How Did Pericles Influence Athenian Culture

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In the year 461 BC, after the ostracism of the politician Cimon, Pericles started his rule in Athens where he developed Athenian culture, starting with the development of the Delian League to the Athenian Empire. Using the money from the League, Pericles was able to lead the project of the new Parthenon, which allowed Athenians to hone their artistic skill through attention to detail. In his reign, Pericles also allowed for any person no matter what their class may be to watch plays for free, so literature could be widely developed on a greater scale throughout Athens.

Following the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt, the Delian League was formed in order to protect the Greeks who were still threatened by Persians. Members of the league were required to pay tax to support the cause and so with the big treasury, Pericles was able to get the money to build a new Parthenon. After the base of the Delian League was transferred to Athens, Pericles eventually changed the movement to become the Athenian Empire. Because the Athenian Empire grew stronger, this encouraged war and unfortunately lead to the end of the empire after the Peloponnesian War. Although the Athenian Empire itself didn’t last a long times, projects and reforms during the time did.

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Plutarch describes this act as controversial as income would drop. These reforms allowed people to have “changed from a sober, thrifty people, that maintained themselves by their own labours, to lovers of expense,” This implies that the poor ended up saving their money to experience a taste of luxury. Controversy aside, allowing the poor to watch public plays encouraged these people to write their own literature in hopes they get feedback and therefore develop their skills further. Plays soon after became more popular because of this reform of Pericles’, despite controversy of making the poor unrightfully
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