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Pericles: (490–429 BC) Greek Statesman

Pericles is best known for his democratization of Athens and the creation of the Athenian empire.  He was born in Athens about the year 490 B.C. and was elected strategos or general in 458 to which he was reelected frequently for 30 years.  Throughout his career, he created and maintained his policy of the state in the hands of the citizens under the rule of law.

Under Pericles rule, Athens achieved its intellectual greatness as Pericles became a patron and supporter of the arts, nurturing Socrates, Euripedes, and Sophocles.

Although the speeches of Pericles were not written down, in in his history of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides provides some idea of Pericles' power as an orator. The funeral oration that he has Pericles deliver in honor of the dead during the first year of the Peloponnesian War is especially noble.


Further Reading:

For more on the Greek Cultural Garden

Funeral Oration given by Thucydides

Biography Compton Encyclopedia

Pericles, by Plutarch