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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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(p.1) Introduction
Pericles of Athens

Vincent Azoulay

, Janet Lloyd
Princeton University Press

This book is a biographical inquiry, or “odyssey,” into the life and legacy of Pericles, whose name has been associated with the peak of Athens' glory and the flowering of the first democracy in history. Instead of launching into a new biography of Pericles, the book sets the man in context, reinserting him into the democratic political culture of the fifth century B.C. It examines the bases of Pericles' political power, his role in the development of Athenian imperialism, and his attitude toward the city gods. It also considers the emergence of the figure of an idealized Pericles in the writings of historians beginning in the nineteenth century. This introduction reconstructs the background against which Pericles' life unfolded, paying attention to his role in the evolution of the city of Athens in the mid-fifth century. It also looks at ancient sources that shed light on Pericles' actions.

Keywords:   democracy, biography, Pericles, political culture, political power, imperialism, city gods, Athens

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