“Advance, ye sons of Greece, from thraldom save
Your country, save your wives, your children save,
The temples of your gods, the sacred tomb
Where rest your honour’d ancestors; this day
The common cause of all demands your valour.” – Aeschylus
This is easily my favourite passage from all of classical Greek literature excepting maybe Themistocles’ decree where he orders the readying of the fleet and the evacuation of Athens in the face of the Persian invasion where he’s all, from memory, all citizens and resident aliens will board the two hundred ships being prepared to fight the barbarian.” I love the emotional impact of this passage. I imagine how the Greeks would have felt huddled in their triremes just before the battle, frightened and nervous if such a thing had been said. If they ever needed to know what they were fighting for this makes it plain. I imagine those Greek sailors thinking of their wives and children and pulling with all their might on those oars.