From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Pericles [1]

The great Athenian statesman, born in Athens, of noble parentage; was a devoted disciple of Anaxagoras; entered public life 467 B.C. as a democrat, and soon became head of the democratic party, to the increase of the power of the citizens and annihilation of the domination of the oligarchy centred in the Areopagus; hostile to territorial aggrandisement, he sought, as his chief ambition, the unification of Greece in one grand confederacy, but was defeated in this noble aim by the jealousy of Sparta; he put down all rivalry, however, in Athens itself, and established himself as absolute ruler with the consent of the citizens, reforming the laws, adorning the city, and encouraging literature and the arts, masters, many wise in the one and skilful in the other, he had at his disposal, such as few or none of the cities of the world had ever before or have had since; the resulting prosperity did but enhance the envy of the other States, Sparta in particular, and two years before he died the spirit of hostility took shape in the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War ( q. v .); he had surrounded the city with walls, and his policy was to defend it from within them rather than face the enemy in the field, but it proved fatal, for it tended to damp rather than quicken the ardour of the citizens, and to add to this a plague broke out among them in 430 B.C., which cut down the most valiant of their number, and he himself lay down to die the year after; he was a high-souled, nobly-bred man, great in all he thought and did, and he gathered around him nearly all the noble-minded and noble-hearted men of his time to adorn his reign and make Athens the envy of the world; d . 429 B.C.