Thought Piece

In: Social Issues

Submitted By amzegarelli
Words 2548
Pages 11
Thought Piece
13 May 2012 Many great leaders emerged throughout the events of the Peloponnesian War, but it was Pericles who was most capable in understanding and reacting to the uncertainties of war. Other leaders and representatives who appeared during this period of time included Cleon and Archidamus II. Amidst the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, and the time in between while Athens was at its greatest, Pericles rose to an iconic role of statesman, orator and war general. His prevalence and demeanor to the issues and situations surrounding the time allowed Athens to rain supreme. His speeches were influential and achievements spoke as loud as his words. Pericles was the ultimate Athenian. To fully assess Pericles, all his characteristics and positions of power need to be considered. He was a political leader, a military leader and an orator. These three separate entities require a man of great following, prowess and the total embodiment of an Athenian. So where to start when evaluating Pericles? Was he a culmination of his leadership roles or was one aspect of his legacy the determining factor to his ascertation of one of history's greatest minds? One must induce that the situations surrounding himself, his countrymen and the overall goal of the state of Athens were decisions that were not easily made and required an exuberant amount of strategy to preserve all that he stood for. Pericles, according to Thucydides, was Athen's “first citizen”. His initial actions were that of a soldier. Pericles led Athens in battle during the first Peloponnesian War. After heading several attacks, he developed a new theory for political strategy. While combining strategy and politics, Pericles amassed a following in Athens. Although Athens was imperialistic, Pericles sought to preserve rather than expand upon the empire. Ultimately,…...

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