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Part of the series on:
The Dialogues of Plato
Early dialogues:
ApologyCharmidesCrito
EuthyphroFirst Alcibiades
Hippias MajorHippias Minor
IonLachesLysis
Transitional & middle dialogues:
CratylusEuthydemusGorgias
MenexenusMenoPhaedo
ProtagorasSymposium
Later middle dialogues:
The RepublicPhaedrus
ParmenidesTheaetetus
Late dialogues:
TimaeusCritias
The SophistThe Statesman
PhilebusLaws
Of doubtful authenticity:
ClitophonEpinomis
EpistlesHipparchus
MinosRival Lovers
Second AlcibiadesTheages

The Menexenus is a Socratic dialogue of Plato, traditionally included in the seventh tetralogy along with the Greater and Lesser Hippias and the Ion. The characters are Socrates and Menexenus.

The Menexenus consists mainly of a lengthy funeral oration, satirizing the one given by Pericles in Thucydides' account of the Peloponnesian War. In this way the Menexenus is unique among the Platonic dialogues, in that the actual 'dialogue' serves primarily as exposition for the oration. For this reason, perhaps, the Menexenus has come under some suspicion of illegitemacy.

Perhaps the most interest in the Menexenus stems from the fact that it is one of the few extant sources on the practice of Athenian funeral oratory, even though it is a parody thereof.

Further reading

  • Collins, Susan D.; Stauffer, Devin (1999). "The Challenge of Plato's 'Menexenus'". The Review of Politics 61 (1): 85-115.
  • Coventry, Lucinda (1989). "Philosophy and Rhetoric in the Menexenus". Journal of Hellenic Studies 109: 1-15. DOI:10.2307/632028.
  • Kahn, Charles H. (1963). "Plato's Funeral Oration: The Motive of the Menexenus". Classical Philology 58 (4): 220-234.
  • Monoson, S. Sara (1998). "Remembering Pericles: The Political and Theoretical Import of Plato's Menexenus". Political Theory 26 (4): 489-513.
  • Rosenstock, Bruce (1994). "Socrates as Revenant: A Reading of the Menexenus". Phoenix 48 (4): 331-347. DOI:10.2307/1192572.












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