Sophocles and Pericles

Sophocles and Pericles

Sophocles and Pericles

Sophocles and Pericles

Excerpt

While writing this book I felt all the time like a man walking in a region where he would come across a number of signs: 'Danger Zone! You proceed at your own risk!' But I knew I had to proceed. The fundamental issues involved will be discussed in the first chapter, and no more need be said here. I know that much I have to say will to many appear provocative or mistaken, and that certain points remain highly disputable. To keep silent for that reason would have been prudent; but we do not learn by being merely prudent.

I have been greatly encouraged by the interest taken in my work by some of my friends, and by that inspiring interpreter of Attic tragedy, the Provost of King's College, Cambridge, who referred to a lecture of mine on 'Unwritten Laws in Periclean Athens' (J. T. Sheppard, The Wisdom of Sophocles (1947), 52). My warm thanks are due to those friends who have greatly helped me by their criticism, Professor T. B. L. Webster and Mr. A. Andrewes who have read the typescript of the whole book, and Professor A. W. Gomme who read that of chapter vi. I must also thank Mr. B. Ashmole for help and advice in a few archaeological points. My elder son Geoffrey Elton has read the proofs, my friend and former pupil John Graham has helped me with the Index; I am grateful indeed for their generous assistance. As always, I had the benefit of my wife's sound and subtle judgment in matters both of logic and of style.

V. E.

March,1953 . . .

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