Assess Whether Pericles Was A Good or Bad Leader
Pericles (C. 495-429 BC) was a very influential politician and general in Athens. He is said to have brought about a very important time in Athenian history known as ‘The Golden Age of Athens’ where he brought about or placed focus on certain things like art, which gave Athens the reputation as the cultural and educational centre of Ancient Greece, architecture, where he created a project to beautify the city and provide work for Athenians with most of its products like the Parthenon still surviving and giving us an idea of the glory of Athens. He also made valuable contributions to drama, the bringing about of democracy and the establishment of the Greek empire. Democracy, which allows all citizens to influence and be involved in the running of the state was a concept reaffirmed by Pericles. This is why he made sure he played a major role in the ostracizing of Cimon who was characterized as being a tyrant. Other historians may argue that Pericles’ ulterior motive for doing that was to ensure that he came into power with his main opposition out of the way but for a man who made so many important advancements for the Athenians, I strongly believe he did it not with the intention of capturing power but helping give the Athenians a voice. This made him a very great political leader as he was able to rid the state of the many problems of dictatorship and oligarchy like corruption which was further emphasized by one of his ancient admirers, Thucydides who said, ‘he kept himself untainted by corruption, although he was not altogether indifferent to money-making’ He ‘excelled all his fellow citizens in skills of oratory’ (Diodorus Siculus) The art of oratory has been a rare skill possessed by very few people who turned out to deliver some of the most well known speeches in history. Oratory has been a very influential tool for some of the world’s greatest leaders and Pericles falls in that category of leaders with...
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