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Facts about Pericles

Pericles

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.

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Pericles proposed a decree allowing the use of 9000 talents to finance the major rebuilding program of Athenian temples.

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Pericles wanted to stabilize Athens' dominance over its alliance and to enforce its pre-eminence in Greece.

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A common criticism is that Pericles was always a better politician and orator than strategist.

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paved the way for Pericles to consolidate his authority.? Lacking any robust opposition after the expulsion of Cimon, the unchallengeable leader of the democratic party became the unchallengeable ruler of Athens.

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Pericles promoted the arts and literature; this was a chief reason Athens holds the reputation as the educational and cultural centre of the ancient Greek world.

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Just before the eruption of the Peloponnesian War, Pericles and two of his closest associates, Phidias and his companion, Aspasia, faced a series of personal and judicial attacks.

Pericles

In 451 B.C.E., Cimon is said to have returned from exile to negotiate a five years' truce with Sparta after a proposal of Pericles, an event which indicates a shift in Pericles' political strategy.

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According to Plutarch, who was sympathetic to Pompey, he was very popular and considered a look-alike of Alexander the Great.

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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.

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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.

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Pericles then quelled a revolt in Byzantium and, when he returned to Athens, he gave a funeral oration to honor the soldiers who died in the expedition.

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Pericles and his friends were never immune from attack, as preeminence in democratic Athens was not equivalent to absolute rule.

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No definite record exists of how exactly Pericles managed to convince the residents of Attica to agree to move into the crowded urban areas.

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Ancient Greek writers call Pericles "Olympian" and vaunt his talents, referring to him "thundering and lightening and exciting Greece" and carrying the weapons of Zeus when orating.

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The democratic party gradually became dominant in Athenian politics and Pericles seemed willing to follow a populist policy in order to cajole the public.

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The leader of the party and mentor of Pericles, Ephialtes, proposed a sharp reduction of the Areopagus’ powers.

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Pericles crossed over to Euboea with his troops, but was forced to return when the Spartan army invaded Attica.

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On the other hand, Donald Kagan asserts that the democratic measures Pericles put into effect provided the basis for an unassailable political strength.

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Pericles, following Athenian custom, was first married to one of his closest relatives, with whom he had two sons, Xanthippus and Paralus.

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According to Plutarch, Pericles was so afraid of the oncoming trial that he did not let the Athenians yield to the Lacedaemonians.

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Pericles was convinced that the war against Sparta, which could not conceal its envy of Athens' pre-eminence, was inevitable if not to be welcomed.

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During the same period, Pericles proposed the Megarian Decree, which resembled a modern trade embargo.

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Anthony J. Podlecki argues, however, that Pericles' alleged change of position was invented by ancient writers to support "a tendentious view of Pericles' shiftiness".

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Pericles' most visible legacy can be found in the literary and artistic works of his Golden Age, most of which survive to this day.

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Pericles' enemies also found a false witness against Phidias, named Menon.

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Pericles was a statesman, military leader and orator, who towered over a whole era, inspiring conflicting judgments from his supporters and detractors.

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Thucydides argues that Pericles "was not carried away by the people, but he was the one guiding the people".

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Nonetheless, these persecutions did not undermine Pericles' morale, although he had to burst into tears in order to protect his beloved Aspasia when she was accused of corrupting Athenian society.

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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.

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Pericles may have realized the importance of Cimon's contribution during the ongoing conflicts against the Peloponnesians and the Persians.

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The obvious purpose of these proposals was the instigation of a confrontation between Pericles and the people; this event, indeed, would come about a few years later.

Pericles

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Pericles

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.

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Pericles had such a profound influence on Athenian society that Thucydides, his contemporary historian, acclaimed him as "the first citizen of Athens."

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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.

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Pericles responded resolutely, proposing to reimburse the city for all the expenses from his private property, under the term that he would make the inscriptions of dedication in his own name.

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Pericles tried also to minimize the advantages of Sparta by rebuilding the walls of Athens.

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Pericles

During the Peloponnesian War, Pericles' dependence on popular support to govern was obvious.

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According to Aristotle, Pericles' stance can be explained by the fact that his principal political opponent, Cimon, was rich and generous, and was able to secure public favor by lavishly bestowing his sizable personal fortune.

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Plutarch says that Pericles stood first among the Athenians for 40 years.

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When the Samians revolted against Athenian rule, Pericles compelled the rebels to capitulate after a tough siege of eight months, which resulted in substantial discontent among the Athenian sailors.

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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.

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Pericles was the leading prosecutor of Cimon, the leader of the conservative faction, who was accused of neglecting Athens' vital interests in Macedon.

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Pericles made his first military excursions during the First Peloponnesian War, which was caused in part by Athens' alliance with Megara and Argos and the subsequent reaction of Sparta.

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Pericles' mother, Agariste, was a scion of the powerful and controversial noble family of the Alcmaeonidae, and her familial connections played a crucial role in starting Xanthippus' political career.

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Pericles belonged to the local tribe of Acamantis (????????? ????).

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Pericles focused also on internal projects, such as the fortification of Athens (the building of the "middle wall" about 440 B.C.E.

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In 461 B.C.E., Pericles achieved the political elimination of this formidable opponent using the weapon of ostracism.

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The Congress failed because of Sparta's stance, but Pericles' real intentions remain unclear.

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In 442 B.C.E., the Athenian public ostracized Thucydides for ten years and Pericles was once again the unchallenged suzerain of the Athenian political arena.

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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.

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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.

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Some contemporary scholars, for example Sarah Ruden, call Pericles a populist, a demagogue and a hawk, while other scholars admire his charismatic leadership.

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Pericles led Athens' fleet in Pontus and established friendly relations with the Greek cities of the region.

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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.

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Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire and led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War.

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The causes of the Peloponnesian War have been much debated, but most ancient historians laid the blame on Pericles and Athens.

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After the Spartan threat had been removed, Pericles crossed back to Euboea to crush the revolt there.

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Just before his death, Pericles' friends were concentrated around his bed, enumerating his virtues during peace and underscoring his nine war trophies.

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Such measures impelled Pericles' critics to regard him as responsible for the gradual degeneration of the Athenian democracy.

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Critics of Pericles' strategy, however, have been just as numerous as its supporters.

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According to George Cawkwell, a praelector in ancient history, with this decree Pericles breached the Thirty Years Peace "but, perhaps, not without the semblance of an excuse".

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Ancient sources mention Cleon, a rising and dynamic protagonist of the Athenian political scene during the war, as the public prosecutor in Pericles' trial.

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The historian Loren J. Samons, argues, however, that Pericles had enough resources to make a political mark by private means, had he so chosen.

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After Thucydides' ostracism, Pericles was 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.

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Constantine Paparrigopoulos, a major modern Greek historian, argues that Pericles sought for the expansion and stabilization of all democratic institutions.

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Kagan believes that Pericles used Callias, a brother-in-law of Cimon, as a symbol of unity and employed him several times to negotiate important agreements.