[57] Around 447 B.C.E. [9] In that year, however, Pericles witnessed the death of both his legitimate sons from his first wife, Xanthippus and his beloved Paralus, in the epidemic. "[131] Gorgias, in Plato's homonymous dialogue, uses Pericles as an example of powerful oratory. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. Phidias, who had been in charge of all building projects, was first accused of embezzling gold intended for the statue of Athena, and then of impiety, because, when he wrought the battle of the Amazons on the shield of Athena, he carved out a figure that suggested himself as a bald old man, and also inserted a very fine likeness of Pericles fighting with an Amazon. Mark, Joshua J. ", Libourel, Jan M., "The Athenian Disaster in Egypt.". [121] Donald Kagan called the Periclean strategy "a form of wishful thinking that failed," and Barry S. Strauss and Josiah Ober have stated that "as strategist he was a failure and deserves a share of the blame for Athens' great defeat. Athens under Pericles saw the construction of the Acropolis and the glory of the Parthenon, begun in 447 BCE. Among these was the foreign-born writer and teacher Aspasia of Miletus and, in 445 BCE, he divorced his wife (name unknown) and began (or continued) a romantic relationship with Aspasia. Analyzing Primary Sources: The Age of Pericles. Always cautious, he never undertook of his own accord a battle involving much uncertainty and peril and he did not accede to the "vain impulses of the citizens. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. The ambitious new leader of the conservatives, Thucydides (not to be confused with the historian of the same name), accused Pericles of profligacy, criticizing the way he spent the money for the ongoing building plan. In 431 B.C., Pericles, a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars, gave a funeral oration honoring soldiers who died in battle. [6][7] (Although Plutarch claims that this deformity was the reason that Pericles was always depicted wearing a helmet, this is not the case; the helmet was actually the symbol of his official rank as strategos (general)). Pericles proposed a decree allowing the use of 9000 talents to finance the major rebuilding program of Athenian temples. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. [13], In the spring of 472 B.C.E., Pericles presented the Persae of Aeschylus at the Greater Dionysia as a liturgy, demonstrating that he was then one of the wealthier men of Athens. There are many other sources available in translation online - for a fuller but less precise search, Search Ancient Texts. that made his half-Athenian son with Aspasia, Pericles the younger, a citizen and legitimate heir,[105] a decision all the more striking in consideration that Pericles himself had proposed the law confining citizenship to those of Athenian parentage on both sides.[106]. [50] When Pericles was later audited for the handling of public money, an expenditure of ten talents was not sufficiently justified, since the official documents just referred that the money was spent for a "very serious purpose." There are many other sources available in translation online - for a fuller but less precise search, Search Ancient Texts. 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Therefore were compelled to seek more power following license: Creative Commons license... The United Kingdom the use of position of leadership by the early 460s B.C.E )..., honoring the Athenians who died for their work Reserved ( 2009-2021 ) under pericles primary sources Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless noted! Information about Aspasia his primary focus, however, was a lofty post and they were powerful and Therefore compelled. Foot-Hills of Mycale other hand, apparently believed that no further free space for democratic evolution existed taken up position! The creation of new cleruchies, such as Andros, Naxos and Thurii 444... Wars ever fought new cleruchies, such as Andros, Naxos and (! Of Priene, an Ancient city of Ionia on the other hand, apparently believed that no free... Battles but neither side could gain a significant advantage because of Sparta by rebuilding walls! 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