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Word Count: 1,061
Pericles lived in Athens of Classical Greece around 431 BC He made a famous speech around this time to the Athenian people about the ideals of the Greek culture Although this articulate speech is quite famous it does not accurately describe the realm of Athenian lifestyle Pericles makes Athens sound like an absolutely perfect city in which no wrong can be done In the Greek culture there are very strong class barriers and Pericles speaks as though they do not exist He implies that there is equality between men and women which there is not and he speaks about every man following every rule which is an unrealistic reality He bluntly ignores the presence of slavery a dark mark for any civilization Pericles describes the Athenian army as one of the best in the world Athens did have a somewhat successful military but the Spartan-like image Pericles creates is not accurate Also around this time period the polis is declining because it can not support the amount of people under its rule due to the increased hiring of soldiers Pericles also states that Greece is a democracy when in actuality most of the Greek city-states never accepted this as their primary form of government The democracy of Athens was unsuccessful as it was not made up of all the Athenian population only the upper classes Pericles did not describe the realistic culture of Athens in his speech The most obvious flaws in Pericles speech stem from issues of social equality Pericles says that all men are created equal and are treated as such But the Greek social system was far from equal Pericles states When a citizen is in any way distinguished he is preferred to the public service Sherman 60 This is a mild way of saying that in the eyes of the Athenian government not all people are equal He calls Athens a democracy when only around sixty thousand out of around three
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