In the history of the ancient Greek civilization, there were many powerful and contributing men and women. Only one could be called the “Greatest Greek” and that man’s name is Pericles. Pericles was a wise and powerful leader of the city of Athens. He was a great supporter of the concept of democracy. Pericles guided Athens almost through the entire Peloponnesian War. Pericles promoted the arts and literature. This was a main reason Athens held the reputation of being the educational and cultural centre of the ancient Greek world.
Pericles' rule as a statesman in Athens is called the Golden Age of Pericles, and he was an eager supporter of democracy. He wanted all citizens of Athens to take an active part in politics, and he was the first to pay servants to the state. Members of the council were chosen by all Athenians, and Pericles restored and built many temples and structures, such as the Parthenon on the Acropolis, employing the poorest citizens.
Pericles promoted the arts and literature such as sculpting, writing, ceramics and theatre. Phidias is considered the greatest sculptor of the Age of Pericles. He created colossal gold plated marble statues generally face and hands, which were highly celebrated and admired in his own time. Pericles promoted and favored the theatre with a series of practical measures. The wealthiest families were obligated to care for the choruses and actors. Pericles maintained the tradition according to which theater pieces served the moral and intellectual education of the people.
Athens became the great city of Greek theater. Until the Age of Pericles, all theaters had been made of stone, but that period saw the beginning of performances in provisional theaters, made of wood, which existed only for the ten days of those productions. Theater sessions lasted eight hours and were a type of competition in which a jury found a winner.
Pericles felt that the Spartans would eventually grow jealous of Athens wealth...
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