Essay Title: 

Greek Classics

March 18, 2016 | Author: | Posted in advanced art, art

Introduction

Review of sources on Greek Classics

The glory experienced by Greece reached its height in the 5th century BC , in Athens , under the leadership of the statesman Pericles . He opened Athenian democracy to the ordinary citizen , he built the magnificent temples and statues on the Acropolis , and he created the Athenian empire . The figure of Pericle was not ordinary one and contained a decent amount of controversy . Burn in his work Pericles and Athens describes this period of Athens development as : The crowning success of continuity and moderation at Athens [banner_entry_middle]

comes after the triumph of democracy , in the lifetime of Pericles , in the fact that most (though not all ) of the old families accepted and worked the democratic constitution a fact of which Pericles himself is the most conspicuous example (Burn , xvii . Knowledge of the life of Pericles derives largely from two sources . The historian Thucydides admired him profoundly and it is difficult to find any criticism in his works on Pericles ‘ biography . That is , probably , why his account suffers from the approach , which concentrates exclusively on Pericles ‘ intellectual capacity and his war leadership , omitting biographical details , which Thucydides thought irrelevant to his theme . These gaps are partly filled by the Greek writer Plutarch , who , 500 years later , began writing the life of Pericles to illustrate a man of unchallengeable virtue and greatness . If to compare Plutarch ‘s and Thucydides ‘ accounts of the events leading up to the war , we can notice some incompatibility even if ignoring the obvious difference of emphasis , which would be natural as between a biographer and a strict scientific historian . Thus , Burn describes such inconsistency by two different approaches applied by Plutarch and Thucydides to the reasons of war . Plutarch mentions that Pericles at the end of his life deliberately involved his country in a war , because his political position was being dangerously attacked through prosecutions of his friends , and he thought a war would divert people ‘s attention from certain deficiencies in his own accounts . On the other hand , Thucydides , not only gives no mention of this alleged reason for Pericles heading the warparty , he gives explicit statements that Pericles was the most influential political leader in Athens at the time , so that the enemy , made vigorous but unsuccessful attempts to shake his position by propaganda (Burn , 1949 ) Scrutinizing all pros and cons of Pericles government we still cannot help but admit his weight and historical importance for the development of Athens . Pericles biography to great extent reflects the development path followed by Athens during the second half of the 5th century BC

Background and early political activity

Pericles was born in Athens in about 494 BC to a family of wealth and position . His father , Xanthippus , was also a statesman , and his mother Agariste , was a member of the politically powerful Alcmaeonid family Perhaps outbid in his search for popular support , Xanthippus was ostracized in 484 BC , though he returned in 480 to command the Athenian force at Mycale in 479 , probably… [banner_entry_footer]

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