On the eve of his conception sometime in 495 BC, Pericles’ mother Agariste dreamed of giving birth to a lion. It was then, months later, Pericles was born. Pericles (495 BC – 429 BC) was a legend among Athenians who gained popularity for his public speaking abilities, and for attempting to create an Athenian age to be marveled by all. Pericles was surnamed ‘Olympian’ due to his determined nature, and his calm demeanor.
Though Plutarch wrote about Pericles hundreds of years after his death, his work is the most quoted, as only fragments of material evidence exist from Pericles’ lifetime. Shards and fragments have been found with his name on it. Some bills and decrees remain of his legal and political laws, but nothing about his life.
So, what about the gaps that exist in history? What of the coincidences that seemed to play into Pericles’ favor, especially in 461 BC? Could the reason why specific gaps exist be due to Pericles and his faction omitting facts and making sure certain truths never emerged? And could this all be seen in the beginnings of his life as a politician? With the little information from both Plutarch and Aristotle, these may gain some insight into who Pericles was truly and how far he would go for his ambitions.