Pericles (/ˈpɛrɪkliːz/; Greek: Περικλῆς Periklēs,
pronounced [pe.ri.klɛ̂ːs] in Classical Attic; c. 495 – 429
BC) was a prominent and influential Greek statesman, orator and
Athens during the Golden Age — specifically the time
between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. He was descended, through
his mother, from the powerful and historically influential Alcmaeonid
Pericles had such a profound influence on Athenian society that
Thucydides, a contemporary historian, acclaimed him as "the first
citizen of Athens".
Pericles turned the
Delian League into an
Athenian empire, and led his countrymen during the first two years of
the Peloponnesian War. The period during which he led Athens, roughly
from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the "Age of Pericles",
though the period thus denoted can include times as early as the
Persian Wars, or as late as the next century.
Pericles promoted the
arts and literature; it is principally through his efforts that Athens
holds the reputation of being the educational and cultural center of
the ancient Greek world. He started an ambitious project that
generated most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis (including
the Parthenon). This project beautified and protected the city,
exhibited its glory, and gave work to the people.
Athenian democracy to such an extent that critics call him a
1 Early years
2 Political career until 431 BC
2.1 Entering politics
2.2 Ostracizing Cimon
2.3 Leading Athens
2.3.1 First Peloponnesian War
2.3.2 Final battle with the conservatives
2.3.3 Athens' rule over its alliance
2.3.4 Samian War
2.3.5 Personal attacks
3 Peloponnesian War
3.1 Prelude to the war
3.2 First year of the war (431 BC)
3.3 Last military operations and death
4 Personal life
5.1 Political leadership
5.2 Military achievements
5.3 Oratorical skill
6 See also
9.1 Primary sources (Greek and Roman)
9.2 Secondary sources
10 Further reading
11 External links
Our polity does not copy the laws of neighboring states; we are rather
a pattern to others than imitators ourselves. It is called a
democracy, because not the few but the many govern. If we look to the
laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences;
if to social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation
for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with
merit; nor again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve
the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition.
— Thucydides, Pericles' Funeral Oration[α]
Pericles was born c. 495 BC, in Athens, Greece.[β] He was the son of
the politician Xanthippus, who, though ostracized in 485–484 BC,
Athens to command the Athenian contingent in the Greek
Mycale just five years later. Pericles' mother, Agariste, a
member of the powerful and controversial noble family of the
Alcmaeonidae, and her familial connections played a crucial role in
helping start Xanthippus' political career. Agariste was the
great-granddaughter of the tyrant of Sicyon, Cleisthenes, and the
niece of the Athenian reformer Cleisthenes.[γ]
Herodotus and Plutarch, Agariste dreamed, a few nights
before Pericles' birth, that she had borne a lion. Interestingly,
legends say that Philip II of
Macedon had a similar dream before the
birth of his son, Alexander the Great. One interpretation of
the dream treats the lion as a traditional symbol of greatness, but
the story may also allude to the unusually large size of Pericles'
skull, which became a popular target of contemporary comedians (who
called him "Squill-head", after the squill or sea-onion).
Plutarch claims that this deformity was the reason that
Pericles was always depicted wearing a helmet, this is not the case;
the helmet was actually the symbol of his official rank as strategos
Pericles belonged to the tribe of Acamantis (Ἀκαμαντὶς
φυλή). His early years were quiet; the introverted young Pericles
avoided public appearances, instead preferring to devote his time to
His family's nobility and wealth allowed him to fully pursue his
inclination toward education. He learned music from the masters of the
time (Damon or Pythocleides could have been his teacher) and
he is considered to have been the first politician to attribute
importance to philosophy. He enjoyed the company of the
philosophers Protagoras, Zeno of Elea, and Anaxagoras. Anaxagoras, in
particular, became a close friend and influenced him greatly.
Pericles' manner of thought and rhetorical charisma may have been in
part products of Anaxagoras' emphasis on emotional calm in the face of
trouble and skepticism about divine phenomena. His proverbial
calmness and self-control are also often regarded as products of
Political career until 431 BC
Bust of Pericles, Roman copy of a Greek original, British Museum
In the spring of 472 BC,
The Persians of Aeschylus
Greater Dionysia as a liturgy, demonstrating that he was one of
the wealthier men of Athens. Simon Hornblower has argued that
Pericles' selection of this play, which presents a nostalgic picture
of Themistocles' famous victory at Salamis, shows that the young
politician was supporting
Themistocles against his political opponent
Cimon, whose faction succeeded in having
Plutarch says that
Pericles stood first among the Athenians for forty
years. If this was so,
Pericles must have taken up a position of
leadership by the early 460s BC- in his early or mid-thirties.
Throughout these years he endeavored to protect his privacy and to
present himself as a model for his fellow citizens. For example, he
would often avoid banquets, trying to be frugal.
In 463 BC,
Pericles was the leading prosecutor of Cimon, the leader of
the conservative faction who was accused of neglecting Athens' vital
interests in Macedon. Although
Cimon was acquitted, this
confrontation proved that Pericles' major political opponent was
Around 461 BC, the leadership of the democratic party decided it was
time to take aim at the Areopagus, a traditional council controlled by
the Athenian aristocracy, which had once been the most powerful body
in the state. The leader of the party and mentor of Pericles,
Ephialtes, proposed a reduction of the Areopagus' powers. The Ecclesia
(the Athenian Assembly) adopted Ephialtes' proposal without
opposition. This reform signaled the beginning of a new era of
The democratic party gradually became dominant in Athenian politics,
Pericles seemed willing to follow a populist policy in order to
cajole the public. According to Aristotle, Pericles' stance can be
explained by the fact that his principal political opponent, Cimon,
was both rich and generous, and was able to gain public favor by
lavishly handing out portions of his sizable personal fortune. The
historian Loren J. Samons II argues, however, that
Pericles had enough
resources to make a political mark by private means, had he so
In 461 BC,
Pericles achieved the political elimination of this
opponent using ostracism. The accusation was that
Cimon betrayed his
city by aiding Sparta.
After Cimon's ostracism,
Pericles continued to promote a populist
social policy. He first proposed a decree that permitted the poor
to watch theatrical plays without paying, with the state covering the
cost of their admission. With other decrees he lowered the property
requirement for the archonship in 458–457 BC and bestowed generous
wages on all citizens who served as jurymen in the
supreme court of Athens) some time just after 454 BC. His
most controversial measure, however, was a law of 451 BC limiting
Athenian citizenship to those of Athenian parentage on both sides.
Rather, the admiration of the present and succeeding ages will be
ours, since we have not left our power without witness, but have shown
it by mighty proofs; and far from needing a
Homer for our panegyrist,
or other of his craft whose verses might charm for the moment only for
the impression which they gave to melt at the touch of fact, we have
forced every sea and land to be the highway of our daring, and
everywhere, whether for evil or for good, have left imperishable
monuments behind us.
— Thucydides, Pericles' Funeral Oration[α]
Such measures impelled Pericles' critics to hold him responsible for
the gradual degeneration of the Athenian democracy. Constantine
Paparrigopoulos, a major modern Greek historian, argues that Pericles
sought for the expansion and stabilization of all democratic
institutions. Hence, he enacted legislation granting the lower
classes access to the political system and the public offices, from
which they had previously been barred.
According to Samons,
Pericles believed that it was necessary to raise
the demos, in which he saw an untapped source of Athenian power and
the crucial element of
Athenian military dominance. (The fleet,
backbone of Athenian power since the days of Themistocles, was manned
almost entirely by members of the lower classes.)
Cimon, on the other hand, apparently believed that no further free
space for democratic evolution existed. He was certain that democracy
had reached its peak and Pericles' reforms were leading to the
stalemate of populism. According to Paparrigopoulos, history
vindicated Cimon, because Athens, after Pericles' death, sank into the
abyss of political turmoil and demagogy. Paparrigopoulos maintains
that an unprecedented regression descended upon the city, whose glory
perished as a result of Pericles' populist policies.
According to another historian, Justin Daniel King, radical democracy
benefited people individually, but harmed the state. On the other
Donald Kagan asserts that the democratic measures
into effect provided the basis for an unassailable political
strength. After all,
Cimon finally accepted the new democracy and
did not oppose the citizenship law, after he returned from exile in
Ephialtes' murder in 461 BC paved the way for
Pericles to consolidate
his authority.[δ] Without opposition after the expulsion of Cimon,
the unchallengeable leader of the democratic party became the
unchallengeable ruler of Athens. He remained in power until his death
in 429 BC.
First Peloponnesian War
Main article: First Peloponnesian War
Phidias Showing the Frieze of the
Parthenon to Pericles, Aspasia,
Alcibiades and Friends, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1868, Birmingham
Museum & Art Gallery
Pericles made his first military excursions during the First
Peloponnesian War, which was caused in part by Athens' alliance with
Argos and the subsequent reaction of Sparta. In 454 BC he
Sicyon and Acarnania. He then unsuccessfully tried to
conquer Oeniadea on the Corinthian gulf, before returning to
Athens. In 451 BC,
Cimon returned from exile and negotiated a five
years' truce with
Sparta after a proposal of Pericles, an event which
indicates a shift in Pericles' political strategy.
have realized the importance of Cimon's contribution during the
ongoing conflicts against the Peloponnesians and the Persians. Anthony
J. Podlecki argues, however, that Pericles' alleged change of position
was invented by ancient writers to support "a tendentious view of
Plutarch states that
Cimon struck a power-sharing deal with his
opponents, according to which
Pericles would carry through the
interior affairs and
Cimon would be the leader of the Athenian army,
campaigning abroad. If it was actually made, this bargain would
constitute a concession on Pericles' part that he was not a great
strategist. Kagan's view is that
Cimon adapted himself to the new
conditions and promoted a political marriage between Periclean
liberals and Cimonian conservatives.
In the mid-450s the Athenians launched an unsuccessful attempt to aid
an Egyptian revolt against Persia, which led to a prolonged siege of a
Persian fortress in the
Nile Delta. The campaign culminated in
disaster; the besieging force was defeated and destroyed. In
451–450 BC the Athenians sent troops to Cyprus.
Cimon defeated the
Persians in the Battle of Salamis-in-Cyprus, but died of disease in
Pericles is said to have initiated both expeditions in
Egypt and Cyprus, although some researchers, such as Karl Julius
Beloch, argue that the dispatch of such a great fleet conforms with
the spirit of Cimon's policy.
Complicating the account of this period is the issue of the Peace of
Callias, which allegedly ended hostilities between the
Greeks and the
Persians. The very existence of the treaty is hotly disputed, and its
particulars and negotiation are ambiguous. Ernst Badian believes
that a peace between
Athens and Persia was first ratified in 463 BC
(making the Athenian interventions in Egypt and
Cyprus violations of
the peace), and renegotiated at the conclusion of the campaign in
Cyprus, taking force again by 449–448 BC.
John Fine, on the other hand, suggests that the first peace between
Athens and Persia was concluded in 450–449 BC, due to Pericles'
calculation that ongoing conflict with Persia was undermining Athens'
ability to spread its influence in Greece and the Aegean. Kagan
Pericles used Callias, a brother-in-law of Cimon, as a
symbol of unity and employed him several times to negotiate important
In the spring of 449 BC,
Pericles proposed the Congress Decree, which
led to a meeting ("Congress") of all Greek states in order to consider
the question of rebuilding the temples destroyed by the Persians. The
Congress failed because of Sparta's stance, but Pericles' intentions
remain unclear. Some historians think that he wanted to prompt a
confederation with the participation of all the Greek cities; others
think he wanted to assert Athenian pre-eminence. According to the
historian Terry Buckley the objective of the Congress Decree was a new
mandate for the
Delian League and for the collection of "phoros"
Remember, too, that if your country has the greatest name in all the
world, it is because she never bent before disaster; because she has
expended more life and effort in war than any other city, and has won
for herself a power greater than any hitherto known, the memory of
which will descend to the latest posterity.
— Thucydides, Pericles' Third Oration[α]
Second Sacred War
Pericles led the Athenian army against
Delphi and reinstated Phocis in its sovereign rights on the
oracle. In 447 BC
Pericles engaged in his most admired excursion,
the expulsion of barbarians from the Thracian peninsula of Gallipoli,
in order to establish Athenian colonists in the region. At this
Athens was seriously challenged by a number of revolts
among its subjects. In 447 BC the oligarchs of Thebes conspired
against the democratic faction. The Athenians demanded their immediate
surrender, but after the Battle of Coronea,
Pericles was forced to
concede the loss of Boeotia in order to recover the prisoners taken in
that battle. With Boeotia in hostile hands, Phocis and Locris
became untenable and quickly fell under the control of hostile
In 446 BC, a more dangerous uprising erupted.
Euboea and Megara
Pericles crossed over to
Euboea with his troops, but was
forced to return when the
Spartan army invaded Attica. Through bribery
Pericles defused the imminent threat, and the
Spartans returned home. When
Pericles was later audited for the
handling of public money, an expenditure of 10 talents was not
sufficiently justified, since the official documents just referred
that the money was spent for a "very serious purpose". Nonetheless,
the "serious purpose" (namely the bribery) was so obvious to the
auditors that they approved the expenditure without official meddling
and without even investigating the mystery.
After the Spartan threat had been removed,
Pericles crossed back to
Euboea to crush the revolt there. He then punished the landowners of
Chalcis, who lost their properties. The residents of Histiaea,
meanwhile, who had butchered the crew of an Athenian trireme, were
uprooted and replaced by 2,000 Athenian settlers. The crisis was
brought to an official end by the
Thirty Years' Peace
Thirty Years' Peace (winter of
446–445 BC), in which
Athens relinquished most of the
possessions and interests on the Greek mainland which it had acquired
since 460 BC, and both
Sparta agreed not to attempt to
win over the other state's allies.
Final battle with the conservatives
In 444 BC, the conservative and the democratic factions confronted
each other in a fierce struggle. The ambitious new leader of the
Thucydides (not to be confused with the historian of
the same name), accused
Pericles of profligacy, criticizing the way he
spent the money for the ongoing building plan.
managed to incite the passions of the ecclesia regarding these charges
in his favor. However, when
Pericles took the floor, his resolute
Thucydides and the conservatives firmly on the
Pericles proposed to reimburse the city for all
questionable expenses from his private property, with the proviso that
he would make the inscriptions of dedication in his own name. His
stance was greeted with applause, and
Thucydides was soundly, if
unexpectedly, defeated. In 442 BC, the Athenian public voted to
Thucydides from the city for 10 years and
Pericles was once
again the unchallenged ruler of the Athenian political arena.
Athens' rule over its alliance
Pericles after Kresilas, Altes Museum, Berlin
Pericles wanted to stabilize Athens' dominance over its alliance and
to enforce its pre-eminence in Greece. The process by which the Delian
League transformed into an Athenian empire is generally considered to
have begun well before Pericles' time, as various allies in the
league chose to pay tribute to
Athens instead of manning ships for the
league's fleet, but the transformation was speeded and brought to its
conclusion by Pericles.
The final steps in the shift to empire may have been triggered by
Athens' defeat in Egypt, which challenged the city's dominance in the
Aegean and led to the revolt of several allies, such as
Erythrae. Either because of a genuine fear for its safety after
the defeat in Egypt and the revolts of the allies, or as a pretext to
gain control of the League's finances,
Athens transferred the treasury
of the alliance from
Athens in 454–453 BC.
By 450–449 BC the revolts in
Erythrae were quelled and
Athens restored its rule over its allies. Around 447 BC Clearchus
 proposed the Coinage Decree, which imposed Athenian silver
coinage, weights and measures on all of the allies. According to
one of the decree's most stringent provisions, surplus from a minting
operation was to go into a special fund, and anyone proposing to use
it otherwise was subject to the death penalty.
It was from the alliance's treasury that
Pericles drew the funds
necessary to enable his ambitious building plan, centered on the
"Periclean Acropolis", which included the Propylaea, the
the golden statue of Athena, sculpted by Pericles' friend,
Phidias. In 449 BC
Pericles proposed a decree allowing the use of
9,000 talents to finance the major rebuilding program of Athenian
temples. Angelos Vlachos, a Greek Academician, points out the
utilization of the alliance's treasury, initiated and executed by
Pericles, as one of the largest embezzlements in human history; this
misappropriation financed, however, some of the most marvellous
artistic creations of the ancient world.
Main article: Samian War
Samian War was one of the last significant military events before
the Peloponnesian War. After Thucydides' ostracism,
re-elected yearly to the generalship, the only office he ever
officially occupied, although his influence was so great as to make
him the de facto ruler of the state. In 440 BC
Samos went to war
Miletus over control of Priene, an ancient city of
the foot-hills of Mycale. Worsted in the war, the Milesians came to
Athens to plead their case against the Samians.
When the Athenians ordered the two sides to stop fighting and submit
the case to arbitration in Athens, the Samians refused. In
Pericles passed a decree dispatching an expedition to Samos,
"alleging against its people that, although they were ordered to break
off their war against the Milesians, they were not complying".[ε]
In a naval battle the Athenians led by
Pericles and nine other
generals defeated the forces of
Samos and imposed on the island an
Athenian administration. When the Samians revolted against
Pericles compelled the rebels to capitulate after a
tough siege of eight months, which resulted in substantial discontent
among the Athenian sailors.
Pericles then quelled a revolt in
Byzantium and, when he returned to Athens, gave a funeral oration to
honor the soldiers who died in the expedition.
Between 438–436 BC
Pericles led Athens' fleet in Pontus and
established friendly relations with the Greek cities of the
Pericles focused also on internal projects, such as the
Athens (the building of the "middle wall" about
440 BC), and on the creation of new cleruchies, such as Andros,
Thurii (444 BC) as well as Amphipolis
Miletus (c. 469 BC – c. 406 BC), Pericles'
Pericles and his friends were never immune from attack, as preeminence
Athens was not equivalent to absolute rule. Just
before the eruption of the Peloponnesian War,
Pericles and two of his
Phidias and his companion, Aspasia, faced a series
of personal and judicial attacks.
Phidias, who had been in charge of all building projects, was first
accused of embezzling gold meant for the statue of
Athena and then of
impiety, because, when he wrought the battle of the
Amazons on the
shield of Athena, he carved out a figure that suggested himself as a
bald old man, and also inserted a very fine likeness of Pericles
fighting with an Amazon.
Aspasia, who was noted for her ability as a conversationalist and
adviser, was accused of corrupting the women of
Athens in order to
satisfy Pericles' perversions. The accusations against
her were probably nothing more than unproven slanders, but the whole
experience was very bitter for Pericles. Although
acquitted thanks to a rare emotional outburst of Pericles, his friend,
Phidias, died in prison and another friend of his, Anaxagoras, was
attacked by the ecclesia for his religious beliefs.
Beyond these initial prosecutions, the ecclesia attacked Pericles
himself by asking him to justify his ostensible profligacy with, and
maladministration of, public money. According to Plutarch,
Pericles was so afraid of the oncoming trial that he did not let the
Athenians yield to the Lacedaemonians. Beloch also believes that
Pericles deliberately brought on the war to protect his political
position at home. Thus, at the start of the Peloponnesian War,
Athens found itself in the awkward position of entrusting its future
to a leader whose pre-eminence had just been seriously shaken for the
first time in over a decade.
Main article: Peloponnesian War
The causes of the
Peloponnesian War have been much debated, but many
ancient historians lay the blame on
Pericles and Athens. Plutarch
seems to believe that
Pericles and the Athenians incited the war,
scrambling to implement their belligerent tactics "with a sort of
arrogance and a love of strife".[ζ]
Thucydides hints at the same
thing, believing the reason for the war was Sparta's fear of Athenian
power and growth. However, as he is generally regarded as an admirer
Thucydides has been criticized for bias against
Prelude to the war
Pericles by Augustin-Louis Belle (1757–1841)
Pericles was convinced that the war against Sparta, which could not
conceal its envy of Athens' pre-eminence, was inevitable if
unfortunate. Therefore, he did not hesitate to send troops to
Corcyra to reinforce the Corcyraean fleet, which was fighting against
Corinth. In 433 BC the enemy fleets confronted each other at the
Battle of Sybota and a year later the Athenians fought Corinthian
colonists at the Battle of Potidaea; these two events contributed
greatly to Corinth's lasting hatred of Athens. During the same period,
Pericles proposed the Megarian Decree, which resembled a modern trade
embargo. According to the provisions of the decree, Megarian merchants
were excluded from the market of
Athens and the ports in its empire.
This ban strangled the Megarian economy and strained the fragile peace
Athens and Sparta, which was allied with Megara. According to
George Cawkwell, a praelector in ancient history, with this decree
Pericles breached the
Thirty Years' Peace
Thirty Years' Peace "but, perhaps, not without
the semblance of an excuse". The Athenians' justification was that
the Megarians had cultivated the sacred land consecrated to Demeter
and had given refuge to runaway slaves, a behavior which the Athenians
considered to be impious.
After consultations with its allies,
Sparta sent a deputation to
Athens demanding certain concessions, such as the immediate expulsion
Alcmaeonidae family including
Pericles and the retraction of
the Megarian Decree, threatening war if the demands were not met. The
obvious purpose of these proposals was the instigation of a
Pericles and the people; this event, indeed,
would come about a few years later. At that time, the Athenians
unhesitatingly followed Pericles' instructions. In the first legendary
Thucydides puts in his mouth,
Pericles advised the Athenians
not to yield to their opponents' demands, since they were militarily
Pericles was not prepared to make unilateral
concessions, believing that "if
Athens conceded on that issue, then
Sparta was sure to come up with further demands". Consequently,
Pericles asked the Spartans to offer a quid pro quo. In exchange for
retracting the Megarian Decree, the Athenians demanded from
abandon their practice of periodic expulsion of foreigners from their
territory (xenelasia) and to recognize the autonomy of its allied
cities, a request implying that Sparta's hegemony was also
ruthless. The terms were rejected by the Spartans, and with
neither side willing to back down, the two cities prepared for war.
According to Athanasios G. Platias and Constantinos Koliopoulos,
professors of strategic studies and international politics, "rather
than to submit to coercive demands,
Pericles chose war". Another
consideration that may well have influenced Pericles' stance was the
concern that revolts in the empire might spread if
First year of the war (431 BC)
Parthenon was prompted by Pericles.
In 431 BC, while peace already was precarious, Archidamus II,
Sparta's king, sent a new delegation to Athens, demanding that the
Athenians submit to Sparta's demands. This deputation was not allowed
to enter Athens, as
Pericles had already passed a resolution according
to which no Spartan deputation would be welcomed if the Spartans had
previously initiated any hostile military actions. The Spartan army
was at this time gathered at Corinth, and, citing this as a hostile
action, the Athenians refused to admit their emissaries. With his
last attempt at negotiation thus declined, Archidamus invaded Attica,
but found no Athenians there; Pericles, aware that Sparta's strategy
would be to invade and ravage Athenian territory, had previously
arranged to evacuate the entire population of the region to within the
walls of Athens.
No definite record exists of how exactly
Pericles managed to convince
the residents of
Attica to agree to move into the crowded urban areas.
For most, the move meant abandoning their land and ancestral shrines
and completely changing their lifestyle. Therefore, although they
agreed to leave, many rural residents were far from happy with
Pericles also gave his compatriots some
advice on their present affairs and reassured them that, if the enemy
did not plunder his farms, he would offer his property to the city.
This promise was prompted by his concern that Archidamus, who was a
friend of his, might pass by his estate without ravaging it, either as
a gesture of friendship or as a calculated political move aimed to
Pericles from his constituents.
Pericles' Funeral Oration
Pericles' Funeral Oration (Perikles hält die Leichenrede) by Philipp
In any case, seeing the pillage of their farms, the Athenians were
outraged, and they soon began to indirectly express their discontent
towards their leader, who many of them considered to have drawn them
into the war. Even when in the face of mounting pressure,
not give in to the demands for immediate action against the enemy or
revise his initial strategy. He also avoided convening the ecclesia,
fearing that the populace, outraged by the unopposed ravaging of their
farms, might rashly decide to challenge the vaunted
Spartan army in
the field. As meetings of the assembly were called at the
discretion of its rotating presidents, the "prytanies",
no formal control over their scheduling; rather, the respect in which
Pericles was held by the prytanies was apparently sufficient to
persuade them to do as he wished. While the
Spartan army remained
Pericles sent a fleet of 100 ships to loot the coasts of
Peloponnese and charged the cavalry to guard the ravaged farms
close to the walls of the city. When the enemy retired and the
pillaging came to an end,
Pericles proposed a decree according to
which the authorities of the city should put aside 1,000 talents and
100 ships, in case
Athens was attacked by naval forces. According to
the most stringent provision of the decree, even proposing a different
use of the money or ships would entail the penalty of death. During
the autumn of 431 BC,
Pericles led the Athenian forces that invaded
Megara and a few months later (winter of 431–430 BC) he delivered
his monumental and emotional Funeral Oration, honoring the Athenians
who died for their city.
Last military operations and death
For heroes have the whole earth for their tomb; and in lands far from
their own, where the column with its epitaph declares it, there is
enshrined in every breast a record unwritten with no tablet to
preserve it, except that of the heart.
— Thucydides, Pericles' Funeral Oration[α]
In 430 BC, the army of
Attica for a second time, but
Pericles was not daunted and refused to revise his initial
strategy. Unwilling to engage the
Spartan army in battle, he
again led a naval expedition to plunder the coasts of the Peloponnese,
this time taking 100 Athenian ships with him. According to
Plutarch, just before the sailing of the ships an eclipse of the sun
frightened the crews, but
Pericles used the astronomical knowledge he
had acquired from
Anaxagoras to calm them. In the summer of the
same year an epidemic broke out and devastated the Athenians. The
exact identity of the disease is uncertain, typhus or typhoid fever
are suspected, but this has been the source of much debate.[θ] In any
case, the city's plight, caused by the epidemic, triggered a new wave
of public uproar, and
Pericles was forced to defend himself in an
emotional final speech, a rendition of which is presented by
Thucydides. This is considered to be a monumental oration,
revealing Pericles' virtues but also his bitterness towards his
compatriots' ingratitude. Temporarily, he managed to tame the
people's resentment and to ride out the storm, but his internal
enemies' final bid to undermine him came off; they managed to deprive
him of the generalship and to fine him at an amount estimated between
15 and 50 talents. Ancient sources mention Cleon, a rising and
dynamic protagonist of the Athenian political scene during the war, as
the public prosecutor in Pericles' trial.
The Plague of
Athens (c. 1652–1654) by Michiel Sweerts
Nevertheless, within just a year, in 429 BC, the Athenians not only
Pericles but also re-elected him as strategos.[ι] He was
reinstated in command of the Athenian army and led all its military
operations during 429 BC, having once again under his control the
levers of power. In that year, however,
Pericles witnessed the
death of both his legitimate sons from his first wife, Paralus and
Xanthippus, in the epidemic. His morale undermined, he burst into
tears and not even Aspasia's companionship could console him. He
himself died of the plague in the autumn of 429 BC.
Just before his death, Pericles' friends were concentrated around his
bed, enumerating his virtues during peace and underscoring his nine
war trophies. Pericles, though moribund, heard them and interrupted
them, pointing out that they forgot to mention his fairest and
greatest title to their admiration; "for", said he, "no living
Athenian ever put on mourning because of me".
during the first two and a half years of the
Peloponnesian War and,
according to Thucydides, his death was a disaster for Athens, since
his successors were inferior to him; they preferred to incite all the
bad habits of the rabble and followed an unstable policy, endeavoring
to be popular rather than useful. With these bitter comments,
Thucydides not only laments the loss of a man he admired, but he also
heralds the flickering of Athens' unique glory and grandeur.
Pausanias (c. 150 AD) records (I.29) seeing the tomb of
a road near the Academy.
For men can endure to hear others praised only so long as they can
severally persuade themselves of their own ability to equal the
actions recounted: when this point is passed, envy comes in and with
— Thucydides, Pericles' Funeral Oration[α]
Pericles, following Athenian custom, was first married to one of his
closest relatives, with whom he had two sons, Paralus and Xanthippus,
but around 445 BC,
Pericles divorced his wife. He offered her to
another husband, with the agreement of her male relatives. The
name of his first wife is not known; the only information about her is
that she was the wife of Hipponicus, before being married to Pericles,
and the mother of
Callias from this first marriage.
Pericles divorced his wife, he had a long-term relationship with
Aspasia of Miletus, with whom he had a son,
Pericles the Younger.
This relationship aroused many reactions and even Pericles' own son,
Xanthippus, who had political ambitions, did not hesitate to slander
his father. Nonetheless, objections did not undermine Pericles'
morale, although he burst into tears to protect
Aspasia when she was
accused of corrupting Athenian society. His sister and both his
Xanthippus and Paralus, died during an epidemic of
plague. Just before his death, the Athenians allowed a change in
the law of 451 BC that made his half-Athenian son with Aspasia,
Pericles the Younger, a citizen and legitimate heir, a
decision all the more striking in consideration that
had proposed the law confining citizenship to those of Athenian
parentage on both sides.
Pericles marked a whole era and inspired conflicting judgments about
his significant decisions. The fact that he was at the same time a
vigorous statesman, general and orator makes more complex the
objective assessment of his actions.
An ostracon with Pericles' name written on it (c. 444–443 BC),
Museum of the ancient
Agora of Athens
Some contemporary scholars call
Pericles a populist, a demagogue and a
hawk, while other scholars admire his charismatic leadership.
According to Plutarch, after assuming the leadership of Athens, "he
was no longer the same man as before, nor alike submissive to the
people and ready to yield and give in to the desires of the multitude
as a steersman to the breezes". It is told that when his
political opponent, Thucydides, was asked by Sparta's king,
Archidamus, whether he or
Pericles was the better fighter, Thucydides
answered without any hesitation that
Pericles was better, because even
when he was defeated, he managed to convince the audience that he had
won. In matters of character,
Pericles was above reproach in the
eyes of the ancient historians, since "he kept himself untainted by
corruption, although he was not altogether indifferent to
Thucydides (the historian), an admirer of Pericles, maintains that
Athens was "in name a democracy but, in fact, governed by its first
citizen". Through this comment, the historian illustrates what he
perceives as Pericles' charisma to lead, convince and, sometimes, to
Thucydides mentions the fining of Pericles, he
does not mention the accusations against
Pericles but instead focuses
on Pericles' integrity.[κ] On the other hand, in one of his
Plato rejects the glorification of
Pericles and declares:
"as I know,
Pericles made the Athenians slothful, garrulous and
avaricious, by starting the system of public fees". Plutarch
mentions other criticism of Pericles' leadership: "many others say
that the people were first led on by him into allotments of public
lands, festival-grants, and distributions of fees for public services,
thereby falling into bad habits, and becoming luxurious and wanton
under the influence of his public measures, instead of frugal and
Thucydides argues that
Pericles "was not carried away by the people,
but he was the one guiding the people". His judgement is not
unquestioned; some 20th-century critics, such as Malcolm F. McGregor
and John S. Morrison, proposed that he may have been a charismatic
public face acting as an advocate on the proposals of advisors, or the
people themselves. According to King, by increasing the
power of the people, the Athenians left themselves with no
authoritative leader. During the Peloponnesian War, Pericles'
dependence on popular support to govern was obvious.
These glories may incur the censure of the slow and unambitious; but
in the breast of energy they will awake emulation, and in those who
must remain without them an envious regret. Hatred and unpopularity at
the moment have fallen to the lot of all who have aspired to rule
— Thucydides, Pericles' Third Oration[α]
For more than 20 years
Pericles led many expeditions, mainly naval
ones. Being always cautious, he never undertook of his own accord a
battle involving much uncertainty and peril and he did not accede to
the "vain impulses of the citizens". He based his military policy
on Themistocles' principle that Athens' predominance depends on its
superior naval power and believed that the Peloponnesians were
near-invincible on land.
Pericles also tried to minimize the
Sparta by rebuilding the walls of Athens, which, it has
been suggested, radically altered the use of force in Greek
During the Peloponnesian War,
Pericles initiated a defensive "grand
strategy" whose aim was the exhaustion of the enemy and the
preservation of the status quo. According to Platias and
Athens as the strongest party did not have to beat Sparta
in military terms and "chose to foil the Spartan plan for
victory". The two basic principles of the "Periclean Grand
Strategy" were the rejection of appeasement (in accordance with which
he urged the Athenians not to revoke the Megarian Decree) and the
avoidance of overextension.[λ] According to Kagan, Pericles' vehement
insistence that there should be no diversionary expeditions may well
have resulted from the bitter memory of the Egyptian campaign, which
he had allegedly supported. His strategy is said to have been
"inherently unpopular", but
Pericles managed to persuade the Athenian
public to follow it. It is for that reason that Hans Delbrück
called him one of the greatest statesmen and military leaders in
history. Although his countrymen engaged in several aggressive
actions soon after his death, Platias and Koliopoulos argue that
the Athenians remained true to the larger Periclean strategy of
seeking to preserve, not expand, the empire, and did not depart from
it until the Sicilian Expedition. For his part, Ben X. de Wet
concludes his strategy would have succeeded had he lived longer.
Critics of Pericles' strategy, however, have been just as numerous as
its supporters. A common criticism is that
Pericles was always a
better politician and orator than strategist.
Donald Kagan called
the Periclean strategy "a form of wishful thinking that failed", Barry
S. Strauss and Josiah Ober have stated that "as strategist he was a
failure and deserves a share of the blame for Athens' great defeat",
Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson believes that
Pericles had not worked out a
clear strategy for an effective offensive action that could possibly
force Thebes or
Sparta to stop the war. Kagan
criticizes the Periclean strategy on four counts: first that by
rejecting minor concessions it brought about war; second, that it was
unforeseen by the enemy and hence lacked credibility; third, that it
was too feeble to exploit any opportunities; and fourth, that it
Pericles for its execution and thus was bound to be
abandoned after his death. Kagan estimates Pericles' expenditure
on his military strategy in the
Peloponnesian War to be about 2,000
talents annually, and based on this figure concludes that he would
only have enough money to keep the war going for three years. He
asserts that since
Pericles must have known about these limitations he
probably planned for a much shorter war. Others, such as
Donald W. Knight, conclude that the strategy was too defensive and
would not succeed.
On the other hand, Platias and Koliopoulos reject these criticisms and
state that "the Athenians lost the war only when they dramatically
reversed the Periclean grand strategy that explicitly disdained
further conquests". Hanson stresses that the Periclean strategy
was not innovative, but could lead to a stagnancy in favor of
Athens. It is a popular conclusion that those succeeding him
lacked his abilities and character.
A painting by Hector Leroux (1682–1740), which portrays
Aspasia, admiring the gigantic statue of
Athena in Phidias' studio
Modern commentators of Thucydides, with other modern historians and
writers, take varying stances on the issue of how much of the speeches
of Pericles, as given by this historian, do actually represent
Pericles' own words and how much of them is free literary creation or
paraphrase by Thucydides.[μ] Since
Pericles never wrote down or
distributed his orations,[ν] no historians are able to answer this
Thucydides recreated three of them from memory and,
thereby, it cannot be ascertained that he did not add his own notions
Pericles was a main source of his inspiration, some
historians have noted that the passionate and idealistic literary
style of the speeches
Thucydides attributes to
Pericles is completely
at odds with Thucydides' own cold and analytical writing style.[ο]
This might, however, be the result of the incorporation of the genre
of rhetoric into the genre of historiography. That is to say,
Thucydides could simply have used two different writing styles for two
Ioannis Kakridis and Arnold Gomme were two scholars who debated the
originality of Pericles’ oratory and last speech. Kakridis believes
Pericles words. Some of his strongest
arguments included in the Introduction of the speech,
(Thuc.11.35). Kakridis proposes that it is impossible to imagine
Pericles deviating away from the expected funeral orator addressing
the mourning audience of 430 after the Peloponnesian war. The two
groups addressed were the ones who were prepared to believe him when
he praised the dead, and the ones who did not. Gomme rejects
Kakridis position, defending the fact that "Nobody of men has ever
been so conscious of envy and its workings as the Greeks, and that the
Thucydides in particular had a passion for covering all
ground in their generalizations, not always relevantly.".
Marble bust of
Pericles with a Corinthian helmet, Roman copy of a
Greek original, Museo Chiaramonti, Vatican Museums
Kagan states that
Pericles adopted "an elevated mode of speech, free
from the vulgar and knavish tricks of mob-orators" and, according to
Diodorus Siculus, he "excelled all his fellow citizens in skill of
oratory". According to Plutarch, he avoided using gimmicks
in his speeches, unlike the passionate Demosthenes, and always spoke
in a calm and tranquil manner. The biographer points out,
however, that the poet Ion reported that Pericles' speaking style was
"a presumptuous and somewhat arrogant manner of address, and that into
his haughtiness there entered a good deal of disdain and contempt for
Gorgias, in Plato's homonymous dialogue, uses
Pericles as an example
of powerful oratory. In Menexenus, however,
Plato) casts aspersions on Pericles' rhetorical fame, claiming
ironically that, since
Pericles was educated by Aspasia, a trainer of
many orators, he would be superior in rhetoric to someone educated by
Antiphon. He also attributes authorship of the Funeral Oration to
Aspasia and attacks his contemporaries' veneration of Pericles.
Sir Richard C. Jebb concludes that "unique as an Athenian statesman,
Pericles must have been in two respects unique also as an Athenian
orator; first, because he occupied such a position of personal
ascendancy as no man before or after him attained; secondly, because
his thoughts and his moral force won him such renown for eloquence as
no one else ever got from Athenians".
Ancient Greek writers call
Pericles "Olympian" and extol his talents;
referring to him "thundering and lightning and exciting Greece" and
carrying the weapons of Zeus when orating. According to
Pericles would always prepare assiduously for his orations
and, before going on the rostrum, he would always pray to the Gods, so
as not to utter any improper word.
The Acropolis at
Athens (1846) by Leo von Klenze
Pericles' most visible legacy can be found in the literary and
artistic works of the Golden Age, most of which survive to this day.
The Acropolis, though in ruins, still stands and is a symbol of modern
Athens. Paparrigopoulos wrote that these masterpieces are "sufficient
to render the name of Greece immortal in our world".
In politics, Victor L. Ehrenberg argues that a basic element of
Pericles' legacy is Athenian imperialism, which denies true democracy
and freedom to the people of all but the ruling state. The
promotion of such an arrogant imperialism is said to have ruined
Pericles and his "expansionary" policies have been at the
center of arguments promoting democracy in oppressed
Other analysts maintain an Athenian humanism illustrated in the Golden
Age. The freedom of expression is regarded as the lasting
legacy deriving from this period.
Pericles is lauded as "the
ideal type of the perfect statesman in ancient Greece" and his Funeral
Oration is nowadays synonymous with the struggle for participatory
democracy and civic pride.
Ancient Greece portal
Art in Ancient Greece
Culture of Greece
Sculpture of Ancient Greece
Timeline of Ancient Greece
^ a b c d e f
Thucydides records several speeches which he attributes
to Pericles; however, he acknowledges that: "it was in all cases
difficult to carry them word for word in one's memory, so my habit has
been to make the speakers say what was in my opinion demanded of them
by the various occasions, of course adhering as closely as possible to
the general sense of what they really said."
^ Pericles' date of birth is uncertain; he could not have been born
later than 492–1 and been of age to present the
Persae in 472. He is
not recorded as having taken part in the
Persian Wars of 480–79;
some historians argue from this that he was unlikely to have been born
before 498, but this argument ex silentio has also been
Plutarch says "granddaughter" of Cleisthenes, but this is
chronologically implausible, and there is consensus that this should
^ According to Aristotle, Aristodicus of Tanagra killed Ephialtes.
Plutarch cites an Idomeneus as saying that
Pericles killed Ephialtes,
but does not believe him—he finds it to be out of character for
^ According to Plutarch, it was thought that
against the Samians to gratify
Aspasia of Miletus.
Plutarch describes these allegations without espousing them.
Thucydides insists, however, that the Athenian politician was still
powerful. Gomme and Vlachos support Thucydides' view.
^ Vlachos maintains that Thucydides' narration gives the impression
that Athens' alliance had become an authoritarian and oppressive
empire, while the historian makes no comment for Sparta's equally
harsh rule. Vlachos underlines, however, that the defeat of Athens
could entail a much more ruthless Spartan empire, something that did
indeed happen. Hence, the historian's hinted assertion that Greek
public opinion espoused Sparta's pledges of liberating Greece almost
uncomplainingly seems tendentious. Geoffrey Ernest Maurice de Ste
Croix, for his part, argues that Athens' imperium was welcomed and
valuable for the stability of democracy all over Greece. According
to Fornara and Samons, "any view proposing that popularity or its
opposite can be inferred simply from narrow ideological considerations
^ Taking into consideration its symptoms, most researchers and
scientists now believe that it was typhus or typhoid fever and not
cholera, plague or measles.
Pericles held the generalship from 444 BC until 430 BC without
^ Vlachos criticizes the historian for this omission and maintains
that Thucydides' admiration for the Athenian statesman makes him
ignore not only the well-grounded accusations against him but also the
mere gossips, namely the allegation that
Pericles had corrupted the
volatile rabble, so as to assert himself.
^ According to Platias and Koliopoulos, the "policy mix" of Pericles
was guided by five principles: a
^ According to Vlachos,
Thucydides must have been about 30 years old
Pericles delivered his Funeral Oration and he was probably among
^ Vlachos points out that he does not know who wrote the oration, but
"these were the words which should have been spoken at the end of 431
BC". According to Sir Richard C. Jebb, the Thucydidean speeches
Pericles give the general ideas of
Pericles with essential
fidelity; it is possible, further, that they may contain recorded
sayings of his "but it is certain that they cannot be taken as giving
the form of the statesman's oratory". John F. Dobson believes
that "though the language is that of the historian, some of the
thoughts may be those of the statesman". C.M.J. Sicking argues
that "we are hearing the voice of real Pericles", while Ioannis T.
Kakridis claims that the Funeral Oration is an almost exclusive
creation of Thucydides, since "the real audience does not consist of
the Athenians of the beginning of the war, but of the generation of
400 BC, which suffers under the repercussions of the
defeat". Gomme disagrees with Kakridis, insisting on his
belief to the reliability of Thucydides.
^ That is what
Plutarch predicates. Nonetheless, according to the
10th century encyclopedia Suda,
Pericles constituted the first orator
who systematically wrote down his orations.
Cicero speaks about
Pericles' writings, but his remarks are not regarded as credible.
Most probably, other writers used his name.
^ Ioannis Kalitsounakis argues that "no reader can overlook the
sumptuous rythme of the Funeral Oration as a whole and the singular
correlation between the impetuous emotion and the marvellous style,
attributes of speech that
Thucydides ascribes to no other orator but
Pericles". According to Harvey Ynis,
Thucydides created the
Pericles' indistinct rhetorical legacy that has dominated ever
^ a b c d e Thucydides, 2.65
^ L. de Blois, An Introduction to the Ancient World 99
^ S. Muhlberger, Periclean Athens.
^ S. Ruden, Lysistrata, 80.
Thucydides disclaims verbal accuracy[dead link].
^ a b c Fornara-Samons,
Cleisthenes to Pericles, 24–25
^ J.K. Davies, Athenian propertied families, 600–300 BC, 457.
^ a b c Plutarch, Pericles, III.
^ a b c d "Pericles". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.
^ Herodotus, VI, 131.
^ V.L. Ehrenberg, From
Solon to Socrates, a239.
^ L. Cunningham & J. Reich, Culture and Values, 73.
^ a b c d e f g h "Pericles". Encyclopaedia The Helios. 1952.
^ a b Plutarch, Pericles, IV
Alcibiades I, 118c
^ M. Mendelson, Many Sides, 1
^ Plutarch, Pericles, VI and Plato, Phaedrus, 270a
^ "Pericles". Oxford Classical Dictionary. 1996.
^ S. Hornblower, The Greek World, 479–323 BC, 33–34
^ a b Plutarch, Pericles, XVI
^ Plutarch, Pericles, VII
^ a b c d Plutarch, Pericles, IX
^ a b Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 27
^ Plutarch, Cimon, XV
^ L.J. Samons, What's Wrong with Democracy?, 80
^ Plutarch, Cimon, XVI
Cleisthenes to Pericles, 67–73
^ R. Martin, An Overview of Classical Greek History
^ II, 41
^ a b K. Paparrigopoulos, History of the Greek Nation, Ab, 145
^ Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 24 and Politics, 1274a
^ L.J. Samons, What's Wrong with Democracy?, 65
^ Fine, The Ancient Greeks, 377–78
^ a b J.D. King, "Athenian Democracy and Empire" (PDF). Archived from
the original on 2006-09-21. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status
unknown (link) (135 KB), 24–25
^ D. Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, 79
^ a b D. Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, 135–36
^ Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 25
^ a b Plutarch, Pericles, X
^ Thucydides, 1.111
^ P.J. Rhodes, A History of the Classical Greek World, 44
^ Plutarch, Cimon, XVII
^ A.J. Podlecki, Perikles and his Circle, 44
^ J. M. Libourel, The Athenian Disaster in Egypt, 605–15
^ H. Aird, Pericles: The Rise and Fall of Athenian Democracy, 52
^ K.J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte, II, 205
^ a b J. Fine, The Ancient Greeks, 359–61.
^ E. Badian, The Peace of Callias, 1–39.
^ D. Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, 108.
^ Plutarch, Pericles, XVII
^ Wade-Grey, The Question of Tribute in 449/8 B.C., 212–29.
^ a b c T. Buckley, Aspects of Greek History 750–323 BC, 206.
^ II, 64
^ Thucydides, 1.112 and Plutarch, Pericles, XXI
^ Plutarch, Pericles, XIX
^ a b Fine, The Ancient Greeks, 368–69.
^ Thucydides, 2.21 and Aristophanes, The Acharnians, 832
^ a b Plutarch, Pericles, XXIII
^ a b Plutarch, Pericles, XIV
^ T. Buckley, Aspects of Greek History 750–323 BC, 196.
^ H. Butler, The Story of Athens, 195
^ D. Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, 98
^ T. Buckley, Aspects of Greek History 750–323 BC, 204.
^ R. Sealey, A History of the Greek City States, 700–338 BC, 275.
^ Roisman, J.,
Ancient Greece from
Homer to Alexander: The Evidence.
John Wiley & Sons, 2011, p. 26.
^ S. Hornblower, The Greek World 479–323 BC, 120.
^ J. M. Hurwit, The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles, 87 etc.
^ A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 62–63.
^ Thucydides, 1.115
^ a b Plutarch, Pericles, XXV
^ a b Plutarch, Pericles, XXIV
^ Plutarch, Pericles, XXVIII
^ R. Sealey, A History of the Greek City States, 310
^ C.J. Tuplin, Pontus and the Outside World, 28
^ Plutarch, Pericles, XI and Plato, Gorgias, 455e
^ a b Fornara-Samons,
Cleisthenes to Pericles, 31
^ a b c Plutarch, Pericles, XXXI
^ Suda, article Aspasia
^ a b c Plutarch, Pericles, XXXII
^ N. Loraux, Aspasie, l'étrangère, l'intellectuelle, 133–64
^ M. Henry, Prisoner of History, 138–39
^ K.J. Beloch, Die Attische Politik seit Perikles, 19–22
^ Thucydides, 1.139
^ A. W. Gomme, An Historical Commentary on Thucydides, I, 452
^ A. Vlachos, Comments on Thucydides, 141
^ A. Vlachos, Thucydides' bias, 60 etc
^ Ste Croix, The Character of the Athenian Empire, 1–41.
Cleisthenes to Pericles, 77
^ A.J. Podlecki, Perikles and his Circle, 158
^ Thucydides, 1.31–54
^ G. Cawkwell,
Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War, 33
^ T. Buckley, Aspects of Greek History 750–323 BC, 322.
^ Thucydides, 1.127
^ Thucydides, 1.140–144
^ a b A.G. Platias-C. Koliopoulos,
Thucydides on Strategy, 100–03.
^ A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 20
^ V.L. Ehrenberg, From
Solon to Socrates, 264.
^ Thucydides, 2.12
^ Thucydides, 2.14
^ J. Ober, The Athenian Revolution, 72–85
^ Thucydides, 2.16
^ Thucydides, 2.13
^ Thucydides, 2.22
^ D. Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 69
^ Thucydides, 2.18 and Xenophon(?),Constitution of Athens, 2
^ Thucydides, 2.35–46
^ Thucydides, 2.55
^ Thucydides, 2.56
^ a b c Plutarch, Pericles, XXXV
^ Thucydides, 2.48 and 2.56
^ a b A.W. Gomme, An Historical Commentary on Thucydides, II,
^ A. Vlachos, Remarks on Thucydides, 177
^ Thucydides, 2.60–64
^ Plutarch, Pericles, XXXVIII
^ K. Paparrigopoulos, Aa, 221
^ Tracy, Stephen V. (2009). Pericles: A Sourcebook and Reader.
Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 19.
^ a b Plutarch, Pericles, XXXVI
^ Plutarch, Pericles, XXXII
^ Plutarch, Pericles, XXXVII
^ Kennedy, Rebecca Futo (2014). Immigrant Women in Athens: Gender,
Ethnicity and Citizenship in the Classical City. p. 17.
^ W. Smith, A History of Greece, 271
^ S. Ruden, Lysistrata , 80
^ Plutarch, Pericles, XV
^ A. Vlachos, Thucydides' bias, 62
^ Plato, Gorgias, 515e
^ M.F. McGregor, Government in Athens, 122–23.
^ J.S. Morrison-A. W. Gomme,
Pericles Monarchos, 76–77.
^ Plutarch, Pericles, XVIII
^ A.G. Platias-C. Koliopoulos,
Thucydides on Strategy, 105
^ J. Ober, National Ideology and Strategic Defence of the Population,
^ a b A.G. Platias-C. Koliopoulos,
Thucydides on Strategy, 98–99.
^ D. Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, 83
^ a b A.G. Platias-C. Koliopoulos,
Thucydides on Strategy, 119–20.
^ H. Delbrück, History of the Art of War, I, 137
^ V.L. Ehrenberg, From
Solon to Socrates, 278
^ B. X. de Wet, This So-Called Defensive Policy of Pericles, 103–19.
^ a b c K. Paparrigopoulos, Aa, 241–42.
^ V.D. Hanson, Peloponnesian War, 58
^ D. Kagan, Athenian Strategy in the Peloponnesian War, 54
^ S. Strauss-J. Ober, The Anatomy of Error, 47
^ D. Kagan, The Archidamian War, 28, 41.
^ a b V.D. Hanson, Peloponnesian War, 74–75
^ D. Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 61–62.
^ D. Knight,
Thucydides and the War Strategy of Pericles, 150–60.
^ A.G. Platias-C. Koliopoulos,
Thucydides on Strategy, 138
^ L.J. Samons, What's Wrong with Democracy?, 131–32.
^ a b A. Vlachos, Remarks on Thucydides, 170
^ a b Sir Richard C. Jebb, The Attic Orators
^ J.F. Dobson, The Greek Orators
^ C.M.J. Sicking, Distant Companions, 133
^ I. Kakridis, Interpretative comments on the Funeral Oration, 6
^ Plutarch, Pericles, VIII
^ Suda, article Pericles
^ Cicero, De Oratote, II, 93
^ Quintilian, Institutiones, III, 1
^ H. Yunis, Taming Democracy, 63
^ a b c d Sicking, C. M. J. (1995). "The
General Purport of Pericles'
Funeral Oration and Funeral Speech". Hermes. 123: 404–25.
^ Kagan, Donald (April 2003). "The Peloponnesian War". Viking.
^ Diodorus, XII, 39
^ a b Plutarch, Pericles, V
^ Plato, Gorgias, 455d
^ Plato, Menexenus, 236a
^ S. Monoson, Plato's Democratic Entanglements, 182–86
^ Aristophanes, Acharnians, 528–531 and Diodorus, XII, 40
^ Quintilian, Institutiones, XII, 9
^ V. L. Ehrenberg, From
Solon to Socrates, 332
^ C.G. Starr, A History of the Ancient World, 306
^ V.D. Hanson, Peloponnesian War, 584
^ L. Miller, My Favorite War
^ E.J. Power, A Legacy of Learning, 52
^ Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies
^ R.A. Katula, A Synoptic History of Classical Rhetoric, 18
^ K. Mattson, Creating a Democratic Public, 32
^ Thucydides, 1.22
Primary sources (Greek and Roman)
Aristophanes, The Acharnians. See original text in Perseus program
Aristotle. Athenian Constitution. Trans. Frederic George Kenyon.
Wikisource. . See original text in Perseus program.
Aristotle, Politika (Politics). See original text in Perseus program
Cicero, De Oratore. See original text in Perseus program.
Diodorus Siculus, Library, 12th Book. See original text in Perseus
Herodotus, The Histories, VI. See original text in Perseus program
Alcibiades I. See original text in Perseus program
Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 8.
W.R.M. Lamb (trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Plato, Gorgias. See original text in Perseus program, 455d, 455e, 515e
Plato (1903). Platonis Opera. John Burnet (ed.).
Oxford University Press.
Plato, Menexenus. See original text in Perseus program (translation)
Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 9. W.R.M. Lamb
(trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Plato, Phaedrus, See original text in Perseus program(translation)
Plato (1903). Platonis Opera. John Burnet (ed.). Oxford
Plutarch, Cimon. See original text in Perseus program (translation)
Plutarch. " Pericles". Lives. Trans. John Dryden.
Wikisource. . See original text in Perseus program
Quintilian, Institutiones. See original text in The Latin Library.
Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. Trans. Richard
Crawley. Wikisource. , I–III. See original text in Perseus
Xenophon (?), Constitution of Athens. See original text in Perseus
Aird, Hamish (2004). Pericles: The Rise and Fall of Athenian
Democracy. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8239-3828-X.
Badian, E. (1987). "The Peace of Callias". "Journal of Hellenic
Studies". The Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. 107:
1–39. doi:10.2307/630067. JSTOR 630067.
Beloch, K.J. (1884). Die Attische Politik seit Perikles . Leipzig (in
Beloch, K.J. (1893). Griechische Geschichte. Volume II (in German).
Blois de, Lukas (1997). An Introduction to the Ancient World.
Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-12774-2.
Buckley, Terry (1996). Aspects of Greek History 750–323 BC.
Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-09957-9.
Butler, Howard (2005). The Story of Athens. Kessinger Publishing.
Cawkwell, George (1997).
Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War.
Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-16552-0.
Cunningham L.S., Reich J.J. (2005). Culture And Values. Thomson
Wadsworth. ISBN 0-534-58228-1.
Davis, John Kenyon (1971). Athenian propertied families, 600–300
B.C. Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-814273-0.
Delbrück, Hans (1920): History of the Art of War, University of
Nebraska Press; Reprint edition, 1990. Translated by Walter, J.
Renfroe. Volume 1.
Dobson, J.F. (July 1919). "
Pericles as an orator". The Greek Orators.
London: Methuen. Retrieved 2007-01-12.
Encyclopaedic Dictionary The Helios. Volume VIII. article: The Funeral
Speech over the Fallen. Volume XV. article:
Pericles (in Greek).
Ehrenberg, Victor L. (1990). From
Solon to Socrates. Routledge (UK).
Fine, John V.A. (1983). The Ancient Greeks: A critical history.
Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-03314-0.
Fornara Charles W., Loren J. Samons II (1991).
Athens from Cleisthenes
to Pericles. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Gomme, A. W.; A. Andrewes; K. J. Dover (1945–1981). An Historical
Thucydides (I-V). Oxford University Press.
Hanson, Victor Davis (2007) [English Edition 2005]. How the Athenians
and Spartans fought the
Peloponnesian War (translated in Greek by
Angelos Philippatos). Athens: Livanis Editions.
Henri, Madeleine M. (1995). Prisoner of History.
Aspasia of Miletus
and her Biographical Tradition. Oxford University Press.
Hornblower, Simon (2002). The Greek World 479–323 BC. Routledge
(UK). ISBN 0-415-15344-1.
Hurwit, Jeffrey M. (2004). The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles.
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-82040-5.
Just, Roger (1991). Women in Athenian Law and Life. Routledge (UK).
Kagan, Donald (1996). "Athenian Strategy in the Peloponnesian War".
The Making of Strategy: Rules, States and Wars by Williamson Murray,
Alvin Bernstein, MacGregor Knox. Cambridge University Press.
Kagan, Donald (1974). The Archidamian War. Ithaca: Cornell University
Press. ISBN 0-8014-0889-X.
Kagan, Donald (1989). The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Ithaca:
Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9556-3.
Kagan, Donald (2003). "War aims and resources (432–431)". The
Peloponnesian War. Viking Penguin (Penguin Group).
Kakridis, Ioannis Th. (1993). Interpretative Comments on the Pericles'
Funeral Oration. Estia (in Greek).
Katula, Richard A. (2003). "The Origins of Rhetoric". A Synoptic
History of Classical Rhetoric by James J. Murphy, Richard A. Katula,
Forbes I. Hill, Donovan J. Ochs. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
King, J.D. (2005). "Athenian Democracy and Empire" (PDF). Archived
from the original on 2006-09-21. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url
status unknown (link) (135 KB).
Knight, D.W. (1970). "
Thucydides and the War Strategy of Pericles".
Mnemosyne. 23 (2): 150–60. doi:10.1163/156852570X00713.
Libourel, Jan M. (October 1971). "The Athenian Disaster in Egypt".
"American Journal of Philology". The Johns Hopkins University Press.
92 (4): 605–15. doi:10.2307/292666. JSTOR 292666.
Loraux, Nicole (2003). "Aspasie, l'étrangère, l'intellectuelle". La
Grèce au Féminin (in French). Belles Lettres.
Mattson, Kevin (1998). Creating a Democratic Public. Penn State Press.
McGregor, Malcolm F. (1987). "Government in Athens". The Athenians and
their Empire. The University of British Columbia Press.
Mendelson, Michael (2002). Many Sides: A Protagorean Approach to the
Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy of Argument. Springer.
Miller, Laura (March 21, 2004). "My Favorite War". The Last Word. The
New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
Monoson, Sara (2000). Plato's Democratic Entanglements. Princeton
University Press. ISBN 0-691-04366-3.
A. W. Gomme (1950). "
Pericles Monarchos". Journal of
Hellenic Studies. The Journal of Hellenic Studies. 70: 76–77.
doi:10.2307/629294. JSTOR 629294.
Ober, Josiah (1991). "National Ideology and Strategic Defence of the
Athens to Star Wars". Hegemonic Rivalry: From
Thucydides to the Nuclear Age. Westview Pr.
Ober, Josiah (1996). The Athenian Revolution. Princeton, New Jersey:
Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01095-1.
Paparrigopoulos, Konstantinos (Karolidis, Pavlos) (1925), History of
the Hellenic Nation (Volume Ab). Eleftheroudakis (in Greek).
Platias Athanasios G., Koliopoulos Constantinos (2006).
Strategy. Eurasia Publications. ISBN 960-8187-16-8.
"Pericles". Oxford Classical Dictionary edited by Simon Hornblower and
Antony Spawforth. 1996.
"Pericles". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.
Podlecki, A.J. (1997). Perikles and His Circle. Routledge (UK).
Power, Edward J. (1991). A Legacy of Learning. SUNY Press.
Rhodes, P.J. (2005). A History of the Classical Greek World. Blackwell
Publishing. ISBN 0-631-22564-1.
Ruden, Sarah (2003). Lysistrata. Hackett Publishing.
Samons, Loren J. (2004). "The Peloponnesian War". What's Wrong with
Democracy?. Los Angeles, California: University of California Press.
Sealey, Raphael (1976). "The Peloponnesian War". A History of the
Greek City States, 700–338 B.C. University of California Press.
Shrimpton, G. (1991). Theopompus The Historian. McGill-Queen's Press
– MQUP. ISBN 0-7735-0837-6.
Sicking, CMJ (1998). Distant Companions: Selected Papers. Brill
Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-11054-2.
Smith, William (1855). "Death and Character of Pericles". A History of
Greece. R. B. Collins.
Starr, Chester G. (1991). A History of the Ancient World. Oxford
University Press US. ISBN 0-19-506628-6.
Ste Croix de, GEM (1955–1956). The Character of the Athenian Empire.
Ober Josiah, Strauss Barry S. (1990). The Anatomy of Error: Ancient
Military Disasters and Their Lessons for Modern Strategists. St
Martins Pr. ISBN 0-312-05051-8.
Tuplin, Christopher J. (2004). Pontus and the Outside World. Brill
Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-12154-4.
Vlachos, Angelos (1992). Remarks on Thucydides' History of the
Peloponnesian War (Α΄-Δ΄). Volume I. Estia (in Greek).
Vlachos, Angelos (1974). Thucydides' bias. Estia (in Greek).
Wade-Grey, H.T. (July–September 1945). "The Question of Tribute in
449/8 B. C". "Hesperia". American School of Classical Studies at
Athens. 14 (3): 212–29.
Wet de, B.X. (1969). "This So-Called Defensive Policy of Pericles".
Acta Classica. 12: 103–19.
Yunis, Harvey (1996). Taming Democracy. Cornell University Press.
Abbott, Evelyn (1898).
Pericles and the Golden Age of Athens. G. P.
Azoulay, Vincent; tr Lloyd, Janet (2014).
Pericles of Athens.
Brock Roger, Hodkinson Stephen (2003). Alternatives to Athens:
Varieties of Political Organization and Community in Ancient Greece.
Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-925810-4.
Gardner, Percy (1902). Ancient Athens.
Grant, Arthur James (1893). Greece in the Age of Pericles. John
Hesk, John (2000). Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens.
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-64322-8.
Kagan, Donald (1991).
Athens and the Birth of Democracy.
The Free Press. ISBN 0-684-86395-2.
Lummis, Douglas C. (1997). Radical Democracy. Cornell University
Press. ISBN 0-8014-8451-0.
Ober, Josiah (2001). Political Dissent in Democratic Athens:
Intellectual Critics of Popular Rule. Princeton University Press.
Rhodes, P.J. (2005). A History of the Classical Greek World: 478–323
BC. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-22565-X.
Whibley, Leonard (1889). A History of the Classical Greek World:
478–323 BC. University Press.
Creation (novel) for a fictional account of
Pericles and a
Persian view of the wars.
Britannica 11th Edition
Peck, Harry Thurston
Pericles and the Athenian democracy
McConville, Michael. A Critical Analysis of Athenian Democracy
Further assessments about
Pericles and his era
Ash, Thomas. From The
Delian League To The Athenian Empire
Jebb, R.C. The Attic Orators from Antiphon to Isaeos
Martin, Thomas R. An Overview of Classical Greek History from Mycenae
to Alexander (Pericles' citizenship law)
Muhlberger, Steve. Periclean Athens
The Revolt of
Samos (Demo Fragmentary Texts)
The works of Plutarch
Alcibiades and Coriolanus1
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar
Sicyon / Artaxerxes and
Galba / Otho2
Aristides and Cato the Elder1
Crassus and Nicias1
Demetrius and Antony1
Demosthenes and Cicero1
Dion and Brutus1
Fabius and Pericles1
Lucullus and Cimon1
Lysander and Sulla1
Numa and Lycurgus1
Pelopidas and Marcellus1
Philopoemen and Flamininus1
Phocion and Cato the Younger
Pompey and Agesilaus1
Poplicola and Solon1
Pyrrhus and Gaius Marius
Romulus and Theseus1
Sertorius and Eumenes1
Agis / Cleomenes1 and
Tiberius Gracchus / Gaius Gracchus
Timoleon and Aemilius Paulus1
Themistocles and Camillus
Translators and editors
Arthur Hugh Clough
1 Comparison extant
2 Four unpaired Lives
Ancient Athenian statesmen
Demetrius of Phalerum
Greek Dark Ages
Ancient Greek colonies
Antigonid Macedonian army
Army of Macedon
Sacred Band of Thebes
List of ancient Greeks
Kings of Argos
Archons of Athens
Kings of Athens
Kings of Commagene
Kings of Lydia
Kings of Macedonia
Kings of Paionia
Attalid kings of Pergamon
Kings of Pontus
Kings of Sparta
Tyrants of Syracuse
Diogenes of Sinope
Alexander the Great
Milo of Croton
Philip of Macedon
Ancient Greek tribes
Funeral and burial practices
Arts and science
Greek Revival architecture
Funeral and burial practices
Theatre of Dionysus
Tunnel of Eupalinos
Acropolis of Athens
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Stoa of Eumenes
Sanctuary of Asclepius
Theatre of Dionysus
Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus
Old Temple of Athena
Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia
Altar of Athena
Nike of Callimachus
Sanctuary of Pandion
Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus
Odeon of Pericles
Giovanni Battista Lusieri
Reverend Philip Hunt
Old Acropolis Museum
Museum of the Center for the Acropolis Studies
Elgin Marbles at the British Museum
ISNI: 0000 0001 1827 7540