PERICLES Aristocracy

PERICLES ( 490-429 BC) Athenian statesman, one of the founding fathers of the Athenian democracy, the famous orator and leader. Politician of Ancient Greece, strategist (General) of Athens.

PERICLES Aristocracy   Over the years the Board has not been executed, none of the Athenian.

Pericles was descended from an aristocratic family Alcmaeonidae, which traces its lineage from the legendary Alcmaeon. Representatives of this genus have long belonged to the ruling elite of Athens. For example, Cleisthenes, the lifetime of which falls on the period of acute political struggle in 509-507 BC held a series of reforms aimed at the destruction of the state of the old aristocratic institutions associated with traditional tribal organization of society.

The reforms of Cleisthenes significantly strengthened the position of Athenian democracy during the Greco-Persian wars defined the democratic character of the Athenian army, which brought him victory in the war. The introduction of ostracism later played a major role in the fight demos with disagreeable policies, also connected with the name of Cleisthenes.

Plutarch wrote about him as a man who «destroyed the tyranny of the Athenians gave the laws and established public order, mixing in different elements is quite suitable for the harmony and prosperity of the citizens».

Representatives of this family took an active part in the restoration of the temple of Apollo at Delphi. The father of Pericles Xanthippus was scored during the Greco-Persian wars, especially in the battle with the Persians at Cape Mycale off the coast of Asia Minor, where he commanded the Athenian fleet.

He was married to the niece of the legislator Cleisthenes, Agaristaе of the genus Alcmaeonidae. With both paternal and maternal sides of Pericles belonged to the genera occupied a high position in the Athenian aristocracy. Ancient historians have noted that Pericles was beautiful and a great body.

PERICLES Aristocracy   Among teachers of Pericles were: Zeno and Anaxagoras.

Pericles received an excellent education. In addition to the mandatory for any Athenian studying music and poetry, he studied oratory at the famous philosopher Zeno of Elea. Science Pericles studied under the guidance of the philosopher Anaxagoras and by teacher was free from all superstitions and not believed the predictions.

Noble parentage, wealth, great communication and an excellent education – all this gave Pericles successful political career. He decided to start his career as a warrior, and only then enter into the political arena.

Pericles took part in several military campaigns, in which he distinguished himself by courage and itagain the circumstances were such that, against her will, Pericles had early to be involved in politics. Despite the nobility of his origin, he joined the party of demos, which remained faithful to the rest of his life.

Pericles has ceased to meet with their families, aristocrats, and ended the friendship with noble friends. He began to speak at public meetings, and his speeches were colorful and imaginative, and good education and a good teacher – Zenon – allowed him to improve their speaking skills.

A close friend of Pericles was the leader of the Democrats Ephialtes – man is ruthless to those who committed crimes against the people. Aristocrats hated Ephialtes and sent him the assassin. After the death of Ephialtes, the leadership of the democratic party moved to Pericles.

At this time, in the foreground stood the struggle against foreign enemies, requiring tremendous strength. In Egypt, Athens had to fight with the Persians. and then with Sparta.

In the year 457 B.C. Pericles participated in the battle of Tanagra, in which the Athenians were defeated by the Spartans. After this failure, in Athens began to hear voices in favor of the return of Cimon, an experienced commander, driven not without the help of Pericles. And Pericles himself went to meet the people’s desire and made the offer to return his opponent from exile ahead of time. Returning Cimon soon started a war with Persia for the island of Cyprus and during the campaign died from the disease. The party of aristocrats lost a lot of supporters after his death.

PERICLES Aristocracy   Pericles has ceased to meet with their families, aristocrats, and ended the friendship with noble friends.

Contrary to the prisoner in 451-450 BC armistice, the Spartans invaded Central Greece to help the delphians in the war against ocean. Pericles led the army came to the aid of Phocaea, and after the expulsion of the Spartans immediately returned to her Delphic sanctuary.

With the cessation of hostilities Pericles sent all the forces on the solution of internal problems. He began the struggle for equal rights of poor citizens. Pericles offered to pay them for every day spent on public works, for example, participation in the proceedings as jurors. This procedure allowed any citizen, regardless of his financial situation, make use of all political rights. In addition, in order to give people money, on his initiative yearly equip 60 Trier and to gain for them the crews of free citizens, who received pay for work on ships.

On the territory of the member States of the Athenian Alliance was created settlements – cleruchy, where every Athenian could get a small plot of land for processing. On these same lands were organized garrisons, which allowed us to solve two problems at once – to alleviate the plight of the common people and to create a military settlement. Сleruchy were observation posts, support and protection of Athenian power and, in addition, had an important commercial value.

During the reign of Pericles, the greatest prosperity and the glory of Athens. The city was a lot of construction, and, as Plutarch wrote, «the whole city was provided to all».

PERICLES Aristocracy   During the reign of Pericles, the greatest prosperity and the glory of Athens.

Acropolis of Athens was adorned with beautiful works of architecture and sculpture. To strengthen Athens were built so-called Long walls and finished third wall between the two existing ones, to make the city impregnable. When Pericles was built Odeon – round building for musical performances.

The most significant work was directed by a friend of Pericles, the sculptor Phidias.

Construction and huge financial costs caused the greatest attacks on Pericles from his political opponents. They accused him of embezzling the money of the Union Treasury for the decoration of the city of gold and precious materials.

The response of Pericles to his enemies shows his maturity as a political figure and a wise ruler standing at the head of a strong state:

“The Athenians are not obliged to give allies a report in money, because they are fighting a war to protect them and keep the barbarians, while the allies not deliver anything – neither the horse, nor ship, nor Hoplite, but only pay money; and the money does not belong to the one who gives them, and the one who receives. But, if the state provided sufficient items needed for war, you must spend his wealth for such work, who after they will be transferred to the state of eternal glory, and during the performance will serve at once a source of wealth. Work and different needs that motivate all sorts of crafts, give a lesson to all hands, deliver earnings nearly the whole state, so that it is on your account yourself and decorate, and feeds”

– answered his opponents wise Pericles.

Under Pericles, Athens became the largest trading city. The city was the mediator between the Eastern and Western parts of the Mediterranean sea. The city became the main warehouse of the Greek world, which has brought a variety of goods.

The main strength of Athens Pericles saw in the Navy, in which he paid special attention. When it Athenian fleet consisted of three hundred and Trier. Pericles introduced marine maneuvers taking place annually for eight months. The land army was when Pericles from 29 thousand hoplites, thousands of horsemen, and 200 horse and 1600 Hiking shooters.

PERICLES Aristocracy   During the reign of Pericles, Athens was the most powerful Navy in the world!

Foreign policy of Pericles was aimed at expanding the sphere of influence of Athens and at strengthening and preserving the status quo.

Pericles tried to convene in Athens national Congress of the representatives of the Greek cities, but this attempt failed due to the resistance of Sparta. Nevertheless, the dependence of the allies of Athens intensified, and the Federal Treasury from the island of Delos was moved to Athens. The total amount foros (Dani) before the Peloponnesian war was equal to six hundred talents. Thus, Athens established over Union policies hard military and financial control.

While Athens is not threatened by an external enemy, they could deal with disgruntled allies, but with the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, the danger increased.

When Kerkyra, came into collision with Corinth, addressed to Athens in search of a Union. Pericles was the Athenians proved the necessity of this Union, as Kerkyra had a strong Navy and took an important geographical position on the way to Italy.

He tried to encourage the Athenians, pointing to their rich resources and a strong fleet, and warned only from risky ventures. According to his advice, the Athenians responded that «they war begins, but who will start her will to fight». 431 BCE was the year of the beginning of the Peloponnesian War.

PERICLES Aristocracy   Peloponnesian War forever left their mark in the history of Athens.

This war for Athens was an ordeal. The Spartans and their allies invaded Attica and despoiling the country, reached the Athenian fortifications. They cut down the orchards around the town, destroyed the house and stole cattle.

They provoked Pericles to go beyond the walls of the city, and to give battle in the open – to besiege the city Spartans could not, and in battle they were not equal. Many, including friends of Pericles, was waiting for, that he would accept the challenge. But when he refused such a step, he was accused of cowardice. Insults Pericles was drifting peacefully, and citizens who have lost their property when the Spartan invasion, he comforted them, saying that «instead of chopped trees will grow new ones, and dead soldiers cannot be substituted».

During the plague Pericles lost his two sons from his first marriage and many friends. He is also a long time did not go out of the house and almost no one spoke. Very soon the Athenians realized that in the city no man who, like Pericles, could just as well be controlled by the state.

Pericles apologised for unjustly fined, and he was again selected strategists, standing at the head of Athens. But the plague did not spare him. When Pericles died, next to him was a remaining friends who recalled his exploits and activities for the benefit of Athens. They talked about him as a political figure, thinking that the patient Pericles them not to hear.

But he heard, interrupting their conversation, said:

“You praise me for what was done, and many others, and about the most wonderful that I did not say a word – no Athenian citizen because I don’t put on a black coat.”

Black clothing at the Athenians was considered a sign of sadness. These words Pericles reminded friends that his reign was not executed no Athenian.

«Virtue is to protect people»

Cicero