The Athenian Oath

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The original Oath of the Athenian City-State was required in ancient Athens to become a citizen. The exact text of the oath has a number of translations. A later version, the Ephebic Oath, was sworn by men upon entering their second year and final year of training at the military academy, in which graduation was required to attain citizenship. The oath states both military and civil responsibility to one’s city.

This oath is used by a number of public service organizations and is inscribed on the wall at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

These are the words of a true public servant and a true citizen. The words are also a good reminder of the meaning behind our careers in public service and our responsibilities to our city. 


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The Athenian Oath

We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice.

We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many.

We will revere and obey the City's laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. 

We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public's sense of civic duty.

Thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this City not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us