Classical Athens and Pericles

Topics: Pericles, Classical Athens, Athenian democracy Pages: 4 (1517 words) Published: November 7, 2006

Pericles was born in Athens Greece in 495 B.C... He was the son of Xanthippus, who won the victory over the Persians at Mycale. His mother was Agariste, who was the niece of the great statesman Clisthenes. Pericles grew up with wealth and a well expanded education. Some of his teachers were Daman, who taught him politics, Zeno who taught him argumentation, and by Anaxagoras who taught him nobility of purpose and character. The teacher that Pericles most admired and learned from was Anaxagoras. Pericles first became popular as an opponent of the Areopagus. He was also a prosecutor against Cimon. These were two of the large events that allowed Pericles to become a great leader in Athens. Cimon was a political rival of Pericles for many years. Cimon was a wealthy man who gained favor with the people by spending his own money on feeding, clothing and caring for those Athenians who needed assistance. To counter Cimon, Pericles spent public money in building projects. Pericles even was eventually able to have Cimon ostracized and banished from the city for a period of time. However, before his period of exile was up, Cimon returned to lead Athenians in a battle against Sparta. Unfortunately, some friends of Pericles had Cimon sent away and the battle went badly for the Athenians. At that point, Pericles was able to look past his own ambitions, and recalled Cimon so that Athens might be victorious. This move allowed Pericles to be adored and loved by all the people. It also gave him an extream amount of authority. Pericles helped complete the evolution of democracy in Athens during 462-429 B.C. Pericles had been the leader of the democratic faction of Athenian politics since 462 BC. Ephialtes was the Athenian leader who had finally divested the Areopagus of all its power; Athens was now solely governed by the council and the democratic Assembly. Pericles quickly brought forward legislation that let anyone serve as the archon (one of the nine central...
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