History of the Age of Pericles in Ancient Greece
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The history of the Age of Pericles in ancient Greece (495 – 429 BC) refers to the life and times of a Greek leader who emerged during the Golden Age of Athens. His was a powerful voice in Athenian politics, particularly when it was needed most during the war with Persia and the Peloponnesian War with Sparta. He was deemed by the historian Thucydides to be “the first citizen of Athens”. This was in large part on account of his efforts in spearheading the Delian League into an Athenian empire and leading his countrymen through the first two years of the Peloponnesian War.
Pericles championed democracy to the point of being seen as a populist. As such, he vigorously promoted the arts, and his efforts enabled Athens to become the cultural and intellectual center of the ancient world. This included the restoration of the crumbling ruins of the Parthenon and its surrounding buildings atop the Acropolis. This project beautified and protected the city and showcased its glory, while giving work to Athenians. Pericles fell victim to the Plague of Athens in 429 BC, which weakened Athens and led to its defeat during the long Peloponnesian War.
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Age of Pericles