(From the publisher):
Under Periclean rule Athens achieved her legendary greatness—and the beginnings of her downfall. Before the death of Pericles, the struggle was joined between the jealous Spartans—grim, suspicious groundlings in a police state—and the Athenians on the shining summit of their power.
Was Pericles' empire in fact a tyranny? This central question is examined with subtle wisdom by Anaxagoras the philosopher, Pericles' old friend and teacher, who narrates the story. His awestruck affection for the austere, distinguished and yet lovable boy is colored by wonder and misgiving as his pupil acquires power and exercises his will upon an army, a populace, a government, and at last a mighty coalition of the Greek states against Persia.
Pericles was one of those great beings who enhance life whereever they touch it. He was the patron of Sophocles and Euripides, and of Pheidias, builder of the Parthenon. He was the lover of the wonderful Aspasia. During his reign the spirit of Athens: vigorous, adventurous, hedonistic, ironic—a spirit which has permeated Western civilization ever since—came to its maturity, and was expressed in modes of undying glory.
Original title: Pericles the Athenian
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ Ancient World (Greece, Rome, etc)→ Greece