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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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The Individual and Democracy: The Place of the “Great Man”

The Individual and Democracy: The Place of the “Great Man”

(p.137) Chapter 10 The Individual and Democracy: The Place of the “Great Man”
Pericles of Athens

Vincent Azoulay

, Janet Lloyd
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Pericles' impact on Athenian democracy, and more specifically whether the stratēgos was an all-powerful figure or an evanescent one, and how his actions interacted with the will of the people. It begins with a discussion of what was perceived by his opponents as Pericles' link to the tyrants of Athens. It then explores Pericles' role in the great building projects that included monuments, along with the ways that comic poetry fulfilled a function of social control over the members of the Athenian elite. It suggests that the notion of a Periclean monarchy is just a myth. Far from ruling Athens as a monarch, Pericles, the “great man,” lived constantly under tension in a context in which the power of the dēmos was relentlessly increasing.

Keywords:   democracy, Pericles, stratēgos, Athens, monarchy, tyrants, monuments, comic poetry, elite, dēmos

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