Ancient Greek Pericles was orator and Strategos i.e. general of Athens. So profound and beneficial was his rule over Athens that the period during his rule is known as the golden age of Athens as well as the age of Pericles.
He was born in 495 BC to a rich family of Alcmaeonids. Pericles’s father Xanthippus had served in the Athens military as the commander while his mother Agariste, was was the niece of Cleisthenes, a former statesman, and reformer.
Ancient Greek Pericles
Pericles became the ruler of Athens in 461 BC and he occupied the position until his death. Under his ruling, Athens saw some of the best reforms and developments in the fields of art and architecture. He also promoted literature and philosophy and it was under his rule that Athens became the center of art, culture, education and most importantly democracy.
Democracy based on majority rule was an idea that flourished under this great ruler of Athens. Due to the support provided by Pericles to artists, philosophers, poets, thinkers, sculptors etc. they all found Athens as the most suitable place for their own development as it provided them with the suitable atmosphere for their work.
Under his leadership, The Acropolis and the Parthenon were constructed in Athens. He recaptured Delphi in 448 from the Spartans, siege of Samos during the Samian war was done under his rule and also the invasion of Megara which happened in 431 BC happened under his ruling.
He led Athens in the first couple of years of the Peloponnesian War. He died in 429 BC from the plague that affected Athens immensely.
The impact that Pericles had on Athens can be easily understood by what Thucydides said about him. He gave Pericles the title of being the first citizen of Athens. Such was the greatness of one of the more influential rulers Athens and ancient Greece ever saw.
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