Pericles Facts

Pericles Facts
Pericles was a Greek general during the Golden Age in Athens, as well as statesman and orator. He was born c. 495 BC, in Athens, Greece, to Xanthippus, a politician, and Agariste, a member of a powerful noble family. Pericles was well educated and considered to be the first politician in history to consider philosophy important. He was known to keep the company of early philosophers such as Zeno of Elea, Anaxagoras, and Protagoras. He promoted literature and the arts and is considered the reason that Athens gained the reputation for being the cultural and educational center of Ancient Greece. The time in which Pericles led Athens became known as the Age of Pericles.
Interesting Pericles Facts:
Pericles' mother was Sicyon's great-granddaughter. He was considered a tyrant. Her family was controversial and powerful and had a big role in helping Pericles' father in politics.
Pericles' mother is said to have had a dream a few nights before he was born, in which he was born a lion.
As a child Pericles avoided public appearances and preferred to focus on his education. His family's wealth allowed this.
Because of Pericles influence on society in Athens, Thucydides, a historian named him the 'first citizen of Athens'.
Pericles is credited with turning the Delian League into the Athenian Empire.
Pericles led Athens from 461 BC to 429 BC.
Pericles is responsible for the creation of most of the Acropolis' structures that still exist today.
Pericles first marriage was to a close relative. Her name is unknown but they had two sons together named Xanthippus and Paralus. Pericles divorced his wife in 445 BC. She had also been married to Hipponicus prior to her marriage to Pericles and had another child named Callias.
Pericles had a relationship with Aspasia of Miletus for several years and had a son named Pericles the Younger.
Both of Pericles sons from his marriage died during a plague epidemic.
In 451 BC Pericles' son by Aspasia, named Pericles the Younger, was made a legitimate heir and citizen.
It is believed that the philosopher Anaxagora was responsible for Pericles' ability to remain calm and in control.
Pericles led many expeditions over a period of over 20 years, including many naval expeditions. He was a cautious person and did not engage in battles that would involve peril and uncertain outcome.
Following the Peloponnesian Wars Pericles gave a speech that would become famous, known as the Funeral Oration. It was meant to honor those soldiers that had perished.
Pericles was known to always pray to the Gods before giving an oration so that he would be prepared and not speak any improper words during the speech.
Many of Pericles expansionary policies are used during arguments to promote democracy in countries that are considered opporessed.
Many believe that the Peloponnesian War was the result of Pericles and Athenians, whose belligerent tactics incited the war. It has been stated that Sparta feared the Athenian's growth and power under Pericles and this led to the war. Sparta was also said to be an admirer of Pericles.

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