This arresting programmatic statement looks forward in the chapters that follow to the analyses of epinician poetry and more broadly of ainos as authoritative speech in poetry and prose. The comparison of the victorious athlete to heroes of the past that characterizes epainos as a genre, he argued, establishes a parallel between the glory, kleos, bestowed on the heroes by the epic, which is confined to the past, and the kleos the poet secures for the victor in the here and now. The analogy grounds the glorification of contemporary men in the Panhellenic tradition shared by all poleis. Unlike the kleos of epic, however, the kleos generated by praise-poetry is tied to a specific person and occasion. Observing that this occasional nature is key to the social function of praise-poetry, he moved on to expose the ambiguous dynamics linking ainos to the persona of the tyrant, as well as the alluring quality of tyranny and its dangerous cravings. This essay, my eranos for Greg on the occasion of his 70th birthday, attempts to retrace such a web of explicit and implicit connections among the political use of the epic past, the exercise of epainos, and tyranny and lust for power in Thucydides’ History. Crucial points in the network connecting these various elements in the History are metaphors of eros in which tyranny is a figure of desire. The association of tyranny with rampant passion is, of course, commonplace an ancient Greek thought.  In Athens it was paradigmatically laid out in the story of the Tyrant Slayers, Harmodius and Aristogiton, ever present in the forms of statues, images on coins, cult, libations on the occasion of state funerals, songs, courtroom speeches. Their myth is emblematic of the interdependence of erotic and political regimes, where to “rightful love”, dikaios erôs, corresponds democratic freedom, while sexual license characterizes the worst of tyranny.  Hipparchus’ kind of eros – reckless, lawless lust – is the mark of the tyrant. In his pursuit of sex, as in his appetite for wealth, the tyrant is driven by hunger, pleonexia, that he can never satisfy.  Plato gives us the most extensive treatment of the close relationship of tyranny to eros at the opening of Book 9 of the Republic, a dialogue set against the intellectual and political background of Athens at the time of the Peloponnesian war, although written a generation later. Socrates there traces the genesis of the tyrannical man: as a youth, he is prey to “dangerous, fierce, and lawless desires”, the kind that should be confined to sick dreams. He falls under the spell of otherwise unspecified “magi and tyrant-makers” who install a “large winged drone in his soul”. That drone is Eros (572b–573a). Within the city of his soul Eros is tyrant (573d, 574a). Himself tyrannized, such a man becomes a drunken, raging creature, prey to a passion for sex and then, metaphorically, for all that can be had, by any means: feasting, money, power.  Socrates compares such urges to the pleasures of the wise man, which are real because they are grounded in knowledge, while tyrannical passions, aimed at satisfying base instincts, pursue mere shadows. The figure charged with embodying both the force of tyrannical desire and the illusory nature of its object is Helen of Sparta, a phantom, as in Stesichorus’ Palinode (586b–c; translation Shorey 1935):
δεινοῖς ἔρωσιν, ἧς φυλακτέον πέρι.
This quality tyranny has of being both the object and the subject of passion is one she shares with Helen of Sparta, who embodies the destructive force of eros at the mythical level. In the Iliad Helen is spoken of as a beautiful object that was taken, seized by Paris. But in her own voice she blames herself and reviles her own conduct, as though she were ultimately responsible for the elopement.  In a lyric of Sappho the ultimate object of desire has been herself struck by desire:
κ̣άλ̣λο̣ς̣ ἀνθρ̣ώπων Ἐλένα τὸν ἄνδρα
κ̣αλλίποισ̣’ ἔβα ’ς Τροΐαν πλέοι̣σα
κωὐδὲ παῖδος οὐδὲ φίλων τοκήων
π̣άμπαν ἐμνάσθη, ἀλλὰ παράγ̣α̣γ̣’ α̣ὔταν
For she who overcame everyone
in beauty (Helen)
left her fine husband
behind and went sailing to Troy.
Not for her children nor her dear parents
had she a thought, no—
]led her astray.
The object of Pericles’ praise is not Athens at large but Athens in its present state, that is, in possession of arkhê. Accordingly, his subjects are the qualities and achievements that made it possible, indeed inevitable, for her to acquire the empire. 
Beyond rejecting poetry as potentially deceitful, this statement denies epic models the capacity to function as exempla on whose authority contemporary claims to glory may be founded. This is a quintessentially political move that allows the speaker to adopt an Athenocentric perspective that isolates Athens’ from the Hellenic community at large, and to forge for the city a unique identity.  Through a series of comparisons, Pericles marks her diversity from the other Hellenes. Price lists the most important: 
The sum of these differences amounts to the superiority that legitimizes hegemony. This also means that Athens has more to loose in the war than her adversaries: what is at stake is the loss of arkhê (42.1; translation Crawley 1903):
Pericles makes the same point, albeit more explicitly, again with the purpose of persuading the Athenians to go on fighting, months later in his last speech, when under the strain of the plague and the invasion public opinion had turned against the war. In the assembly he addresses the demos, reminding his compatriots that, true, he had argued the case for going to war, but they themselves had voted for it. It was too late now to abandon the fight: the empire would be lost (2.63.2; translation Lattimore 1998):
That is to say, one of the ways in which the arkhê is “like a tyranny” is that it affords no escape.  Cleon reiterates the argument more brutally in his address to the Assembly, in the course of the debate whether or not to put the Mytilenaeans to death (3.37.2): “For you do not reflect that the empire you hold is tyranny imposed upon unwilling subjects who plot against you.”
Likewise Athens rules over both willing and unwilling subjects. Pericles unambiguously refers to the allies as “subjects” (ὑπηκόῳ, 2.41.3) and it is clear from the statement that follows that not all were equally willing to submit (2.41.4; translation Lattimore 1998): 
The outlandish claim that Athens holds sway over the whole earth – lands and seas – will not stand up to a realistic assessment of the facts. It does, however, reveal the tyrannical quality of the imperial city’s ambition. As in Bacchylides’ encomium for Alexander of Macedon, the tyrant “fancies he will be monarch over all men.” For – the tyrant explains in the Hiero – whereas a private citizen might wish for a house, or a field, or a slave, “the tyrant desires cities, vast tracts of land, harbors, mighty citadels, which are things much harder and more dangerous to acquire than the things private persons desire.”  The very freedom the Athenian demos enjoys is the freedom of the tyrant to do as he wishes, once it becomes the power to compel. 
καὶ τυραννεύσας Ἀθην μοῦνον ἡμέρην μίαν,
ἀσκὸς ὕστερον δεδάρθαι κἀπιτετρίφθαι γένος.
Like her power, Athens’ wealth too is virtually limitless (2.38.2):
Commentators on this passage appropriately point to a parallel remark in Pseudo–Xenophon’s Constitution of Athens (2.7), stating that luxury goods are brought to Athens from various parts of the Mediterranean on account of the city’s mastery of the sea.  The hyperbole of Pericles’ words, however, finds better correspondence in the unrivaled riches of despots.  The claim that the city’s reach extends all over the earth and the image of an endless flow of goods bring to mind the words with which Clytemnestra proclaims the opulence of the house in the “carpet scene” in Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (958–62; translation Thomson 1938):
τρέφουσα πολλῆς πορφύρας ἰσάργυρον
κηκῖδα παγκαίνιστον, εἱμάτων βαφάς·
οἶκος δ’ ὑπάρχει τῶνδε σὺν θεοῖς, ἄναξ,
ἔχειν, πένεσθαι δ’ οὐκ ἐπίσταται δόμος.
There is still the sea, it shall not be dried up,
Renewing fresh from infinite abundance
Rich merchandise of purple-stained attire;
Wherein the Gods, my lord, have well endowed
A royal house that knows no penury.
ἀμμειγνυμένα Διονυσίοισι δώροις·
ἀνδράσι δ’ ὑψο⌊ τάτω πέμπει μερίμνας
αὐτίκα μὲν πολίων κράδεμνα λύει,
πᾶσι δ’ ἀνθρώποις μοναρχήσειν δοκεῖ·
χρυσῷ δ’ ἐλέφαντί τε μαρμαίρουσιν οἶκοι,
πυροφόροι δὲ κατ’ αἰγλάεντα πόντον
νᾶες ἄγουσιν ἀπ’ Αἰγύπτου μέγιστον
πλοῦτον· ὣς πίνοντος ὁρμαίνει κέαρ.
Pericles thus constructs an allegory, in which all citizen soldiers fall passionately in love with the imperial city by beholding, theômenous, her power, dunamin, and are each ready to lay down his life as an eranos for her. 
οὐδ’ εἷλέ πώ με ζῆλος, οὐδ’ ἀγαίομαι
θεῶν ἔργα, μεγάλης δ’ οὐκ ἐρέω τυραννίδος·
ἀπόπροθεν γάρ ἐστιν ὀφθαλμῶν ἐμῶν.
Here, as in Pericles’ extended metaphor, lusting after tyranny depends upon having her in one’s sights. That tyranny has erastai is a familiar concept. In the speech at Herodotus 3.53.4, in which Periander’s daughter tries to convince her brother to return to Corinth and take over his father’s role, she tells him: “Tyranny is a slippery creature, and she has many lovers” (Τυραννὶς χρῆμα σφαλερόν, πολλοὶ δὲ αὐτῆς ἐρασταί εἰσι). Herodotus again (1.96.2) describes Deioces, who became the first king of the Medes, as a clever man “who lusted after tyranny” (ἐρασθεὶς τυραννίδος).
The last part of this much-quoted sentence echoes a reflection in Pindar’s second Olympian that concerns precisely the good management of tyranny. The ode is in honor of Theron of Acragas and in this passage points him out as an exemplum of how wealth such as his serves worthy ends when it becomes the opportunity for achievements: 
φέρει τῶν τε καὶ τῶν
καιρὸν βαθεῖαν ὑπέχων μέριμναν ἀγροτέραν,
ἀστὴρ ἀρίζηλος, ἐτυμώτατον
The kind of giving Pericles describes has disturbing implications, in that it is one–sided, being the relationship between a dominant party, the benefactor, who enjoys utter freedom, and an inferior one, permanently placed in the condition of debtor.  An example of this sort of exchange may be the granting of proxenies to citizens of the allied cities that provided benefits which the recipient would not, could not reciprocate. Not insignificantly, it is in extant fifth–century proxeny decrees that the formula “the cities which the Athenians rule” regularly occurs.  Lack of reciprocity is, of course, endemic to the condition of tyrant, because reciprocity entails equality, while tyranny depends upon superiority in both power and wealth. 
Since Gomme, many have tried to discover a benign intent underneath these words: perhaps the womanly “nature” to which Pericles calls attention should be understood as “noble, and something to be proud of”; perhaps the advice concerns the manner in which the women should carry out their task, the funeral lament, which should be neither excessive nor stinging; or silencing them is a way to say that the widows are now wards of the state.  At face value, it is hard to construe this statement as anything but an appalling expression of misogyny. Beyond the fact that it strikes us as somewhat insensitive, however, the real problem with Pericles’ admonition to the widows is that it seems gratuitous, a non sequitur, and uncalled for, since other epitaphioi do not include remarks addressed to the women.  This is troubling because the passage substantially rounds up the speech, coming as it does just before the conventional formal dismissal of the crowd. We should expect here a particularly significant statement that brings to a head the various strands of the oration and provides appropriate closure. But let us pay close attention to the wording.
Τυνδαρέου π̣[οτ]ὶ̣ δῶμα δαΐφρονος Οἰβαλίδαο,
πολλὰ δ’ ἔεδν̣[α δίδον,] μέγα γὰρ κλέος̣ [ἔσκε γυ]ν̣α̣ι̣κός
As well as desire, Helen’s beauty raises the possibility of violence. To avert strife among the suitors, after Menelaus is proclaimed the winner of the contest, Tyndareus binds them all to the oath, which Euripides imagines in these terms (Iphigenia at Aulis, 61-65; translation Coleridge 1900):
πτολις ἐκ τῶν ἁβροτίμων
Ζεφύρου γίγαντος αὔραι
Helen – hell indeed she carried
Unto men and ships and a proud city, stealing
From the silk veils of her chamber, sailing seaward
With the Zephyr’s breath behind her.
μία τὰς πολλάς, τὰς πάνυ πολλὰς
ψυχὰς ὀλέσασ’ ὑπὸ Τροίαι·
O Helen, oh folly–beguiled,
One woman to take those thousands of lives
That were lost in the land of the Trojans.
It is a duserôs, a sick eros, a fatal passion that drives the young men to war, a desire – misguided in Nicias’ view – to gaze upon not what is distant, as tôn apontôn is often translated, but with what is absent.
In the last passage, more than in the preceding one, the metaphor stresses the yearning, pothos, with which the young men long to bring into sight, opsis, and behold, theôria, the absent object of their desire.  In the opening phrase, erôs enepese, Cornford and others after him have identified an Aeschylean echo of lines in the Agamemnon, 341–42.  Clytemnestra speaks her fear that greed may lead the Achaeans to impiety in their plunder of Troy:
πορθεῖν ἃ μὴ χρή, κέρδεσιν νικωμένους·
Isocrates will use the same words as Thucydides in direct reference to the passion for Helen that took hold of all parties in the war at Troy (Helen 52.1):
Before Thucydides, Euripides had employed the same expression in the Iphigenia in Aulis, where Achilles describes the eagerness of the army to sail for Troy: 
τῆσδε στρατείας Ἑλλάδ’ οὐκ ἄνευ θεῶν.
Opseôs and theôrias are genitives singular: not sights and spectacles but vision and contemplation. The young men yearn for the sight and the contemplation of what they love. Seeing, and then contemplating are precisely the two steps of the love process that Diotima describes in Plato’s Symposium (210e; translation Nehamas and Woodruff 1989):
The lover sees, katopsetai, the beloved, then contemplates him, theômenos. Connor rightly points out that the emphasis on sight in the description of the passion that afflicts the young men about to sail to Sicily looks back to Pericles’ daring metaphor in the Funeral Oration.  Contemplation is the means by which the citizens should become erastai of the city: “beholding (theômenous) day by day the power of the city”. What the young men long for, what is driving them to Sicily, is desire for the dunamis of the city, the tyranny after which they lust. The antithesis that Pericles had drawn in the Funeral Oration between Helen and Athens’ beautiful tyranny has become analogy: no less than the Danaans at Troy, eros for the impossible object of desire drives the Athenians to their doom.
ἅδιστος ἀφεμένων† ἰδεῖν·
πόθωι δ’ ὑπερποντίας
φάσμα δόξει δόμων ἀνάσσειν·
εὐμόρφων δὲ κολοσσῶν
ἔχθεται χάρις ἀνδρί,
ὀμμάτων δ’ ἐν ἀχηνίαις
ἔρρει πᾶσ’ Ἀφροδίτα.
We can see him there,
sitting apart, in silence, dishon–
ored, not reviling, not beseech–
ing (?). And in longing for her
who is beyond the sea, a ghost
shall seem to rule the house.
And the charm of beautiful stat–
ues is hateful to the man; and
in the emptiness of eyes, all Aphrodite
Menelaus longs for her who is beyond the sea, pothôi huperpontias; deprived of her sight, his eyes in their emptiness know no pleasure. Helen is the ultimate love object but it is her absence that feeds desire.