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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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Pericles Rediscovered: The Fabrication of the Periclean Myth (18th to 21st Centuries)

Pericles Rediscovered: The Fabrication of the Periclean Myth (18th to 21st Centuries)

(p.192) Chapter 12 Pericles Rediscovered: The Fabrication of the Periclean Myth (18th to 21st Centuries)
Pericles of Athens

Vincent Azoulay

, Janet Lloyd
Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the rediscovery of Pericles and the fabrication of the Periclean myth from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. It first traces the roots of the Periclean myth, and particularly the genealogy of the expression “the age of Pericles,” before considering how the myth peaked and then deteriorated. It then examines the interest generated by Pericles during the two world wars, particularly with respect to his democracy and “pacific imperialism.” It also analyzes how a new Pericles emerged in the writings of historians, who now presented him as an enlightened bourgeois. It also looks at the birth of the figure of an idealized Pericles who continues to be enthroned in school textbooks. The chapter concludes by suggesting that this “official” Pericles arouses only indifference in popular culture worldwide today.

Keywords:   Pericles, Periclean myth, popular culture, democracy, pacific imperialism, bourgeois

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