Pericles and the Golden Age of Athens

Pericles and the Golden Age of Athens

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Pericles and the Golden Age of Athens

Pericles and the Golden Age of Athens

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Excerpt

This sketch of the Age of Pericles consists of two parts: in the first and larger part I have endeavoured to trace the growth of the Athenian empire and the causes which alienated Athens and Sparta; in the second I have given a brief account of the government, the art and literature, the society and manners of the Periclean Athens.

It will be seen that I have ventured to form an opinion about the part which Pericles played as a practical statesman widely different from the estimate presented by Grote and Curtius. It is, so far as I can judge, impossible to deny that he destroyed a form of government under which his city attained to the height of her prosperity and that he plunged her into a hopeless and demoralising war. These are not the achievements of a great statesman. And so far as legislation goes, the Age of Pericles is a blank in the history of Athens.

In what then did his greatness lie? The answer is, that it lay in the ideals which he cherished. He saw what a city might do for her citizens; and what . . .

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