Handmade bust of the Ancient Greek statesman and orator of the Golden Era, Pericles. Pericles led Athens in its peak period as a general. He was a great supporter of democracy and of freedom of speech. He was responsible for the construction of many important monuments, such as the Parthenon (495-428 BC).A few days before he was born, his mother, Agariste had a dream where instead of a child she gave birth to a lion. According to the interpretation of dreams at that time, the lion represented power and glory. Pericles, is always depicted wearing a helmet, as a sign of his position, as a general of the Athenian democracy. The city of Athens acquired power, glory and fame, which fully justify its characterization as the "Golden Age". The era in which he was the master of the political life of Athens (461 - 429 BC) is still called "Age of Pericles". Pericles took advantage of the victory of the Greek forces against the Persians, and the naval force of Athens; in order to turn the dominant Alliance of Delos island into an "Athenian dominance" as a superpower, leading the city to the greatest prosperity in its history. He was a great patron of the arts, literature and science, and the main person responsible for the fact that Athens became the cultural and spiritual centre of the Ancient world. He was also a supporter of democracy and freedom of speech, and as a result, during his time, the foundations of the Western culture were established. His actions were not limited to that, but as the leader of Athens, with a series of laws, he supported the masses and helped them gain more rights to the detriment of the aristocratic class to which he belonged himself. His pre-democracy positions are best reflected in his Funeral Oration - rescued by Thucydides - in honour of the fallen warriors during the Peloponnesian war. The famous historian, admired Pericles so much that he called him "the first citizen of Athens". Yet, approximately about 2.400 years ago, a deadly plague swept through Greece. Culture and economic prosperity declined significantly in Athens, and the city's fate was decisively affected. Pericles died because of that plague.
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