The Bravery of the Fallen
Anthologia Palatina 7.512, attributed to Simonides
It was thanks to these men’s valor
That broad Tegea did not burn
And send smoke up to heaven;
They wished to leave to their sons
A city blossoming in freedom,
While perishing themselves
Among the first rank of fighters.
Τῶνδε δι’ ἀνθρώπων ἀρετὰν οὐχ ἵκετο καπνὸς
αἰθέρα δαιομένας εὐρυχόρου Τεγέας,
βούλοντο πόλιν μὲν ἐλευθερίᾳ τεθαλυῖαν
παισὶ λιπεῖν, αὐτοὶ δ’ ἐν προμάχοισι θανεῖν.
Funerary stele of a hoplite. Artist unknown; ca. 400 BCE. Found at Lysi, Cyprus; now in the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia. Photo credit: Raymac.