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Take the Athenian Oath

Updated: Feb 2, 2023

Join civic leaders in City of Tacoma, Washington in adopting the Athenian Oath. This oath was recited by the citizens of Athens, Greece, more than 2,000 years ago. Learn more about this timeless code of civic responsibility.

“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.”

The Athenian Oath above has been modified for modern day use. The original oath would be sworn by the youth of Athens, upon induction into the military academy, graduation from which was required to attain status as Athenian citizens.

"I will never bring reproach upon my hallowed arms, nor will I desert the comrade at whose side I stand, but I will defend our altars and our hearths, single-handed or supported by many. My native land I will not leave a diminished heritage but greater and better than when I received it. I will obey whoever is in authority and submit to the established laws and all others which the people shall harmoniously enact. If anyone tries to overthrow the constitution or disobeys it, I will not permit him, but will come to its defense, single-handed or with the support of all. I will honor the religion of my fathers. Let the gods be my witness, Agraulus, Enyalius, Ares, Zeus, Thallo, Auxo, Hegemone."

🏛 Interested in applying ancient wisdom to modern city building? Join the 2021 cohort of Mayors, Councillors, CAOs & Senior Staff in Resilient Civic Leadership, a 5-week interactive university course starting May 25, 2021: (1 min video below)


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