Classical Athens: Pericles and Plato Comparison Essay by Nicky

Classical Athens: Pericles and Plato
An examination of Pericles' and Plato's contrasting views of classical Athens.
# 149064 | 1,253 words | 4 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 22, 2011 in History (Greek and Roman) , Philosophy (Ancient Greek)

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This paper examines how philosopher Plato did much to advance and describe an ideal platform for political and social organization related to the city-state of Athens which as far as he was concerned, must be governed by leaders blessed with courage and philosophical wisdom and the concern to create a Utopian society in which citizens are free to contemplate their own lives and destinies. The paper further discusses how Plato was also very critical of the views of Pericles, perhaps the most influential Athenian leader of his era who intended the polis to be ruled and governed by those with the most to gain, being the wealthy and the powerful.

From the Paper:

"However, beginning in the 450's B.C.E., Pericles introduced dramatic changes in
Athenian public policy, one being a law which stated that Athenian citizenship would be
conferred only on children whose mother and father were both Athenians. Thus, this law "clearly solidified the notion of Athenian identity as special and exclusive" (Harris, 2006, p. 216), especially for the wealthy who in contrast to Plato's views enjoyed the ability to control personal property in the form of magnificent homes and businesses and to possess the protection of the law for their persons (being themselves) and their property (being their slaves). One pertinent example of this exclusivity relates to the "well-heeled" Athenian leader Cimon, the son of Miltiades, the victor of the Battle of Marathon, who once provided gifts for public use to express his goodwill toward Athens, thereby earning increased social eminence and standing as his reward (Villing, 2005, p. 245).

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Harris, Edward M. (2006). Democracy and the Rule of Law in Classical Athens. UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Plato. The Republic. (2000). Trans. Benjamin Jowett. Internet Classic Archive. Retrieved June 8, 2009 from
  • "The Golden Age of Athenian Democracy Under Pericles." (2009). Funeral Speech for Athenian War Dead. Internet. Retrieved June 8, 2009 from
  • Villing, Alexandra. (2005). Classical Athens. London: The British Museum Press.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Classical Athens: Pericles and Plato (2011, November 22) Retrieved February 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Classical Athens: Pericles and Plato" 22 November 2011. Web. 07 February. 2023. <>