Pericles Facts

Pericles Facts
Pericles (ca. 495-426 BC) was one of ancient Athens' greatest generals and statesmen. His leadership of Athens is often referred to as the "Periclean Age" and the "Golden Age" of Athens due to the city becoming the premier Greek city-state of the period, culturally and economically. Due to Pericles' efforts, the Parthenon was built on top the Acropolis, philosophers and other intellectuals migrated to Athens from all around the Greek speaking world, and the treasury of Athena acquired more funds than ever before. Pericles was born in Athens to a man named Xanthippus, who was a politician and veteran of the Persian Wars. His father's wealth and connections allowed him to move quickly up the ladder in Athens' political and military circles, but Pericles charisma and intelligence helped make him the leader of Athens sometime in the 460s BC. Pericles led Athens in the first few years of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) until his death.
Interesting Pericles Facts:
Before the Peloponnesian War, Pericles led several military campaigns throughout Greece to protect the interests of Athens' alliance, the Delian League.
In 459 BC, Pericles made the decision to support a named Inaros who had rebelled against the Persians in Egypt. The expedition was a failure.
Construction of the Parthenon began in 447 and was finished in about 438 BC.
Another one of Pericles' building projects was known as the "Long Walls." They were two walls, 200 yards apart, which ran from Athens to the harbor city of Piraeus, about four miles away.
Pericles had the Phaleric Wall built around 457 BC to connect Athens to its other port city of Phaleron.
When Pericles had the treasury of the Delian League moved to Athens in 454 BC it made Athens the most important economic center in ancient Greece.
Pericles led Athens against Sparta and Delphi in the Second Sacred War (449-448 BC)
Athens suffered a severe famine under Pericles' leadership in 445 BC. The famine was relieved when Pericles arranged for shipments of grain from Egypt.
It was during Pericles' leadership that Athenians first began colonizing lands outside of Greece.
Pericles led Athens in the Samian War (440-439 BC), which resulted in an Athenian victory and was the last major war before the Peloponnesian War.
Although Pericles was an ardent supporter of Athenian democracy, he also believed that Athens should be the sole ruler of Greece.
During the fifth century BC, the Athena Temple functioned not only as a religious site, but also as Athens' central bank.
Before the Peloponnesian War, Pericles developed an intricate financial plan to pay for Athens' war effort, which included dipping into the resource of the Athena Temple. The financial schemes Pericles thought of were sound for the most part, but he only planned for a three year war, which meant that the plan was doomed to fail.
Pericles married at least twice and had least three sons.
Pericles died from a plague that overwhelmed Athens.


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