Pericles - Assessments - Legacy

Legacy

Pericles' most visible legacy can be found in the literary and artistic works of the Golden Age, most of which survive to this day. The Acropolis, though in ruins, still stands and is a symbol of modern Athens. Paparrigopoulos wrote that these masterpieces are "sufficient to render the name of Greece immortal in our world".

In politics, Victor L. Ehrenberg argues that a basic element of Pericles' legacy is Athenian imperialism, which denies true democracy and freedom to the people of all but the ruling state. The promotion of such an arrogant imperialism is said to have ruined Athens. Pericles and his "expansionary" policies have been at the center of arguments promoting democracy in oppressed countries.

Other analysts maintain an Athenian humanism illustrated in the Golden Age. The freedom of expression is regarded as the lasting legacy deriving from this period. Pericles is lauded as "the ideal type of the perfect statesman in ancient Greece" and his Funeral Oration is nowadays synonymous with the struggle for participatory democracy and civic pride.

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Famous quotes containing the word legacy:

    What is popularly called fame is nothing but an empty name and a legacy from paganism.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466–1536)