Frasi di Pericle

Pericle photo
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Pericle

Data di nascita: 494 a.C.
Data di morte: 429 a.C.

Pericle, figlio di Santippo del demo di Colargo , è stato un politico, oratore e militare ateniese attivo durante il periodo d'oro della città, tra le Guerre persiane e la Guerra del Peloponneso .

Discendente da parte di madre dalla potente e influente famiglia degli Alcmeonidi, Pericle ebbe una così profonda influenza sulla società ateniese che Tucidide, storico suo contemporaneo, lo acclamò come "primo cittadino di Atene". Pericle fece della Lega delio-attica un impero comandato da Atene che esercitava la sua egemonia sulle altre città alleate, e guidò i suoi concittadini durante i primi due anni della Guerra del Peloponneso.

Pericle favorì lo sviluppo delle arti e della letteratura e questa fu la principale ragione per la quale Atene detiene la reputazione di centro culturale dell'Antica Grecia. Promosse, allo scopo di dare lavoro a migliaia di artigiani e cittadini, un ambizioso progetto edilizio che portò alla costruzione di molte opere sull'Acropoli , abbellì la città, esibì la sua gloria. Inoltre, Pericle sostenne la democrazia a tal punto che i critici contemporanei lo definiscono un populista, soprattutto a seguito dell'introduzione di un salario per coloro che ricoprivano gli incarichi politici e ai rematori della flotta.

Frasi Pericle

„Time is the wisest counselor of all.“

—  Pericles

As quoted in Until Tomorrow Comes (1979) by Orville E. Kelly, p. 160

„Future ages will wonder at us, as the present age wonders at us now.“

—  Pericles

As quoted in Eternal Greece (1961) by Rex Warner, p. 34
Contesto: Future ages will wonder at us, as the present age wonders at us now. We do not need the praises of a Homer, or of anyone else whose words may delight us for the moment, but the estimation of facts will fall short of what is really true.

„They gave her their lives, to her and to all of us, and for their own selves they won praises that never grow old, the most splendid of sepulchers — not the sepulchre in which their bodies are laid, but where their glory remains eternal in men's minds, always there on the right occasion to stir others to speech or to action. For famous men have the whole earth as their memorial: it is not only the inscriptions on their graves in their own country that mark them out; no, in foreign lands also, not in any visible form but in people's hearts, their memory abides and grows. It is for you to try to be like them. Make up your minds that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.“

—  Pericles

Book 2, chapter 44: Funeral oration, as translated at "In Defense of Democracy" http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/pericles_in-defense-of-democracy.html
Verse 4 is sometimes freely translated as The secret to happiness is freedom. And the secret to freedom is courage.
History of the Peloponnesian War
Contesto: I could tell you a long story (and you know it as well as I do) about what is to be gained by beating the enemy back. What I would prefer is that you should fix your eyes every day on the greatness of Athens as she realty is, and should fall in love with her. When you realize her greatness, then reflect that what made her great was men with a spirit of adventure, men who knew their duty, men who were ashamed to fall below a certain standard. If they ever failed in an enterprise, they made up their minds that at any rate the city should not find their courage lacking to her, and they gave to her the best contribution that they could. They gave her their lives, to her and to all of us, and for their own selves they won praises that never grow old, the most splendid of sepulchers — not the sepulchre in which their bodies are laid, but where their glory remains eternal in men's minds, always there on the right occasion to stir others to speech or to action. For famous men have the whole earth as their memorial: it is not only the inscriptions on their graves in their own country that mark them out; no, in foreign lands also, not in any visible form but in people's hearts, their memory abides and grows. It is for you to try to be like them. Make up your minds that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.

„We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all.“

—  Pericles

Pericles commenting the participation of Athenian citizens in politics, as quoted in Models of Democracy (2006) by David Held, Stanford University Press, p. 14. Book II, chapter 40.

„Although only a few may originate a policy, we are all able to judge it.“

—  Pericles

As quoted in The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper (1966). Book II, chapter 40.

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„What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.“

—  Pericles

As quoted in Flicker to Flame : Living with Purpose, Meaning, and Happiness (2006) by Jeffrey Thompson Parker, p. 118
This quotation is likely a modern paraphrasing of a longer passage from Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, II.43.3.

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