The Golden Age of Pericles

The construction of the Parthenon was led by the architect Kallikrat. He developed an entire architectural program for Pericles, which included the construction of luxurious temples in different parts of Athens. Residents were provided with information about the funds spent. Everyone could make sure that during the construction there was no embezzlement. Financial reports power placed on the marble tablets. The Parthenon temple was built of penteli marble, which changed its color under the influence of the sun's rays. The bas-relief depicted horsemen, musicians, and people with gifts in their hands. Large sculptural groups were located above the western and eastern entrances. One of them depicted the birth of Athena from the head of Zeus. In the center of the temple was located a statue of this deity with a height of 11 meters. The Parthenon became the personification of the cultural rise of the “age of Pericles”. To the shrines of the Athenian necropolis, a monumental portal led by the painting of the famous artist Polignotos led.

Athenian necropolis, reconstruction of Leo von Klenze

East side of the Parthenon. Sitting gods

Theatrical performances in Athens were not affordable for everyone. To solve the problem of cultural leisure, Pericles ordered the distribution of money to the poor on major holidays.

Pericles patronized the sciences - history, medicine, philosophy. Herodotus made friends with him all around. By this time, the thinker had already written most of the treatise "History", which dealt with the Greek-Persian wars. Friendship with Pericles led and another major historian - the author of "The History of the Peloponessian War" Thucydides.


It is known that Pericles was an incorruptible ruler. This put the Athenians to him, who were well acquainted with the irrepressible “appetite” of local statesmen. In addition, he was an excellent orator and easily captured the attention of the audience (and the writings of Pericles were not preserved).

The politician involved city residents in public affairs with the payment of monetary compensation. Now the salary was due to the judges, and the fee for participation in the national assembly was also set. Pericles took care of the soldiers - they were provided with regular wages and food. Plutarch wrote about this: “For young and strong people, wages from social sums were given hikes, and Pericles wanted the working masses, not carrying military service, not to be destitute, but at the same time not to receive money in idleness and idleness. Therefore, Pericles presented to the people a multitude of grandiose construction projects and work plans that required the use of various crafts and were designed for a long time so that the remaining population in the city had the right to use public sums no less than the citizens who were in the fleet, in the garrisons, in campaigns. And the truth is, where there were materials: stone, copper, ivory, gold, ebony, cypress; where were the artisans who worked on these materials: carpenters, clay craftsmen, braziers, stone-cutters, gold dyers, ivory softeners, painters, enamellers, engravers; people involved in the transportation and delivery of these materials: by sea - major merchants, sailors, helmsmen, and by land - wagon masters, horse keepers, coachmen, rope twisters, ropes, saddlers, road builders, miners; where, like a commander having his own army, each craft had an organized mass of lower workers who knew no skill, who had the meaning of a simple tool, a “body” in the production of work — there they distributed them, sowed well-being at all ages and abilities ".

Under Pericles, a law was passed by which wealthy people incur a number of government expenses. Deliveries were divided into periodic and extraordinary, including the financing of holiday games and the maintenance of the proper form of warships. During the Peloponessian War, the Greeks lost many ships, and payments laid a heavy burden on the Athenians.

The Peloponessian War is the longest armed conflict in the history of ancient Greece. As a result of the war, Athens was defeated.

Watch the video: Golden Age of Athens, Pericles and Greek Culture. World History. Khan Academy (November 2019).