Thucydides And The Rule Of Athens Analysis

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Thucydides regarded the rule under Pericles as “democracy in name but the rule of the first citizen in fact”.
"The real cause I consider to be the one which was formally most kept out of sight. The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war inevitable."
I.1.23 History of the Peloponnesian War
What is considered the “Golden age of Athens”? It was the rule under Pericles. It was the power that Athens had acquired which was considered a threat to the Spartans. Looking back at the Persian wars, Athens and Sparta fought together against the Persians. The rebuilding of the Athenian empire started with the formation of the Delian League, which allowed Athens to take the lead in the wars against Persia. This led to providing Athens with the communal treasury. This treasury was used by Pericles to rebuild Athens. It became a power hub and forced other city state to do what is best for Athens. Apart from this, other city states were forced to make payments to Athens for the maintenance of the fleet but the money was mostly directed to remaking the city of Athens. In Pericles’s earlier …show more content…

There are many pieces of evidence, primarily given by Thucydides to support this statement. In the works of Busolt, he mentions that Athens under Pericles rule, worked to provide employment for the poor, acquisition of oversees possessions and worked for the betterment of Athens. However, the rule under Pericles was not near ideal. At first he was compelled by the people, and yielded to the wishes of the people. But later on, he started to operate on his own and rule the state “under the weight of his personality”. What this means is that he was re reelected for fifteen years to the generalship. This continuity of office led him to be free from accountability and function on his own. This is what is meant by democratic

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