Pericles was born in 495 BC and died in 429 BC.

He was the leader of Athens during the times of the Golden Ages.


Growing Up

Pericles grew up in Athens.

He was born in a rich family and his father was very popular and well known.

His father, Xanthippus was a general and since he was very good at what he did, his family got a lot of money and that is why they were rich.

Pericles had great education since his family was rich and he took classes such as politics, philosophy, ethics and music.

Persian War

Pericles was alive and was growing up during the Persian War.

When he was 3 years old, Athens had their first war with Persia, and they won the victory.

This victory was the victory of the Battle of Marathon.

When Pericles was ten years old, Athens went against Persia again and this time Persia was victorious.  Since Persia won that war, him and his family had to leave Athens and find a new place to live.

It wasn’t long though that Athens was able to beat Persia and Pericles was able to go home again.

Greek Persian

Plays and Arts

Pericles loved the arts and when he was young, he used his money that he made, and he sponsored a play called “The Persians.”

This play was written by Aeschylus.

The play was about when the Athenians were able to battle the Persians and win.

“The Persians” was about the third and final Athenian and Persian battle, the Battle of Salamis.

Since Pericles supported this play and it was so popular for the Athens, he became very popular to the people.


When Pericles was younger, he was in politics.  He was on the council and was considered to be a very powerful leader.

A group of leaders called Areopagus were against what the people believed, and Pericles and other leaders helped to stop them and take away their power.

When Pericles helped to defeat the Areopagus, he became even more popular.

Pericles showed how important that he thought democracy was and he wanted to see Athens become a democratic city-state.

This meant that the Athens could have a leader instead of a group of leaders.

During his time in politics, he helped to create new laws and ideas.

One of his ideas was about paying someone to be on a jury.

This was important because only the rich people were allowed to serve on the jury and now the poor people were able to get paid to work and serve on the jury.

Military Career

When Pericles was young, he saw many battles going on against Athens and between the Persians.

He even had to leave his home for a period of time.

Because of this, he wanted to be part of the military.

Pericles joined the Athenian army and became a general.

His title as general was “strategos,” and he helped the army to fight and he was a very good general.

Pericles helped to take control of the city-state Delphi when Athens battled against Sparta.

He also was part of the military forces that beat Thracian of Gallipoli.


One of the biggest things that Pericles was known for was the things that he built.

Since he lived in Athens, he wanted to see Athens strong and important.

He wanted the people to know that Athens was a strong city-state and that they were in charge of Greece.

Pericles decided to build an acropolis which would show the people how strong the land was.

Pericles also built a wall that was from Athens to the city of Piraeus and it was built so that it could protect the city in case there was a war.


The Acropolis of Athens was built under Pericles.

It took over two years for him to plan the building and Pericles idea was that he would build this, and it would create a monument for the gods that would last forever.

Pericles built this acropolis without sparing any money and he put a lot of details into it.

It was 490 feet high and it sat on 7 acres of land.

Acropolis of Athens


When Pericles fought against Sparta, he fought on the sea and during this time, there was a plague that struck Greece.

The plague was so bad that thousands of people died, including Pericles.


Facts About Pericles:

  • Pericles was part of the Spartan and Athenian War. He helped to lead the navy and used his walls as protection.  They eventually lost this war.
  • Pericles wrote a speech called “The Funeral Oration.” This speech was for a solider that had died and it talked about democracy.  This is a very famous speech.
  • Pericles was a leader when the term “Golden Age of Athens,” was happening. This is sometimes called “The Age of Pericles.”
  • Pericles is the reason many schools were built.
  • The nickname that Pericles had was “The Olympian.”
  • Pericles had two sons.
  • Pericles kept the position of strategos for 29 years.


What Did You Learn?

  1. Who is Pericles?  Pericles is a famous leader from Athens.
  2. When was Pericles leader? Pericles was leader during “The Golden Age of Athens.”
  3. What war was happening when Pericles was young? The war of Persia was happening when he was young and he had to leave his home for a while.
  4. What did Pericles love? Pericles loved plays and the arts.
  5. What did Pericles help do for the people? Pericles built the acropolis and he helped build many schools.
  6. How did Pericles die? Pericles died from a plague during a war with Sparta.