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Menexenus (Plato)

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.