Pericles (490-429 BC)


490 BC It is the year when Athenian general, speaker and statesman Pericles was born. He was the son of Xanthippos and of Agariste. His father was also a politician, in 479 BC and was the leader of the fleet which had destroyed the last remaining of that of Persian King Xerxes after the battle from Mycale. By his mother, Pericles came from the old family of Alcmeonises; his mother was also the niece of a great Athenian leader, Cleisthenes. He got a special education.

421 BC He led the chorus for Aeschylus’s song, “Persians” that plays the clenching of Medic Wars.

458 BC Pericles was chosen for the first time strategist and continuously ruled Athens during 443-429 BC taking a series of measures to democratize the city. In 451 or 450 BC, because of his proposal, a law that stipulated that citizenship could be given only those who had both parents from Athens. Many of city’s functions were chosen by lot. These were paid so that each citizen had the possibility to access them.

Using money done during Pericles’s reign, great buildings of Athens were made. A decree voted in 450-449 authorized Athens to take out from League from Delos treasury the necessary amounts to rebuild the temples that destroyed during the wars against Persians. These had left behind them, when they had gone in 479 BC, only ruins on Acropolis. Themistocles and Cimon, Athens’ leaders, had built walls to protect the city. Pericles thought to turn Acropolis into a jewel in order to show the power of Athens to the whole world.

He closely followed the buildings asking for the plans of architect, chose the materials and visited the construction site. In 450, as the ruler of the constructions on Acropolis, was designated Phidias, who was a close friend of Pericles.

429 BC This is the year when Pericle, the politician, the speaker and the art lover died and was buried near the Academy, where Pausanias, an ancient historian, saw his tomb in 150. He let a more beautiful Athens, but which would be defeated by Sparta during Peloponnesian War that had just started in 431 BC [].






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