Athenian Leader: Pericles the Great

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In the present day, Barack Obama and many more inspirational individuals possess traits of leadership that influence a multitude of people. Going back even farther, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks were also leaders. In the Ancient World though, people like Alexander the Great, Ramses the Great, and Hammurabi were significant leaders. The one common similarity among all these leaders is that they all influenced their people and revolutionized the world. Pericles is also among this extravagant group. Pericles, leader of Greece in its Golden Age, revolutionized the city of Athens, its government and its people.

The life of Pericles was by far very prominent. Born in 495 B.C.E., Pericles was not only a statesman, but also a general in the army. He was intelligent, serious, and physically “perfect” (Hamish 18). As his status grew in Athenian government, his influence on the people of Athens grew too. “Pericles was the statesman and strategos (general) under whose rule Athens won and enforced political and cultural dominance over other Greek city-states” (Alan and Phillips OL). Unfortunately though, his fame ended a bit early. In 429 B.C.E., Pericles caught the plague, and died the same year.

Pericles, unlike some other Athenians, was born to a high-ranking nobility family. His father, Xanthippus, was an influential figure and prominent statesman in Athens, as was Pericles when he was older (Hamish 18). On the other hand, his mother, Agariste, was a housewife, but also helped Pericles in becoming successful by teaching him complex ideas about life. As you can see, both Xanthippus and Agariste had great influences on Pericles.

Not only did his parents have a great influence on Pericles, but his teachers did too. D...

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...d. From building the Parthenon, to using his extravagant brain and abilities to hook the Athenians to his plans, Pericles was revolutionary leader of the Ancient World.

Works Cited

Aird, Hamish. Pericles: The Rise and Fall of Athenian Democracy. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2004.

Axelrod, Alan, and Charles Phillips. “Pericles.” Facts on File: Ancient and Medieval History Online. 1995. Linwood Middle School LMC, North Brunswick, New Jersey 08902. 10 Feb. 2011

Fornara, Charles W. “Pericles (Greek Political Leader).” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. 2011. Home. 10 Feb. 2011.

Kagan, Donald. “Pericles”. The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 2010.

“Pericles”. The Ancient World. Hackensack, New Jersey: Salem Press, 2004.