The funeral oration: a mean of educating the younger generations in the classical city

Gabriella Seveso

Abstract


In this paper, I set out to analyse the use of funeral oration in ancient cities as an educational strategy for dealing with the pain of death. In general, the forms of mourning present in a culture play a key part in the formation of future citizens: they contribute to shaping both collective and individual identity, offering shared meanings about major life events. The epitaphios logos helped both the individual and the community to overcome the fear of death, by “finding in the deeds of the dead a means of educating the living”, as Lysias observed in his Oration for the Fallen in the Corinthian War. I therefore examine literary texts from the classical era that illustrate the educational function of funeral orations, briefly comparing them with another educational tool for addressing bereavement, the tragedy.

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1970-2221/7637

Copyright (c) 2017 Gabriella Seveso

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