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Pericles of Athens$
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Vincent Azoulay

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154596

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154596.001.0001

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An Ordinary Young Athenian Aristocrat?

An Ordinary Young Athenian Aristocrat?

Chapter:
(p.15) Chapter 1 An Ordinary Young Athenian Aristocrat?
Source:
Pericles of Athens
Author(s):

Vincent Azoulay

, Janet Lloyd
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691154596.003.0002

This chapter explores the genealogical, economic, and cultural trump cards that were held by the young Pericles at the point when he stealthily embarked upon his political career. At the time of Pericles' birth, there was no “aristocracy” in Athens in the sense of a system in which hereditary power was held by a few great families. The chapter first provides a background on Pericles' ancestry before discussing the rumors surrounding the fortune of his maternal family, the Alcmaeonids. It then considers Pericles' education and his gradual entry into political life. In particular, it examines Pericles' decision to volunteer as a khorēgos, along with his involvement in the lawsuit against the general Cimon. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the political reforms adopted by Athenians at the instigation of Ephialtes.

Keywords:   political life, Pericles, aristocracy, Athens, Alcmaeonids, education, khorēgos, Cimon, political reforms, Ephialtes

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