The building blocks of a military

Topics: Peloponnesian War, Sparta, Pericles Pages: 2 (779 words) Published: October 8, 2013
The Building Blocks of a Military
To become a powerhouse in Greece, it took many qualities. Athens had all the right qualities for that, and that is why they were worthy of the position. Both the military and the rest of Athens knew how to live. They were born with bravery and confidence but at the same time knew how to have fun and reward themselves. The men, who fought in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta, from 431 to 404 B.C.E., were well respected and honored by the city of Athens. After analyzing the speech Pericles gave, one can see that the Athenian men in the military were extremely courageous, which is how Athens became the leading empire in the Greek world.

“…And when the moment for fighting came, they held it nobler to suffer death than to yield and save their lives…..”(Thucydides, The Funeral Oration of Pericles, 59.) As described by Pericles, the men of Athens did not worry about their own lives when they fought in the war. They fought strictly for the purpose of protecting their city of Athens. This meant that their fighting strategy would be different. They would lay it all out on the table and give it all they had. By fighting that style, they were never on the defense waiting for something to happen, they were the aggressors. Those men were born ready for war. “And in the matter of education, whereas from early youth they are always undergoing laborious exercises which are to make them brave…” (Thucydides, The Funeral Oration of Pericles, 59.) Instead of focusing on war at a later age, those men were natural bread warriors. The military in Athens put great stress on the idea of training their men at a very young age. That idea morphed the young boys to be brave in war from the very beginning. That strategy wasn’t only to get the men to think like they were brave, but to actually be mentally and physically brave without even having to think about it.

Courage was not the only strong quality the Athens military had. Pride...
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