From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Pericles is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 18, 2006.

An issue[edit]

Nice work on this article. One quibble: In the introductory paragraphs, the article says that Pericles "founded" the Athenian empire. This is not accurate. The empire, of course, developed over time and slowly from the Delian League. Themistocles gets some credit; so would Cimon for the work done in defeating Persia. Pericles is certainly one of the great proponents of the empire, but it should *not* be said that he "founded" the empire. Let's discuss this and then make an appropriate edit. Jim 19:48, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


As a result of his efficient governance of Athens, the period from 461 BC to 429 BC is sometimes known as "The Age of Pericles" (Though this terminology can extend to as late as 379 BC).

Is it efficiency if he takes the money from the Delian League to finance Athens? I doubt it very much. Wandalstouring 13:27, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Aspasia is credited for lots of political influence on Perikles and perhaps making his speeches. Could we clarify her role in the life of Perikles a bit more? It is also mentioned that Perikles the younger received Athenian citizenship in 429 BC, but he was no Athenian on his mothers behalf and it was Perikles himself who had fought for a law prohibiting this.

I tranferred the initial edit about Pericles the younger in section "Personal life", in order to clarify and emphasize on it. I also mentioned and citated the antiphasis in Pericles' decisions first in 451 BC (initial law) and then 429 BC (amendment).--Yannismarou 10:47, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I have to look it up, but didn´t Perikles also face ostracism once?

Pericles' name is found on ostracons. Nonetheless, this does not mean that Paricles was the main target of any procedure of ostracism. He never faced a serious danger of exile. Hence, he faced ostracism more than once, but he was never in danger. After his confrontation with Thucydides the conservatives desperately prompted his ostracism, but Pericles was too powerful at the moment and he prevailes. As a result, although his name was found on ostracons, he got much less ostracons than Thucydides, who was the one who got ostracized. Thereby, Pericles never faced (according to my research, at least) a serious contest in terms of a procedure of ostracism.--Yannismarou 09:02, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
It was not ostracism, he was stripped of his office and fined says Plutarch. Here is an English version:
"A plague broke out in Athens. In the crowded city, the plague spread quickly, and soon there were dead bodies everywhere. 8 The Athenians blamed Pericles for bringing this war and this plague upon them, so they voted him out of office and fined him. As a bee leaves its stinger in the wound, the Athenians stopped bothering Pericles once he stepped down from his authority over them." Wandalstouring 10:30, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Ah...OK! But it is mentioned within the article! If you go to section "Last military operations and death", you'll see that I mention both the fining and the stripping of the generalship in 430 BC. I also mention Cleon's role and the volatile attitude of the Athenians who forgave him within a year. In 429 BC he was once again general. I donot think there is anything more to add!--Yannismarou 10:43, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I read you have it in the text. But why did you delete the part about Pericles the younger who also became a strategos? Aspasia`s role needs perhaps a little more attention. In her article it is pointed out she was possibly a leading figure and trained many orators. Sounds a bit different than running only a brothel. Wandalstouring 10:50, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I did not delete the part you say, because there was no such part edited by me at least! And I did not see it, while editing. It was just mentioned that Pericles the younger got the citizenship; not that he became a general. About Aspasia, it was not my intention to show that she was just running a brothel (After all she was not! She was making visits!!). I'll try to say a few things about her role. I just want to point out that, when Plato says that she trained many orators, he does not believe it! He is ironical and taunts both her and Pericles. He wants to undermine Pericles' fame as a great orator. This is the case of Menexenus! Read Menexenus in Perseus and you'll understand that Plato is just ridiculizing (in fact, very effectively!) both Pericles and Aspasia through a very sharp irony!--Yannismarou 11:08, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
In Plato`s Menexenus Aspasia`s role is mentioned. Perhaps you could make a shortcut in Pericles to tell a bit about his "wife". Wandalstouring 10:55, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I mention Plato's ironical references in Menexenus for both Pericles and Aspasia in the section "Oratorical Skill". I'll see what more I should write about Aspasia. But let us not overestimate her role. The rumors mentioned by Plutarch say that she was the one who caused the war between Samos and Athens, but there is a huge difference between rumors and historical reality.--Yannismarou 11:11, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
After all I just noticed in Aspasia's article that there is a template, indicating that "the factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed". I agree with the notice and, hence, I point out that we should not take as granted whatever is written (and not citated!) in this article.--Yannismarou 11:15, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
No problem, it is all from Plutarch. Your Plutarch source showed server problems several times, I used a different online transcript, where I can not link to specific parts of this short text. It is reference 40. Wandalstouring 11:28, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Your edit in the beginning (reverting efficient) was correct and I agree. Aspasia's role in oratory is mentioned in the section "Oratorical Skill". I donot think another reference of Menexenus is necessary. I'll modify a bit this edit of yours. Is it necessary to say that she was running a brothel? It is mentioned that she was a hetaira. Isn't that enough? Too many details I think.--Yannismarou 11:37, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Say she was a hetaira running a brothel (simply to point out she was a woman in an independent position leading an enterprise. I think this is an important detail. For example the courtesans of the French kings were not independent entrepreneurs nor the Hitler`s Eva Braun, etc. Wandalstouring 11:44, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
OK.--Yannismarou 11:46, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely not OK, you deleted important details and added things of minor importance. The problem is, this created statements which are wrong. Pericles had 3 legitimate sons. 2 from his wife, one from Aspasia who was later recognized as his legal heir and legitimate son.

It is of minor importance what for Phidias was put to trial (someone tried very hard, so there was a trial. enough), but of much greater importance what he was for Perikles. Otherwise we do not fully inform what the political persecution really was about, but tell all minor details of the trial.Wandalstouring 12:30, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

My friend, read again the whole article. I mentioned in "Oratorical Skill" that Aspasia is said to have been a trainer of orators and in "Personal Life" that she is said to have run a bordel and about her conversational virtues. I think these sections are better for these information than the section you chose. And I'll keep your edit about Phidias' role, athough your citation is inadequate. And I'll clarify how many legitimate sons Pericles had. But donot reedit already fixed things.--Yannismarou 12:51, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

While you point out his skull was deformed, he is always shown wearing a helmet. Was this his trick to hide it and make public appearance? Wandalstouring 14:12, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

No. According to modern researchers Plutarch's explanation (in Pericles III) is regarded as naive. It is now believed that he wears a helmet as a symbol of his official rank as strategos. Check the edit I just did.--Yannismarou 10:03, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the critics. I just got back from vacations, but I'll soon start working in order to answer all the questions.--Yannismarou 06:55, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Let´s continue down here, otherwise it gets a mess. We have political persecution as motive for the personal attacks. It is in this case utterly unimportant what the trialcase was in detail, but who is attacked and what position he holds (architect, oratorteacher). The aim of these attacks is to crumble the direct support Pericles needs. I did not want to mess up your reference system, but you messed the content. Wandalstouring 13:02, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

The woman he really adored was Aspasia, a hetaera, who probably ran a brothel.[1] Aspasia was spoken for her ability as a conversationalist than simply because of her physical attractions.[1]

Were do you tell Aspasia`s role now? Being his mistress does not really qualify for her social importance if Socrates mentions her as teacher. Wandalstouring 13:28, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, we both messed everything, but anyway! ... I think my last edit could be satisfactory. I mention Aspasia's (her role as a political adviser as well as the ownership of the bordel) and Phidias' role in "Personal Attacks" , according to your edits, but I keep Aspasia's alleged oratorical influence in "Oratorical Skill" (and I insist!). I also returned to the initial edits about Pericles' children in "Personal Life". I think they were clear enough and I decided no to change them.--Yannismarou 13:28, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it is fine now. Wandalstouring 13:34, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Hallelujah!--Yannismarou 13:35, 17 August 2006 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b R. Just,Women in Athenian Law and Life,144

My edits[edit]

A couple of points regarding the series of edits I just made. I noted in a couple of edit summaries that my changes need to be reviewed to make sure I didn't alter the sense of what was being said; this is important because I changed one statement that precedes a citation and one English translation of a Greek sentence, and I want to be sure that I'm not introducing inaccuracy with either of those changes. Second, at the places where I added material to the article, I sourced it to my "house source", as it were, the John Fine book; this is only because that was one of the few books I had ready to hand while I was making the edits. I don't want it to seem like I'm pushing 'my' source here, though, so if someone wants to change some of those citations to point to one of the sources more frequently used in the article, for the sake of consistency, I'm fine with that. --RobthTalk 06:17, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

As far I've checked until now you've not introduced any inaccuracy in both cases. The meaning of Vlachos' statement is preserved and the second statements stands fine and remains well-citated. For my part, I corrected some minor typos. I think you citation is fine; if I find anything better and replace any of your citations, I'll make a comment on that.--Yannismarou 07:53, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

i agree


Do we really need every statement that Plutarch makes, including the ones, like the Aspasian War, which no modern scholar sees reason to believe? Septentrionalis 16:41, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, we do! It helps us understand the atmosphere of this tense period and the way Aspasia's influence was conceived by the ancient writers, the politicians, the public etc.--Yannismarou 17:46, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

If we are using Plutarch, is it worth mentioning Shakespeare's play, inspired by Plutarch's version of Pericles's life? Cariel 03:19, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

You mean the reference at the top? It is a disambiguation. Don't get confused.--Yannismarou 08:42, 18 September 2006 (UTC)


At the moment, this article cites various opinions from various scholars, all cited as individuals. In principle, we should indicate where these are consensus, and where these are one side of a debate (and if so, include the other side). Doing this systematically would require expert knowledge of this particular field, and would require extreme care: getting this wrong would be worse than not doing it at all.

But please keep your eyes open, and if you see an opinion on one of the points in question, please note it either on the page, or on Talk. Especially this applies to the accuracy of Plutarch and Thucydides, which should probably, in the very long run, be articles on their own. Septentrionalis 18:48, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Urban legend?[edit]

I remember my Grade 11 history teacher telling us that Pericles was referred to as "He with the head of an onion" by his opponents...any truth? Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 03:16, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

I know and it is mentioned that the comic writers were taunting him for the unsusual size of his head.--Yannismarou 08:42, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Several of the External links seem down. Others are very brief and/or low quality. Also, there are, I think, too many of them. Any objections to me editing them? David.Kane 13:53, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Which ones are down? Which ones do you regard as being of low quality? I checked them and none is down.--Yannismarou 14:29, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
The Popper link goes to a simple piece of text. It either belongs in the article itself or it doesn't, but it is too small to justify an External link here. (External links should feature a small number of high quality sites.) The Perseus link doesn't really work for me, at least in Firefox. It goes to a page that you can search from, but if you just hit search, you get nothing back, unless you remove the backslash by hand. Tne Muhlberger is also quite short. Does it add anything to the material that is already in the article? David.Kane 14:42, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Muhlberger is citated and linked in the "Citations" section. I think it's good for the reader to see it in the External Links section as well, if he hasn't already noticed it. Don't remove Perseus. I'll check it; something is going on there! There was a biography!!! I don't oppose removing Popper.--Yannismarou 14:48, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I removed Popper. The Dobson link also seems broken to me, or am I missing something? With regard to Muhlberg, there is no reason to include something in External links juste because it appears in citations. It needs to be a high quality site useful to most readers. If all the good/interesting stuff from Muhlberg is in the article, then it doesn't belong in External links. If it isn't, then it should be added. On a separate note, the font in External links is too small. It should be the same size as the main article. (I *think* that Citations often uses smaller font, but not every section after that.) You could also put External links higher up, just after See Also. David.Kane 15:06, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Why on earth is Dobson in external links if he is cited inline? I thought you listed all your inline cited sources in the references sections.--Rmky87 18:55, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

fugitive equals signs[edit]

This article is loaded with equals signs and "vvvv" which, on my Mac OS X Safari browser, look like equals signs and sets of v's. I sense it's some coding that works in some other context, and so I'm hesitant to remove it, but it should go so all contemporary browsers can present the article without error.--Mike Selinker 14:52, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Never mind, it looks like it was just reverted. Looks fine now.--Mike Selinker 14:55, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

I see the same thing as of 4.05 pm GMT

Pericles Jewish: unproved?[edit]

The article (as of Sep. 18, 15:40 UTC) says that Pericles was Jewish. This assertion seems highly improbable given the historical context, and no reliable source is given to support it. A rapid Google search I made fails as well to give any. Could the author of this part please document it in a better way? If no source is provided, and if no historian confirms the fact to me, I will remove the adjective in a few days. Jérôme Plût 16:05, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Man, this was a vandalism!--Yannismarou 16:12, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I don't know any Jew that would build a PAGAN temple dedicated to the Gods lolJanderVK (talk) 14:36, 26 July 2008 (UTC)


A stunning article!!! Kudos to all the people who made it the FA we have on the main page today!! This article is a perfect example of the strengths and quality that can be achieved in Wikipedia!! Thank you all for a wonderful article! --Michalis Famelis (talk) 16:15, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Ευχαριστώ, Μιχάλη! But I'm tired of all these vandalisms today! If you check my userpage or the page of the article's FA nomination, you will find all the main contributors of this article.--Yannismarou 16:44, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Welcome to the joys of being an FA, vandalism aplenty. Wheee.... EVula 16:57, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
That usually dies down after its day in the sun is over. Durova 20:21, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I second that! Fantastically done! To all of you! When I saw this article (especially the references) I just wanted to yell "DA*M". Very nice article, 160 references is the most I have ever seen. Aaрон Кинни (t) 15:09, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Alcibiades adopted nephew?[edit]

Does anyone have sources for Pericles adoption and hosting of Alcibiades? Haiduc 16:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

After the death of Cleinias at the Battle of Coronea in 447 BC, Pericles and Ariphron became his guardians. At this moment I remember a secondary source: Denyer, Commentary on Plato's Alcibiades, 88-89. But I'm sure there are more sources. It needs some searching.--Yannismarou 16:18, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Primary source: Alcibiades (Plato), 104b: "[104b] that there you have, through your father, very many of the best people as your friends and kinsmen, who would assist you in case of need, and other connections also, through your mother, who are not a whit inferior to these, nor fewer. And you reckon upon a stronger power than all those that I have mentioned, in Pericles, son of Xanthippus, whom your father left as guardian of you and your brother when he died, and who is able to do whatever he likes not only in this city but all over Greece and among many great nations of the barbarians."--Yannismarou 16:25, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Changing notes[edit]

I would suggest a change of the footnote style from [a] to a[›]


a. ^ text

to ^ a: text
Any objections? Wandalstouring 03:12, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't have a problem. I don't think this is something important.--Yannismarou 07:41, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Extreme number of primary source citations[edit]

I'm frankly pretty horrified that a featured article of a subject with such widely available reliable secondary sources relies so much on primary sources. Shouldn't those facts and claims be attributed to secondary sources where possible, according to our standards? Thoughts? Vassyana 00:08, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Entire Article Misses the Point of New Scholarship[edit]

It should be noted that we essentially know nothing about the Athenian "empire" and Periclean policies. The idea of the Athenian empire is hinged on MANY uncertainties.

The Peace of Callias (ca. 449) which allegedly ended the Second Persian War is never mentioned by Herodotus or Thucydides. Why is this important? Because if a peace treaty was never signed between Persia and Greek city-states, then the war would be viewed as ONGOING. Why would Herodotus, who specifically wrote about the Persian Wars, and Thucydides omit such an important event? With this evidence, I submit the occurrence of the Peace of Callias is at best questionable. If Athens never signed a treaty with Persia ending the war, forcing and keeping Greek states in the Delian League should not be seen as a sign of imperialism

The dating of all the imperial decrees hinge on the 3-barred sigma doctrine. ATL, a team of Greek historians, set forth a doctrine suggesting all official Athenian documents switched styles of the letter "sigma" in 454 BC. Recent epigraphic studies of fragments of an alliance between a Greek city-state in Sicily suggest the "old" style of sigmas were used as late as 417 BC. Therefore, the dating of all repressive imperial decrees should be called into question. If Athens still used the old sigma as late as 417 BC, Pericles should be exonerated as the architect of an repressive empire, and Athens resorted to this tactics in desperation during the Peloponnesian War.

We cannot say for certain if Athens and Pericles strategically sought to build an empire. By doing so we are only perpetuating rumors, instead of admitting how little we know about this time period. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:39, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Do you have some sources that we could cite for this? I'm by far not an expert here but what you say sounds interesting. What do you think Yannis/Robth/anyone else?-- 12:56, 7 November 2007 (UTC) (aka the retired Konstable)
  • I think that provided sources are provided any improvement of the article could and should be discussed.--Yannismarou (talk) 12:23, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Its remarkable that such a well formed article has been created with such limited sources. If we are seeing through the eyes of two biased historians they have still revealed much about a Pericles we would never have known. When knowledge of a person comes from their enemies their is a degree of suspicion about the truth of the matter. Are there any scholars who can contribute sources for an alternate view of this great manBalius (talk) 12:47, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Herodotus was concerned with telling the heroic story of the war; Thucydides wasn't primarily concernd with the Persian war at all. And they were not systematic historians in the modern sense. The fact that they don't mention a peace treaty signed thirty years after the high point of the war can't possibly be taken as a strong atgument for the signing of the peace never having happened. Today we know of documents dating from AD 480, from the months between Thermopylae and salamis, that were absolutely vital to keeping up the unity of the Greeks, and which were made public at the time, but which are not mentioned by Herodotus. The "Edict of Themistocles" for isntance, recovered in a lter inscription and discussed by, for instance, oswyn Murray on the last pages of Early Greece (Fontana History of the Classical World, 1980). The Edict reaffirms the unity of purpose of the Greek states and sketches their strategy, but it's never mentioned or quoted by 5th century historians. Strausszek (talk) 21:24, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Picture question[edit]

British Museum

Because this is an FA, and I assume there are people who are taking serious time to keep the article at its peak, I wanted to make a proposal here: the infobox photo is decent, but the statue is missing its nose. To the right are two other sculptures with the nose intact: one from the British Museum, the other from the Vatican. Would one of these be a better choice? --Bobak (talk) 17:14, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Pericles Pio-Clementino Inv269 n2.jpg
Found another good one, at left. There are a few variations of it in the Commons.--Bobak (talk) 17:23, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Picture in the infobox replaced.--Yannismarou (talk) 12:43, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Can I edit here?[edit]

Does this article have a length issue? In a recent incident on Charles Darwin, I made an edit for some perspective on his character, and it was relocated for length issues. Here is the short discussion on it. Like then, I've found some good information and perspective on Pericles' character. So, my question is:

  • Should I add it? I know there some editors who have slaved over this article and I wanna know what you guys think.
  • If I can't add it here, is there some place I could add it?

If you want to know what the info is, or where it comes from: The perspective on his character is coming from a quote by Plutarch. It talks about his refusal to be seen at casual social events because he wanted to be seen and respected as a dignified leader. This quote is coming from the 2nd edition of the 1975 People's Almanac. I use this book as a reference often, so you you'll see it here and here. Thanks for your time and patience, Leonard^Bloom (talk) 21:53, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

This article is also long (93 kbs, and more than 90 is sometimes an issue in FAC and FAR), but, at the same time, a FA should be continuously updated to keep up to the expected by its readers standards. So, we have to keep a balance between updating and proper length. Now, to the point, if your info is up-to-date, verifiable, reliable and properly cited, and if treats an interesting aspect not already analyzed, then it would probably be a "plus" for the article. Reading your comment, I see that your info seems to belong to "Political leadership", because we do not have a "character" section, and I do not think we should create. The problem is that, if you read the article, you'll realize that it tries all the time to summarize all these difficult assessments written about Pericles (it is indeed different to effectively manage this endless material written throughout the centuries!). Yesterday, I edited the article, adding a comment on the issue "Pericles and modern neocons" after reading a excerpt from Davis Hanson on the issue, believing that it offers an interesting and not yet analyzed in the article aspect of Pericles' legacy and influence on modern politics and political philosophy (as well as on the issue of the exploitation of both Thucydides and Pericles for modern political and military purposes). Therefore, personally (as the only active editor from the group of the FA contributors - I do not see often lately Robth and Konstable]), I'd welcome any edit that would add to the article, but I would kindly ask you to try to summarize it to one-two the most sentences, as I did with my above "neocons" addition. Respectfully,--Yannismarou (talk) 11:03, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Awesome. I'll get on that. Leonard^Bloom (talk) 17:00, 8 June 2008 (UTC)


It was an eclipse of the sun, not the moon. See Plutarch, Pericles XXXV: "it happened that the sun was eclipsed, and it grew dark on a sudden, to the affright of all, for this was looked upon as extremely ominous." Aquila89 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Conservative and Democratic factions? Come on, this is ridiculous.[edit]

In your article you wrote: Final battle with the conservatives In 444 BC, the conservative and the democratic Italic text

You know that those terms mean different things in modern times than they mean in their true context. Why not stick to naming Pericles on one side, and the current or former ruling class as his opponent? Some of this article seems meant to vent some frustrations in the current political climate in the United States concerning the Conservatives and the Democrats. You seem to be doing this by naming Pericles as a "democrat" who leads the way with change, and eventually gets credited with being the driving force behind a budding new form of government that is considered a crowning achievement in history, and political thought. The article is writtent to say that, 'this would not have happened if those 'conservatives' had not have been stopped by the democrats.' The word 'Democrat' in the context of Pericles has nothing to do with the modern coinage of that term. To use that term in this article is deceptive. I am sure the author of this article is fully aware of this, and will likely use the common excuse by deceivers of this sort by saying it is not his/her fault that the reader is not adequately educated to understand the true meaning. Some of this article is deceptive, and in the name of responsible writing it should be corrected so as not to cause confusion.

You've made your point extremely well. Perhaps some of this could be incorporated into the article to show a more neutral point of view.
Dear anonymous user, I think that you are extremely influenced by the modern US politics! The terms I use are found (I think - and, if I am wrong, do not hesitate to correct me) in most established readings on Pericles and the Athenian democracy, not only in English but in my maternal language (Greek) as well. Yes, they are modern terms, but scholars had to coin some terms in order to express and properly present these two distinct political factions of Athenian political life. It is not a personal feud; it is not Pericles vs Cimon. These two people represent and express two distinct waves of political thought and practice. From one side, we have a faction based on the aristocratic values, and supported by the traditional aristocratic class, which is hesitant to further democratization, and which keep (sometimes stronger; sometimes looser) ties with the Oligarchs of Sparta. That is why the established term for them is Conservative (or Aristocrat) faction. They adopt a conservative approach (and, sometimes, they were proved to be correct) towards the rapid democratization served by the opposite faction. From the other side, we have a faction based on the new emerging economically powerful classes of Athens (especially the merchants), which, at the same time, tries to attract the poorer parts of society. That is why, they try to limit the powers of the aristocrats (see what happens with Areios Pagos), draw poorer parts into democratic institutions and participation, and take populist measures of economic nature. This faction in more hostile towards Sparta, with which they have almost no ties. They embrace further rapid democratization (sometimes with populist aspects), and they do in order to satisfy and enlarge their electorate. They are thus called Democrats. So, there is nothing deceptive. The two terms adequately express the characteristics of the respective factions. And I do not believe that the reader cannot understand the true meaning. I have full confidence in the readers' capabilities, and I believe that she/he will fully understand the meaning of these terms within the context of the Athenian democracy. So, in the name of responsible writing what you propose (Pericles on one side, "former ruling class" (?!!) on the other) is the worst thing we could do. It is not just a ruling class succession. It is more than that. It is politics! Let the readers make their own conclusions, and do not be afraid that they are going to inteprete the article based on temporary US politics.--Yannismarou (talk) 08:19, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Calling Cimon aristocratic may be clearer; Pericles was conservative too, in the sense that he was trying to keep Athens stable, and prevent sudden or drastic change - like Solon. Whether this is the active sense in the United States is an American problem, not an Athenian one. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:40, 29 November 2011 (UTC)


When it comes to the three "speeches of Pericles", as given in Thucydides' history, and especially the famous graveside speech, it's an established fact that ancient historians used the convention of making up speeches for famous people and occasions in their works. They lived in a culture where the spoken word often took precedence over the written, and where communication was still defined and conceptualized by speaking, not by fixed writing, and inserting speeches was an established way to explain motivations, conflicts and attitudes to the readers. And to bring rethorical panache to one's prose.

Most modern researchers who are actually in the field of ancient history or ancient literature, not just general history or political punditry, take the view that you can't treat speeches in ancient historical writing as actual reports of the real thing, any more than you can say the Sermon on the Mount would be a report of what jJesus said on one single occasion. Thucydides may have incorportated some elements of what he had heard but he is not likely to have felt any obligation at all to reconstruct what Pericles actually said. The speeches are stylistic and expository devices and people who are familar with the age know this. if some people say Thucydides must have been faithful to what P. said or simply shorthand "Pericles said that..." it's probably because they want to grind an axe with some wording and that's so much easier if it's supposed to be genuine. Strausszek (talk) 23:24, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Strausszek, if you want to contribute to the article, please provide your sources. You should have noticed that this is a FA, and everything should be properly referenced. I'm sorry but without sources (properly formatted, please), your edits constitute nothing more than OR, and they are not acceptable. As regards Jebb's quote that you removed, I am sorry but I do not understand the reason! The fact that there are modern approaches that we should also treat does not mean that we should not keep other views as well. One of the things that makes this article charming is that it combines efficiently views from various scholars from various centuries! All of them have their importance adding to the building of a coprehensive Pericles' portrait. Thus, I am very reluctant to remove any sentence of this article, especially if it is sourced. As regards your edits, I repeat that they are welcomed as long as they are referenced per WP:V and WP:RS, and they add to the article's content.--Yannismarou (talk) 13:22, 9 September 2010 (UTC)


I have a problem with this: "Kagan criticizes the Periclean strategy on four counts: first that by rejecting minor concessions it brought about war; second, that it was unforeseen by the enemy and hence lacked credibility; third, that it was too feeble to exploit any opportunities; and fourth, that it depended on Pericles for its execution and thus was bound to be abandoned after his death.[121] " It is trivial: If a strategy by the enemy unforeseen is, then it is good. If a strategy by the enemy foreseen is, it is bad. I have no possibility to reed the original text. Woult you that do? What is the ground for "lacked credibility"?--Klug Csaba Ferenc (talk) 16:18, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Translation of his name[edit]

A new edit has altered the English version of Pericles from 'surrounded by glory' to 'exceedingly glorious'. Such translations are very dodgy unless supported by a citation that says it is so. An editor's knowledge of Greek is not good enough - that is OR. Evidence for this is that two editors disagree. We need a proper ref for this putative translation. I have looked and haven't found one yet. The ref for LSJ is a poor citation. A general reader - like me - will know who or what is LSJ. I have looked in the 1996 edition of Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones, Roderick McKenzie: A Greek-English Lexicon, Ninth Edition with a Revised Supplement. The word 'Pericles' only seems to be included as part of the entry for Perikleios (p. 1376), but with no translation. Most of the words beginning with peri seems to have the meaning of all around. Myrvin (talk) 09:43, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Sense F. IV (p. 1367) does suggest "exceedingly", but F. III suggests "beyond", while F. I still says "all round". Why pick one rather than another? "Peri-kles" is not there as far as I can see. Myrvin (talk) 09:50, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Hamilton's A Greek-English Lexicon: Containing All the Words in General Use, with Their Significations, Inflections, and Doubtful Quantities, Volumes 1-2, 1871, p. 211 [1] says "Perikleis, ès: far-famed". Myrvin (talk) 10:16, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

I suggested the change in translation. Note that in the LSJ entry, all the examples given for περι- meaning "all around" are verbs. Looking through the various entries of words that begin with περι- that have a sense of "around," I find some few that are adjectives, but these are derived from verbs already prefixed with περι-, e.g. περιαυγής, "beaming round about." In the great majority of such adjectives, the prefix simply serves to intensify the main root. Names that end in -κλής are derived from the noun κλέος, e.g. Ἡρακλής, "the glory of Hera," Πατροκλής, "his father's glory," etc. (Of course, κλέος ultimately derives from a verbal root as well, but that is at a further remove from the name formation. Most Greeks probably didn't recognize the relationship between κλέος and κλύω). At any rate, the meaning of "round about" is not the same as "surrounded in," which was the original translation given in the article. The Greek prefix to indicate this would be ἀμφι-, e.g. ἀμφιδεής, or ἀμφιθαλλής. As for Myrvin's question, the sense of "beyond" is not substantially different from "exceedingly." Both are simply intensifiers.

But these arguments, I gather, are moot. I suppose that I didn't quite understand the rules of editing on Wikipedia. I have a PhD in Classics (specialization in Greek) and have read a tremendous amount of Greek. From my vantage point, it is quite obvious what his name means. I suspect that this is the reason you can't find a reference that explicitly defines his name. No scholar would bother to explain his name. And I won't bother to reinsert my translation if it must have a reference to an explicit definition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:36, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Personal life[edit]

A host of maintenance tags was added to the section by IP (talk · contribs · WHOIS) in August 2016. Is there a genuine problem with the section or should the tags be removed? – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 02:38, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Pericles. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 10:13, 2 August 2017 (UTC)