In he led a successful military campaign in Corinth and sponsored the establishment of Athenian colonies in Thrace and on the Black Sea coast. After the second Persian invasion of Greece inAthens and its allies throughout the Aegean formed the Delian League, a military alliance focused on the Persian threat.
The historian Thucydides admired him profoundly and refused to criticize him. These sources are not all ascertainable, but they certainly preserve an invaluable amount of fact and contemporary gossip, which is sometimes nearly as useful.
Pericles was born into the first generation able to use the new weapon of the popular vote against the old power of family politics. His father, Xanthippus, a typical member of this generation, almost certainly of an old family, began his political career by a dynastic marriage into the controversial family of the Alcmaeonids.
He soon left their political camp, probably on the question of relations with Persia, and took the then new path of legal prosecution as a political weapon. Perhaps outbid in his search for popular support, Xanthippus was ostracized in bce, though he returned in to command the Athenian force at Mycale inprobably dying soon after.
From him Pericles may have inherited a leaning toward the people, along with landed property at Cholargus, just north of Athens, which put him high, though not quite at the highest level, on the Athenian pyramid of wealth. His Alcmaeonid mother, Agariste, provided him with relationships of sharply diminishing political value and her family curse, a religious defilement that was occasionally used against him by his enemies.
The symbolism, although ambiguousis most likely to be unfavourable. The only name associated with his early education is that of the musical theorist Damon, whose influence, it is said, was not just confined to music. The arrival of the Sophist philosophers in Athens occurred during his middle life, and he seems to have taken full advantage of the society of Zeno and particularly Anaxagorasfrom whom he is said to have learned impassivity in the face of trouble and Pericles on athens in the funeral and skepticism about alleged divine phenomena.
Nothing further is known untilwhen he unsuccessfully prosecuted Cimonthe leading general and statesman of the day, on a charge of having neglected a chance to conquer Macedonia; this implies that Pericles advocated an aggressive policy of expansion for Athens. Rise to democratic leadership That Pericles immediately succeeded the assassinated Ephialtes as head of the democratic party in is an ancient oversimplification; there were other men of considerable weight in Athens in the next 15 years.
In or Pericles carried a law confining Athenian citizenship to those of Athenian parentage on both sides. No source provides any background to this proposal; it is not even clear whether it was retroactive. A correct assessment is vital for understanding Pericles, but explanations vary considerably; some argue that Pericles was merely forging a low-level political weapon for use against Cimon, who had a foreign mother.
The upper classes certainly had no prejudice against foreign marriages; the lower classes may well have had more, and, on the whole, it is possible to view Pericles here as championing exclusivist tendencies against immigrants who might break down the fabric of Athenian society.
One hundred years later, an orator argued for firm distinctions of status on the ground that the law provided even the poorest Athenian girl with a dowry in the form of her citizenship.
The law also may have passed because of a general wish to restrict access to the benefits of office and public distributions, but there was never any disposition on the part of Athenians to restrict economic opportunities for foreigners—who served in the fleet, worked on public buildings, and had freedom of trade and investment, with the crucial, but normal, exception of land and houses.
Cimon died afterduring his last campaign against Persia. The policy of war with Persia was abandoned and a formal peace probably made.
The Persian Warbegun as an ill-considered gesture incould be considered ultimately successful. The city of Athens, however, was physically still much as it had been left by the Persian sack ofand its gods were inadequately housed.
If peace with Persia did not end the alliance, it may have ended the annual tribute paid to that treasury. Whether to regain this tribute, or simply to assert Athenian leadership, Pericles summoned a conference of all Greek states to consider the questions of rebuilding the Greek temples destroyed by the Persians, the payment of sacrifices due to the gods for salvation, and the freedom of the seas.
Sparta would not cooperate, but Pericles continued on the narrower basis of the Athenian alliance. Tribute was to continue, and Athens would draw heavily on the reserves of the alliance for a magnificent building program centred on the Acropolis. In work started on the temple later known as the Parthenon and on the gold and ivory statue of Athena by Phidiaswhich it was to house; the Acropolis project was to include, among other things, a temple to Victory and the Propylaea startedthe entrance gateway, far grander and more expensive than any previous Greek secular building.
There was domestic criticismhowever. Thucydides, son of Melesias not the historian and a relative of Cimon, who had inherited some of his political support, denounced both the extravagance of the project and the immorality of using allied funds to finance it.
Pericles argued that the allies were paying for their defense, and, if that was assured, Athens did not have to account for how the money was actually spent. The argument ended in ostracism in ; Thucydides went into exile for 10 years, leaving Pericles unchallenged.Pericles' funeral oration is a speech written by Thucydides for his history of the Peloponnesian War.
Pericles delivers the oration not only to bury the dead, but to praise democracy.
The people of Athens, including those from the countryside whose land was being pillaged by their enemies, were kept. Pericles Funeral Oration In the fifth century BCE the city of Athens was lead by a man named Pericles. Funerals after great battles were held as a public event where any citizen of Athens, stranger or relative to the fallen heroes, was invited to take place.
Pericles then quelled a revolt in Byzantium and, when he returned to Athens, gave a funeral oration to honor the soldiers who died in the expedition. Between – BC Pericles led Athens' fleet in Pontus and established friendly relations with the Greek cities of the region.
Pericles’ Funeral Oration Analysis: Athenian This piece is a funeral oratory, a speech written to honor fallen Athenian heroes at the end of the first year of the Peloponnesian War. At such a time of high emotions and patriotism – Pericles has not one theme but several. In , shortly after the Peloponnesian War had broken out, Pericles delivered his famous Funeral Oration to commemorate those troops who had already fallen in battle. When Pericles was asked to give the official funeral oration for the Athenian soldiers who had died at one of the opening battles of the Peloponnesian War, he took the occasion not only to praise the dead, but Athens itself, in a speech which has been praised as enshrining the highest ideals of democracy and condemned as blatant propaganda on behalf of a warlike, imperialistic state, which–despite what .
Pericles was born into one of Athens’ leading families. His father Xanthippus was a hero of the Persian War and his mother belonged to . In philosophy, Athens produced Socrates, Anaxagoras and Plato; in history, Herodotus and Thucydides; in literature, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
As a culture which . Athens under the leadership of Pericles was populated by citizens intensely loyal and proud of their city state where the government was renown for justice and the streets adorned with beautiful public buildings and art some of which survives to this day.