After a long ten years, Solon returned to Athens already an old man. He had to witness how the ongoing struggle between his fellow citizens ended in the establishment of the tyranny of Peisistratus. Although Peisistratus was his relative and in the past they were connected by friendship, Solon unraveled the aspirations of the ambitious and tried to warn the Athenians about the impending danger: “You have turned your eyes to the speeches of an insidious husband.” When Peisistratus captured the Acropolis with his guards, Solon called on the citizens to armed struggle against the tyrant. Approximate self-proclaimed ruler declared him crazy, to which Solon replied: “Am I really crazy, a short time will show: the truth will come to light, no matter how much you drown it.”
The fate of Solon after Peisistratus came to power is covered differently by ancient writers. Diogenes Laertes writes that he left Athens and died, having lived to the age of 80, in Cyprus. According to Plutarch, Solon remained in Athens, and Peisistratus managed to win him over to his side, consulting with an old friend in everything. How many years Solon lived under Peisistratus, Plutarch does not know for sure.
Contemporaries turned out to be deaf to the exhortations of Solon, but many years later, having put an end to tyranny, the Athenians turned to the precepts of the great reformer. The principles of measure, the "golden mean", civil unity were correctly defined by him as the basis for the existence of the policy. Therefore, the Athenians ranked Solon among the “seven wise men” - this was the name of several of his contemporaries, who, like him, actively participated in the development and creation of the foundations of the state system of the Greek polis.
Pericles was born in 492 BC. His father was the hero of the Greco-Persian wars Xanthippus, and his mother Pericles belonged to the noble family of the Alcmeonids, who gave Athens many prominent political figures.
Like many Athenians from respectable families, Pericles had worthy mentors. He was taught music by the musician and thinker Damon, philosophy by the famous Greek scientist Zeno.
Pericles began his life as a military man. “He was brave in campaigns and looked for dangers,” the ancient Greek historian Plutarch wrote about him. But at that time he did not get much fame in the military field. Pericles was young and ambitious, engaging in politics was in the tradition of his family, and in the mid-60s. 5th century BC. he entered the political arena. At this time, a fight broke out in Athens between the democrats - supporters of the rule of the majority of citizens - and aristocrats, adherents of the rule of a few noble families. Pericles, although he came from a noble family, took the side of the demos - the people, perhaps because the Alcmeonids always supported democracy, or Pericles realized that the greatness of Athens and his own glory lies precisely in the democratic structure of the state.
Stepping on the political path, Pericles became friends with Ephialtes, the leader of the Athenian demos. Together they achieved a weakening of the role of the Areopagus, which was not only the highest state council and custodian of traditions, but also a stronghold of the nobility. Having entered into an open struggle with the aristocrats for influence in Athens, Pericles achieved the expulsion of their leader Cimon. He was accused of treason. Shortly thereafter, Ephialtes was killed by like-minded exiles. In 461 BC Pericles took the place of his deceased friend, and from that moment begins the "age of Pericles" - a century that fit in 32 years, but significant, like a whole century.
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