Pericles, The Unofficial Leader Of Athens

886 words - 4 pages

What characteristics enabled Pericles to become the unofficial leader of the democratic assembly in Athens during 450 B.C.?Pericles had characteristics that enabled him to become the unofficial leader of the democratic assembly in Athens during 450 B.C. He managed to make people do what he wanted them to do while nobody understood that. He was raised to become a great orator and a very noble person. He gained respect among the Athenians and his opinion was considered very important. He was led by his will to have more power than he already had and eventually he found his methods to affect people to want whatever he wanted. Pericles did a lot during his rule and left much legacy to Athens.The governmental system in Athens during the years of Pericles' rule was based on democracy which means "rule by the people". The government consisted of two main parts - the Council and the Assembly. The council was a group of a hundred men who thought of issues for the Assembly to discuss. The Assembly was a group of men who discussed important issues and held voting. There was always 6,000 people voting and it seams that there was no way that there could be any leadership in such a situation when only the opinion of the majority of people was considered and no orders could be given out without voting for them and deciding that these orders are good enough. However Pericles found his ways to take control of the situation and make things happen the way he wanted them to happen.Pericles was born in a very rich family and always found himself higher than others. He was taught by grate philosophers such as Anaxagoras, who explained Pericles that every word has a meaning and each word has to be thought over before it is spoken out loud. Anaxagoras kept on teaching the youth of the importance of words and the way they are served to the listeners. Pericles became a very calm, confident, intelligent and though arrogant. As he grew up he became the most influential person in Athens. When he was young, he was afraid that he would be ostracized so he became a spokesman whose speeches were dedicated more to the simple inhabitants of Athens than to the people who were part of the government. That way Pericles gained the reputation of the person who was saying the people's thoughts. He afterwards understood that affecting the main population of Athens was the only way to get the arbitrary power to which he had a big tendency. He prepared his speeches with great carefulness, and he prayed gods to help him avoid saying more than he was supposed to. His speeches were very...

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