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Pericles   


that time, Anaxagoras was much admired for his explanation by those
that were present; and Lampon no less a little while after, when Thucydides
was overpowered, and the whole affairs of the state and government
came into the hands of Pericles.
And yet, in my opinion, it is no absurdity to say that they were both
in the right, both natural philosopher and diviner, one justly detecting
the cause of this event, by which it was produced, the other the end
for which it was designed. For it was the business of the one to find
out and give an account of what it was made, and in what manner and
by what means it grew as it did; and of the other to foretell to what
end and purpose it was so made, and what it might mean or portend.
Those who say that to find out the cause of a prodigy is in effect
to destroy its supposed signification as such, do not take notice,
that, at the same time, together with divine prodigies, they also
do away with signs and signals of human art and concert, as, for instance,
the clashings of quoits, fire-beacons, and the shadows of sun-dials,
every one of which has its cause, and by that cause and contrivance
is a sign of something else. But these are subjects, perhaps, that
would better befit another place.
Pericles, while yet but a young man, stood in considerable apprehension
of the people, as he was thought in face and figure to be very like
the tyrant Pisistratus, and those of great age remarked upon the sweetness
of his voice, and his volubility and rapidity in speaking, and were
struck with amazement at the resemblance. Reflecting, too, that he
had a considerable estate, and was descended of a noble family, and
had friends of great influence, he was fearful all this might bring
him to be banished as a dangerous person, and for this reason meddled
not at all with state affairs, but in military service showed himself
of a brave and intrepid nature. But when Aristides was now dead, and
Themistocles driven out, and Cimon was for the most part kept abroad
by the expeditions he made in parts out of Greece, Pericles, seeing
things in this posture, now advanced and took his side, not with the
rich and few, but with the many and poor, contrary to his natural
bent, which was far from democratical; but, most likely fearing he
might fall under suspicion of aiming at arbitrary power, and seeing
Cimon on the side of the aristocracy, and much beloved by the better
and more distinguished people, he joined the party of the people,
with a view at once both to secure himself and procure means against
Cimon.
He immediately entered, also, on quite a new course of life and management
of his time. For he was never seen to walk in any street but that
which led to the market-place and council-hall, and he avoided invitations
of friends to supper, and all friendly visiting and intercourse whatever;
in all the time he had to do with the public, which was not a little,
he was never known to have gone to any of his friends to a supper,
except that once when his near kinsman Euryptolemus married, he remained
present till the ceremony of the drink-offering, and then immediately
rose from table and went his way. For these friendly meetings are
very quick to defeat any assumed superiority, and in intimate familiarity
an exterior of gravity is hard to maintain. Real excellence, indeed,
is most recognized when most openly looked into; and in really good
men, nothing which meets the eyes of external observers so truly deserves
their admiration, as their daily common life does that of their nearer
friends. Pericles, however, to avoid any feeling of commonness, or
any satiety on the part of the people, presented himself at intervals
only, not speaking to every business, nor at all times coming into
the assembly, but, as Critolaus says, reserving himself, like the
Salaminian galley, for great occasions, while matters of lesser importance
were despatched by friends or other speakers under his direction.
And of this number we are told Ephialtes made one, who broke the power
of the council of Areopagus, giving the people, according to Plato's
expression, so copious and so strong a draught of liberty, that growing
wild and unruly, like an unmanageable horse, it, as the comic poets
say"-

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