policies of Pericles contributed to the expanding power and influence of the Athenian Empire

Pericles was an Athenian political leader mostly accountable for the complete growth in the 5th century, of both the empire and democracy of Athens. As a result, Athens became the political and social focus of Greece. His success involved the development of the Acropolis, started in 447. During the Athens’ golden era, philosophy, sculpture, drama, poems and technology all achieved new levels. After fifty years, Athens underwent an expansion in artistic and intellectual learning. The creative fictional legacies of this time keep motivating and instructing people all over the globe. Fair and honest, Pericles held onto well-known assistance for 32 years. He was a competent, politically motivating orator, and a well-known general. He ruled over the life of Athens from 461 to 429 B.C. that this era often is known as the Age of Pericles (Aird, 2009). He had three goals:

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(1) To enhance Athenian democracy

(2) To keep and strengthen the kingdom and (3) To glorify Athens

His reign and policies

Pericles had all the intentions of extending his aggressive policy throughout the region, but the activities in subsequent years absolutely frustrated him. Later on, an Athenian military, aimed at quelling an invasion, had to give up in at Coronea, and their ransom was substituted by the Boeotia evacuation. Upon information of this catastrophe Locris, Phocis, and Euboea led a revolt and the Megarians killed the Athenian garrison as a Spartan military occupied Attica. In this disaster, Pericles caused the military leaders to the runway, obviously through a bribe, and sped to re-conquering Euboea. However, other land belongings could not be retrieved. After a 30-year truce organized in 445, Pericles eventually renounced the predominance in Greece. Pericles’ foreign policy henceforward went through a powerful change-to negotiate the supremacy of the navy, or to improve it by a careful advance, remained his only aspirations. While seeking the projects of the Radicals due to their interference in distant nations, he sometimes created a show of Athens’ power overseas, which represented the Western policy resumption (Samons, 2014).

The rebel of Samos disturbed the peaceful growth of Athenian power. Pericles organized a navy against the seceders, after winning an initial engagement, unwisely separated his armament, and permitted one squadron to be directed. In a subsequent fight, he recovered this crisis, and after a prolonged obstruction reduced the city itself. A requirement for help, requested by the Samians, declined instantly. Switching to Pericles’ policy regarding the associates of the Delian League, we discover that he seriously endeavored to acquire the allies as his subjects. A unique function of his policy was the dispatching of several clergies. This served the dual purpose of obtaining Athenian strategic points and transforming the desperate proletariat of capital into entrepreneurs of actual estate. The area was acquired through confiscating the disaffected states and in return for a reduction of tribute.

Following Pericles’ home policy, he implemented Ephialtes’ project of converting Athenians into self-governing. His primary innovation was the launch of treasury payment for the state services. Notably, he offered a compensation for court services. In the same way, he designed a “theoricon” fund, which allowed the poor to visit the impressive representations of the Vionysia. In his regards, we may also feature the pay, which the military obtained during the Peloponnesian War moreover to the archaic provision fund. Pericles perhaps compensated for the Archons and associates of the bowl, certainly obtaining compensation in 411, and some minimal magistrates, initially. In connection with this program of incomes should be described a somewhat reactionary policy launched by Pericles, whereby an Athenian parentage on both ends was created a direct situation of maintaining the franchise and the right to sit on compensated juries. The opening of the archonship to the third and to all classes of citizens has been attributed to Pericles’ policy (Aird, 2009).

The home policy introduced by Pericles has been much discussed since golden days. His primary enactments are related to the payment of people for State service. These actions have been considered as an appeal the baser intuition of the mob. However, such a supposition is entirely out of maintaining with the well-known mindset of Pericles towards the people, over whom researchers claim he essentially ruled as a king. We must, then, confess that Pericles genuinely considered the good of his other fellow citizens, and it is argued that he endeavored to recognize that perfect Athens. This, Thucydides portrays in the Memorial Speech — an Athens, where intelligence and free obedience is delivered to a reasonable code of rules, where merit penetrates to the top side, where army performance is discovered along with a free growth in other guidelines and strangles neither business nor art. According to this policy, Pericles desired to educate the society to political wisdom by providing to all an effective share in political institutions, among such as the government and to practice their aesthetic preferences by making available the best music and drama. The Peloponnesian War damaged the great venture by redirecting the large supplies of funds, which were important to it, and confronting with the redesigned the democracy of Athens, before spreading it with his tutelage.

Restoring Athens’ supremacy

The warfare among the Ancient states had ended in 451. Pericles adopted a policy development aimed at protecting Athens’ political and cultural leadership in Greece. He had already taken over the partnership that had continued the Parsian War after Sparta’s drawback in 478. In 454, the leadership was strengthened by the exchange of the alliance’s significant finances from Delos to Athens. If serenity with Persia did not end the partnership, it may have finished the yearly tribute given to that treasury (Spielvogel, 2009).

Whether to restore this honor, or basically to claim Athenian leadership, Pericles called a meeting of all Greek citizens to reflect on the concerns of restoring the Greek temples or temples damaged by the Napoleons, the payment of sacrifices because of the gods for salvation, and the independence of the oceans. Sparta failed to cooperate, but Pericles proceeded with the narrow reasons for the Athenian partnership. Tribute was to proceed, and Athens would draw intensely on the reserves of the partnership for a spectacular building program centered on the Acropolis (Spielvogel, 2009). In 447 BC, the project began on the Parthenon temple and the ivory sculpture in Athena housing it. The Acropolis venture was to consist of, among other factors, a temple to Success and the Propylaea, the gateway for entry, far grander and more costly than any past Greek secular building.

There was domestic critique. Thucydides denounced both the extravagance of the venture and the unethical behavior of using allied resources to fund it after inheriting his father’s political backing. Pericles claimed that the allies had to pay for their protection, and, if that was confident, Athens lacked accountability for how the money was actually invested. The discussion later led to ostracism. Thucydides took a 10 years’ exile and left Pericles unopposed. It cannot be identified whether the attractiveness of the venture had absolutely captured Athenian desires or whether Pericles was believed to be indispensable. Pericles had a wish to activate employment and business activities in Athens. However, these inspirations may be anachronistic and in reality may not have driven the voters very much.

The war drift

Despite a serious probability, Sparta and its friends were highly involved in this event, but they did not, and the 30 Years’ peace was sustained until the 430s. Tension increased as the years progressed, particularly with respect to Corinth, Sparta’s friend, whose passions conflicted more obviously with those of Athens. By 433 BC, the scenario forced Athenian leaders to invest its reserves in to war foundation that eventually became costly.

Pericles’ policy was related to strength along with cautious adjustment of the diplomatic position to keep an Athens office on the right. The firmness was a challenge to competitors, particularly Pericles’ dedication to implementing the decrees not including Megarian business of the Athenian Empire. Thucydides informs just enough to create his own presentation possible that Megara was a minor issue in itself, but essentially as an icon of Athenian dedication to sustaining its position. The concern of Megara’s strategic significance may recommend the chance that the Megarian declarations were not the primary causes of the war. In fact, the first strike in the inevitable war was started in 431 BC (Aird, 2009).

Pericles’ primary strategic policies are obvious. He was an admiral rather than a general, and Athens’ naval forces were greatly excellent in its land power. He would leave the Athenian landscapes, move the citizens past the Long Walls, and decrease the fight with the Sparta military. He also depended on the navy to guarantee Athenian food supplies and protect the kingdom with the costly naval policy. Expenses on the building had been counterbalanced by yearly benefits from the tribute, and adequate capital had been arranged. He believed, for an extended war, though expenditure became heavier than he could have measured. With Thucydides’ viewpoint, though he did not describe what an end to the war, other than a stalemate, Pericles desired or predicted. There were some signs that Periclean policies involved competitive components like the restoration of Megara. This would have significantly enhanced Athens’ position (Aird, 2009).

Weakness of Pericles’ policies

His policies, however, had noticeable political weak points. The Athenian inhabitants had strong origins in the countryside, and excellent firmness was needed to carry them to give up their land to Spartan Warriors without a war. The in morale, and the living conditions of the lower classes, though they were permitted activity in the navy, worsened in the congested town. The overcrowding had an unforeseen impact in a plague, which in the second summer season of the war took a one fourth of the inhabitants. No apparent achievements counterbalanced the difficulties of war, and Pericles was deposed from office and penalized. He was soon reelected, but he took no new projects before his demise 429. Athenian life often dropped short of these Periclean concepts, but he created it with quality and made it usually identified. He created his Athens as “an education of Greece” (Spielvogel, 2009). If the last speech is any pointer, he cannot be charged with neglecting that the facts of power that created the Periclean era possible might also demolish it.

Athenian Empire

Pericles revolutionized life in Athens and the town itself in several essential ways. In a world of political changes, he significantly deepened democratic personality of the constitution of Athens. Pericles learnt that the greatest obstacle for his people to join the democratic life was the lack of time. His people dedicated a large part of their daily time to work for their income, leaving no energy and effort to partake in political activities. The most essential organization, shading political improvements in Athens, was the group of people qualified to serve as jurors in legal courts. This way, people obtained a political influence in forming political decisions of state (Hotchkiss, 2009). However, time was essential, to perform court responsibilities. This could only be done by people who were not required to earn an income through daily working. Aiming to correct this drawback of less wealthy Athenians, Pericles introduced a pay as a compensation for court services.

Stepping towards the wrong route that eventually was damaging to the future of Athens was an evaluation provided by Pericles’ in respect to citizenship. Because the benefit of citizenship became a useful ownership, he limited it to individuals whose parents were Athenian citizens. Consequently, roughly five million individuals were removed from citizen rolls. With the aim to improve a political influence of regular people, he provided a policy, enabling third class members, so known as zeugitai, to be qualified for the archont position that was typically a reserve of richest category. Later, also members of lowest category could be chosen to this unique office. Such extreme changes roused hatred of individuals whose political power had been compromised. As was mentioned, ways were developed to harm Pericles’s popularity and his political status. His nearest affiliates were slandered and charged with inappropriate conduct (Spielvogel, 2009).

Pericles brought democracy in Athens to an entire new level, but governmental developments failed could not recognize his efforts. Compared with Rome, the capital city, Athens failed to acquire a fulcrum position within the united Greek, able of reliable financial, cultural and civic progression. Pericles’ tragedies in his last stages of life and death of the Athenian Kingdom are intertwined. The power of Athens, which converted into a naval empire, soon was seen as a resource of discomfort of many Ancient Communities such as the affiliates of Athenian Federacy. The allied states also cited other sources of discontentment — a regularly increasing amount of expenses. In controlling uprisings, Athens is shown that initially voluntary unions became the Athenian Empire. The Athenians had no dreams about the nature of their Kingdom. Pericles was cognizant Athenians were no longer safe and tried to prevent emerging risk to Athens presented by a variety of her opponents. With an objective to prevent possible occurrence of hostilities, Pericles organized a conference with Greek states in pursuit for remedy how to curb increasing tensions (Tarnopolsky, 2010).


When Pericle took leadership of the Delian League, Athens’ objectives were honorable. In the first few years of his hegemony, he achieved outstanding achievements, pushing the Persians from Greece. However, he also experienced a large influx of funds from the league’s associates designed to pay for his naval forces. The Athenians increased and got used to a greater living standard, due to the cash and food now streaming into the town. The power and prestige of their town were beneficial to them all. Athens relied on imported foodstuff to back up her increasing population. The cash streaming into the town’s coffers allowed Pericles to acquire it. Earnings from tributes and pillaging from the kingdom came to be more than a million talents a year, while seized land and colonies offered livelihoods for many Athenians. The cash from the kingdom was used to back up the navy, build spectacular public structures, and assist the town’s poor. The empire designed projects as well: almost everyone worked in the navy at one point or another. Everyone in the town helped, so it is not a surprise that democratic Athens was chosen to keep the cash streaming in when the league succeeded in removing the Persian risk.


Aird, H. (2009). Pericles: The rise and fall of Athenian democracy. New York: Rosen.

Hotchkiss, Mark A. (2009). Legend of the Unknown God. Tate Pub & Enterprises Llc.

Samons, L.J. (2014). What’s Wrong With Democracy?: From Athenian Practice to American Worship. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Tarnopolsky, C.H. (2010). Prudes, perverts, and tyrants: Plato’s Gorgias and the politics of shame. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.

Spielvogel, J.J. (2009). Western civilization: Volume I. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth.