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Pericles (495 b.C. - 429 b.C.)
Athenian statesman. He first came to prominence as an opponent of the Areopagus (462) and as one of the prosecutors of Cimon, whom he replaced in influence. From then on he was the popular leader in Athens. In Athens Pericles carried through a number of reforms that advanced democracy. As a result, all officials in Athens were paid salaries by the state and every office was opened to most citizens. In 451–450 he limited citizenship to those of Athenian parentage on both sides. He made an attempt, probably in 448, to call a Panhellenic conference, but Spartan opposition defeated his effort. Under Pericles the Delian League reached its maximum efficiency as an instrument of Athenian imperialism. He became a great patron of the arts and encouraged drama and music. Under his direction Ictinus and Callicrates, Phidias and others produced such monuments as the Parthenon and the Propylaea on the Acropolis. He was one of the participants in the events that led to the Peloponnesian War. The war, which began in 431, brought on the ruination of Athens. The celebrated funeral oration that Pericles made at the end of the first year of war was a strong appeal to the pride and patriotism of the citizens. However, Pericles was driven from office by his enemies, only to be reelected strategos in 429. He died six months later.

δεν υπάρχει ευτυχία χωρίς ελευθερία, αλλά ούτε ελευθερία χωρίς κουράγιο - Pericles