizen or stranger, and
the female relatives of the deceased are present at the place of interment and make
The public sepulchre is situated in the most beautiful spot outside the walls; there
they always bury those who fall in war; only after the battle of Marathonthe dead, in recognition of their pre-eminent valour, were interred on the field.
When the remains have been laid in the earth, some man of known ability and high
reputation, chosen by the city, delivers a suitable oration over them; after which the
Such is the manner of interment; and the ceremony was repeated from time
to time throughout the war.
Over those who were the first buried Pericles was chosen to speak.At the fitting moment he advanced from the sepulchre to a lofty stage, which had been
erected in order that he might be heard as far as possible by the multitude, and spoke
as follows:— 2
The Athenians celebrate the funeral of their citizens who had died in the
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