Pericles (//; Attic Greek: Περικλῆς [pe.ri.klɛ̂ːs]; c. 495 – 429 BC) was a Greek statesman and general during the Golden Age of Athens. He was prominent and influential in Athenian politics, particularly between the Greco-Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War, and was acclaimed by Thucydides, a contemporary historian, as "the first citizen of Athens". Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire and led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War. The period during which he led Athens, roughly from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the "Age of Pericles", but the period thus denoted can include times as early as the Persian Wars or as late as the following century.
|Born||c. 495 BC|
|Died||429 BC (aged c. 65 – 66)|
|Battles/wars||Battle in Sicyon and Acarnania (454 BC) |
Second Sacred War (448 BC)
Expulsion of barbarians from Gallipoli (447 BC)
Samian War (440 BC)
Siege of Byzantium (438 BC)
Peloponnesian War (431–429 BC)
|Spouse(s)||Aspasia of Miletus|
|Children||Paralus and Xanthippus |
Pericles the Younger
|Timeline of Pericles' life (c. 495–429 BC)|
Pericles promoted the arts and literature, and it is principally through his efforts that Athens acquired the reputation of being the educational and cultural center of the ancient Greek world. He started an ambitious project that generated most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis, including the Parthenon. This project beautified and protected the city, exhibited its glory and gave work to its people. Pericles also fostered Athenian democracy to such an extent that critics call him a populist. Pericles was descended, through his mother, from the powerful and historically-influential Alcmaeonid family. He, along with several members of his family, succumbed to the Plague of Athens in 429 BC, which weakened the city-state during a protracted conflict with Sparta.