Pericles accomplished many things as the leader of Athens, such as building the Parthenon, leading the military, colonizing islands, increasing public funding for the arts and leading Athens in the Delian League. Pericles ruled Athens from 461 B.C. until his death in 429 B.C., according to the History Channel.Continue Reading
Pericles' rule covers the time when Athenian democracy was established. He helped subsidize theatrical productions attended by the poor, commissioned several public buildings that employed thousands of artisans and paid for jurors to fulfill their civic duty in the court system.
The Parthenon, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheum were built on Athens' Acropolis during Pericles' time in power. The funding for such projects came from participation in the Delian League, the seat of which was Athens. Weights, measures and coinage within the alliance originated from Athens as the city became the cultural center of Greece. This league, designed to oppose any Persian threats from the east, was the precursor to the Greek empire.
As a military leader, Pericles recaptured Delphi from the Spartans and laid siege to Samos during the Samian War. Pericles went to war with Sparta a few years before his death, a move that ended the reign of Athens as the center of Greek culture. The Peloponnesian War exacerbated a plague that befell the citizens of Athens taking refuge behind the walls of the Acropolis. Pericles was one of the plague's victims and died from it.Learn more about Ancient Greece