Pericles and Athens

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Pericles, and His Influence on Athens

Pericles became the leader of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War and was responsible for the rebuilding and reconstructing of this city. He became very powerful and well known through out the age of the 5th century, so powerful that this became known as the age of Pericles. He was the son of Xanthippus and Agariste. His father, Xanthippus was a military leader during the Peloponnesian Wars and was the victor at the Battle of Mycale. He would later ostracize himself in the spring of 484. Pericles came from a line of royalty which made it all the more easier for him to come to power. The helots revolt in Sparta and the current leader of Athens, Cimon lead troops to aid Sparta which the people of Athens did not agree with. The Spartans sent them back to Athens in fear that the democratic ideas of Athens would take effect in Sparta. When Cimon returned he was ostracized by the people of Athens and Pericles came into power in 460. The things discussed in this essay will tell why Pericles was a good attribute to the city-state of Athens. The three most important contributions that he made to Athens are the long wall, the structures he built on the Acropolis, and his military achievements.

From 458-456 Pericles constructed the long walls of Athens. After fighting the Persians in the Greco-Persian Wars the walls that were once built to protect the city of Athens were destroyed. The new walls that Pericles planned to make were going to be much greater than the walls that once protected Athens. These walls would stretch to the coast of Piraeus which was about 4.5 miles outside the city of Athens. This was a peninsula and also gave them access to three harbors. Eventually, Piraeus would become one of the major military harbors for Athens and the construction of the middle wall will begin in 440. The middle wall was supposed to be in the same proportion as the wall that was built in Piraeus. It was built so that in the...
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