Stephen V. Tracy

in Pericles

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780520256033
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943629 | DOI:

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Pericles' contemporaries Sophocles and Protagoras depict him as he dealt with the onslaught of the plague, at the end of his life. By contrast, the historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus, who was somewhat younger than Pericles, looks back to Pericles' birth. We do not know exactly when Herodotus was born, but a date around 485 B.C. is not far off the mark. He died around 420, or slightly later. At some point Herodotus participated in the colony in southern Italy at the new city of Thurii that was established with Pericles' support in 444/3. Herodotus also spent considerable time in Athens, where, it is reported, he gave readings from his account of the Persian Wars, which has a distinctly pro-Athenian bias. In his Histories, Herodotus mentions Pericles once. The birth of Pericles culminates Herodotus's account of the Alcmaeonids, the aristocratic family to which Pericles belonged on his mother's side, and their opposition to absolute government. This story of Pericles' Alcmaeonid family in turn immediately follows the narrative of the miraculous Athenian victory at Marathon.

Keywords: Pericles; Herodotus; Athens; Histories; Persian Wars; Alcmaeonids; Marathon

Chapter.  1881 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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