36.'I will speak first of our ancestors,for it is right and seemly that now, when we are lamenting1 the dead, a tribute should be paid to their memory.There has never been a time when they did not inhabit this land, which by their valour
they have handed down from generation to generation, and we have received from them a
But if they were worthy of praise, still more were our fathers,who added to their inheritance, and after many a struggle transmitted to us their sons
this great empire.
And we ourselves assembled here to-day, who are still most of us in the vigour of life,
have carried the work of improvement further,and have richly endowed our city with all things, so that she is sufficient for herself
both in peace and war.
Of the military exploits by which our various possessions were acquired, or of the
energy with which we or our fathers drove back the tide of war, Hellenic or Barbarian, I
will not speak; for the tale would be long and is familiar to you.But before I praise the dead, I should like to point out by what principles of action
we rose2 to power, and under what institutions and through what manner of life our empire
became great, For I conceive that such thoughts are not unsuited to the occasion, and
that this numerous assembly of citizens and strangers may profitably listen to them.
I will first common rate our predecessors, who gave us freedom and empire. And
before praising the dead, I will describe how Athens has won her greatness.
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