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 And yet I have not failed to appreciate the fact that it is difficult to come forward last and speak upon a subject which has long been appropriated, and upon which the very ablest speakers among our citizens have many times addressed you at the public funerals;1 for, naturally, the most important topics have already been exhausted, while only unimportant topics have been left for later speakers. Nevertheless, since they are apposite to the matter in hand, I must not shirk the duty of taking up the points which remain and of recalling them to your memory.
1 The custom of delivering funeral orations for those who fell in battle seems to have originated in the Persian Wars. Of such orations the following are the most celebrated: the oration of Pericles in honor of those who died in the first year of the Peloponnesian War （Thuc. 2.35-46）; the Epitaphios of Gorgias, published in Athens some time after 347 B.C., represented by fragments only; the Epitaphios attributed to Lysias on those who fell in the Corinthian War, 394 B.C.; the Menexenus of Plato; the Epitaphios attributed to Demosthenes on those who were killed at Chaeronea; that of Hypereides on the heroes of the Lamian War.