Plutarch, Pericles (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plut. Per.].
<<Plut. Per. 12.5 Plut. Per. 13.8 (Greek) >>Plut. Per. 15.4

13.4His general manager and general overseer was Pheidias, although the several works had great architects and artists besides. Of the Parthenon, for instance, with its cella of a hundred feet in length, Callicrates and Ictinus were the architects; it was Coroebus who began to build the sanctuary of the mysteries at Eleusis, and he planted the columns on the floor and yoked their capitals together with architraves; but on his death Metagenes, of the deme Xypete, carried up the frieze and the upper tier of columns; 13.5while Xenocles, of the deme Cholargus, set on high the lantern over the shrine. 41 For the long wall, concerning which Socrates says [Note] he himself heard Pericles introduce a measure, Callicrates was the contractor. Cratinus pokes fun at this work for its slow progress, and in these words:— Since ever so long now
In word has Pericles pushed the thing; in fact he does not budge it.
Cratinus; Kock, Com. Att. Frag. i. p. 100
The Odeum, which was arranged internally with many tiers of seats and many pillars, and which had a roof made with a circular slope from a single peak, they say was an exact reproduction of the Great King's pavilion, and this too was built under the superintendence of Pericles.
13.6Wherefore Cratinus, in his “Thracian Women,” rails at him again:— The squill-head Zeus! lo! here he comes,
The Odeum like a cap upon his cranium,
Now that for good and all the ostracism is o'er.
Cratinus, The Thracian Women; Kock, Com. Att. Frag. i. p. 35

Then first did Pericles, so fond of honor was he, get a decree passed that a musical contest be held as part of the Panathenaic festival. He himself was elected manager, and prescribed how the contestants must blow the flute, or sing, or pluck the zither. These musical contests were witnessed, both then and thereafter, in the Odeum. 13.7The Propylaea of the acropolis were brought to completion in the space of five years, Mnesicles being their architect. A wonderful thing happened in the course of their building, which indicated that the goddess was not holding herself aloof, but was a helper both in the inception and in the completion of the work. 13.8One of its artificers, the most active and zealous of them all, lost his footing and fell from a great height, and lay in a sorry plight, despaired of by the physicians. Pericles was much cast down at this, but the goddess appeared to him in a dream and prescribed a course of treatment for him to use, so that he speedily and easily healed the man. It was in commemoration of this that he set up the bronze statue of Athena Hygieia on the acropolis near the altar of that goddess, which was there before, as they say. 13.9But it was Pheidias who produced the great golden image of the goddess, and he is duly inscribed on the tablet as the workman who made it. Everything, almost, was under his charge, and all the artists and artisans, as I have said, were under his superintendence, owing to his friendship with Pericles. This brought envy upon the one, and contumely on the other, to the effect that Pheidias made assignations for Pericles with free-born women who would come ostensibly to see the works of art. 13.10The comic poets took up this story and bespattered Pericles with charges of abounding wantonness, connecting their slanders with the wife of Menippus, a man who was his friend, and a colleague in the generalship, and with the bird-culture of Pyrilampes, who, since he was the comrade of Pericles, was accused of using his peacocks to bribe the women with whom Pericles consorted. 13.11And why should any one be astonished that men of wanton life lose no occasion for offering up sacrifices, as it were, of contumelious abuse of their superiors, to the evil deity of popular envy, when even Stesimbrotus of Thasos has ventured to make public charge against Pericles of a dreadful and fabulous impiety with his son's wife? 13.12To such degree, it seems, is truth hedged about with difficulty and hard to capture by research, since those who come after the events in question find that lapse of time is an obstacle to their proper perception of them; while the research of their contemporaries into men's deeds and lives, partly through envious hatred and partly through fawning flattery, defiles and distorts the truth.

ch. 14 14.1

Thucydides and his party kept denouncing Pericles for playing fast and loose with the public moneys and annihilating the revenues. Pericles therefore asked the people in assembly whether they thought he had expended too much, and on their declaring that it was altogether too much, “Well then,” said he, “let it not have been spent on your account, but mine, and I will make the inscriptions of dedication in my own name.'” 14.2When Pericles had said this, whether it was that they admired his magnanimity or vied with his ambition to get the glory of his works, they cried out with a loud voice and bade him take freely from the public funds for his outlays, and to spare naught whatsoever. And finally he ventured to undergo with Thucydides the contest of the ostracism, wherein he secured his rival's banishment, [Note] and the dissolution of the faction which had been arrayed against him.



Plutarch, Pericles (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plut. Per.].
<<Plut. Per. 12.5 Plut. Per. 13.8 (Greek) >>Plut. Per. 15.4

Powered by PhiloLogic