Athenian Democracy and Pericles

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The march towards developing a democratic society is often obstructed with societal unrest due to the influence of the status quo on the instruments of power. Before the rule of Solon, Athens underwent this same rule, as there was much discontent among the social classes in Athens. The society suffered financial disparity that often was the trigger for the war among the rich and poor in the society. This was a major factor that forced Solon into power to institute policies that would see a reformed Athens. By so doing, the society was looking for an avenue that would guarantee democracy and a society that is fair for everyone. The city-state of Athens was the epicenter of the revolution for the Athenian democracy during the fifth century BC. In the Athenian democracy, the electorate voted for the legislation of bills instead of a direct democracy where the electorates are tasked with electing representatives who later developed the bill. Among the first people who made significant contributions to the development of the Athenian democracy were Solon (594 BC), Cleisthenes (508/7 BC), Pericles (495 – 429 BC) and Ephialtes (462 BC). Pericles was the longest serving democratic leader who contributed much development in democracy in the city. This paper will give an account of the age of the Pericles.

No one would deny that Pericles was the most prominent Greek statesman and spokesperson during the Golden Age. His contribution was largely felt during the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars having obtained power from his family link to the Alcmaeonid family. He commanded a lot of respect to from the Athenian citizens with Thucydides describing him as "the first citizen of Athens” . He was born at around 495 BC north of Athens in the ...

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