Mid-fifth-century Athens saw the development of the Athenian empire, the radicalization of Athenian democracy through the empowerment of poorer citizens, the adornment of the city through a massive and expensive building program, the classical age of Athenian tragedy, the assembly of intellectuals offering vel approaches to philosophical and scientific issues, and the end of the Spartan-Athenian alliance against Persia and the beginning of open hostilities between the two greatest powers of ancient Greece. The Athenian statesman Pericles both fostered and supported many of these developments. Although it is longer fashionable to view Periclean Athens as a social or cultural paradigm, study of the history, society, art, and literature of mid-fifth-century Athens remains central to any understanding of Greek history. This collection of essays reveal the political, religious, ecomic, social, artistic, literary, intellectual, and military infrastructure that made the Age of Pericles possible.
Loren J. Samons II is professor of classical studies at Boston University where he received the Metcalf Award for excellence in teaching in 1998. He is the author of What's Wrong with Democracy? From Athenian Practice to American Worship (2004), Empire of the Owl: Athenian Imperial Finance (2000), and, with Charles W. Fornara, Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles. He has been a Visiting Senior Associate Member of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and has contributed to many journals, including Classical Quarterly, Historia, Arion, and Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik.