Portrait bust of Pericles (detail), 2nd century, Roman copy of an earlier Greek original with the name inscribed in Greek. Marble. British Museum 1805,0703.91, © The Trustees of the British Museum 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license

Making Athens Great (Again?): Modern Lessons from the Age of Pericles



In 431 B.C., Pericles convinced the Athenians to enter a war with the Spartans, the greatest military power in mainland Greece. He also convinced them to adopt a novel strategy—to abandon their homes and farms and move into the city of Athens, allowing the invading Spartans to ravage their ancestral lands. How did this statesman come to wield unprecedented power? Historian Loren Samons argues that Pericles exploited Athenian history and psychology, in ways both instructive and disturbing, to achieve his personal and public goals.

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