What was Pericles's connection to religion, Athens, and the Acropolis?

Pericles was an important Athenian statesman who held great power and influence during the Golden Age of Athens. Under Pericles, Athens used its wealth for the purpose of large-scale construction projects and the rebuilding of the city. The most famous of these constructions can be found at the Acropolis, an Athenian religious site, most notably in the Parthenon, a temple to Athena. In this respect, a link between public religion and Pericles's public constructions can be observed.

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Pericles was an Athenian political leader most famous for his political influence during the Athenian Golden Age, when Athens was at the height of its political power. The possession of empire greatly enriched the city of Athens, as it extracted large quantities of wealth from its subject states. The question, then, became: how should this newfound wealth be employed by the state?

At the same time, it should also be noted: back during Persia's invasion of Greece, the Persians actually conquered and looted Athens, destroying much of the city. With this in mind, Pericles suggested using Athenian wealth for the purposes of large-scale public construction projects, rebuilding Athens at a larger and more grandiose scale. Indeed, the most notable of these construction projects would most likely be found at the Athenian Acropolis, most famously the Parthenon, which remains, quite possibly, the most famous monument of the Ancient Greek world.

Note, too, the role of religion in this rebuilding process: the Acropolis was first and foremost a religious site. Indeed, the Parthenon itself (which would dominate both the Acropolis and the larger visual landscape of Athens) was a temple dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of Athens itself. In this respect, you can see the degree to which these large public constructions were intertwined with public religion in shaping Pericles's plans for the rebuilding of Athens.

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