четверг, 3 февраля 2022 г.

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Pericles believed that, littering with money and gifts, one can become a favorite of the people, but not a leader. The love of the people is fickle, unlike the authority of a recognized leader. Pericles immediately stood out noticeably from among the Athenian politicians. He did not offend people with arrogance and did not stoop to familiarity, did not flaunt his person and did not seek to constantly remind himself of himself. On the contrary, Pericles began to rarely appear in public. “He was seen walking along only one road - to the square and to the Council,” Plutarch reports. In the People's Assembly, he spoke only on especially important occasions, entrusting simple tasks to his comrades-in-arms. In dealing with people, Pericles was distinguished by prudence and enviable calmness. It was not easy, because evil tongues were generous in taunts towards politicians. He patiently endured ridicule without losing his own dignity, which caused the respect of the townspeople. In addition, Pericles never flirted with the crowd, did not make fantastic plans and did not promise mountains of gold. He attracted the attention of the Vatican Museum as a serious person. The measures that he proposed in the name of strengthening the Athenian state contributed to an even greater increase in his authority.

When in 460 BC. Democrats led by Pericles came to power, their first concern was foreign policy. One of the tasks was to strengthen the Delian Maritime Union. This was the name of the association of Greek cities headed by Athens, created in 478 BC. to fight the Iranians. The Iranians had not directly threatened Athens for a long time, but in 454 BC. the Athenians again encountered them in Egypt, where they assisted the rebellious Libyans. The Iranians were victorious, much to the alarm of the Athenians and their allies.

Pericles, in the face of impending danger, suggested the following: in a critical situation, discord should be forgotten and the interests of the allies should be subordinated to Athens, because not a single city in the alliance could compare with them in terms of strength and size of the fleet. The Delos Union, according to the plan of Pericles, was to turn into an Athenian power, which controlled the military forces and funds of all the allied cities, of which there were about 200. The military forces of the union consisted of a public fleet, and funds - from the treasury, to which each city paid annual fee. This treasury was kept on the island of Delos. Referring to the threat of invasion, Pericles insisted that the treasury of the Delian League be transported to Athens. In 454 BC Athens became the owners of allied money, disposing of them at its discretion.

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