Pericles and the Conquest of History: A Political Biography

Pericles and the Conquest of History: A Political Biography

by II Samons


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As the most famous and important political leader in Athenian history, Pericles has featured prominently in descriptions and analysis of Athenian democracy from antiquity to the present day. Although contemporary historians have tended to treat him as representative of values like liberty and equality, Loren J. Samons, II demonstrates that the quest to make Athens the preeminent power in Greece served as the central theme of Pericles' career. More nationalist than humanist and less rationalist than populist, Pericles' vision for Athens rested on the establishment of an Athenian reputation for military success and the citizens' willingness to sacrifice in the service of this goal. Despite his own aristocratic (if checkered) ancestry, Pericles offered the common and collective Athenian people the kind of fame previously available only to heroes and nobleman, a goal made all the more attractive because of the Athenians' defensiveness about Athens' lackluster early history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107526020
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/14/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 346
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Loren J. Samons, II studied classics and history at Baylor University before earning his PhD in ancient history at Brown University. Samons has published widely on Greek politics and history and on the relationship between ancient and modern democracy. His books include What's Wrong with Democracy? From Athenian Practice to American Worship (2004), Empire of the Owl: Athenian Imperial Finance (2000), and (with C. W. Fornara) Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles (1991). He is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Pericles (Cambridge, 2007) and has published articles in such journals as Historia, Hesperia, Classical Quarterly, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, and the Classical Journal.

Table of Contents

1. To be an Athenian; 2. Curses, tyrants, and Persians (c.500–479); 3. The dominance of Kimon (c.479–462/1); 4. The democratic revolution (c.462/1–444/3); 5. A Greek empire (c.460–445); 6. Pericles and Sparta: the outbreak of the Great War (444/3–431); 7. Pericles and Athenian nationalism: the conquest of history; 8. Athenian culture and the intellectual revolution: Pericles and the people; Epilogue: the Periclean tradition.

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