His own personal life came under scrutiny. After he divorced his wife, with whome he had two sons, he lived openly with Aspasia, the beautiful and intelligent foreign courtesan. Even more scandalous was his treatment of her as an equal during a strictly period of exclusively men dominated society. Eventually they married and she give birth to another son.
Pericles nicknamed “The Olympian” was legendary for his oratory skills. He was a
patron of the arts and under his leadership the period became known as “The Golden Age”, with Athens reaching new peaks of power, culture and glory. When the treasury of The Delian League was transferred from Delos to Athens he used this opportunity in 471 BC to obtain support for the realization of his most ambitious dream, the building of the Parthenon temple in honor of the goddess Athena. He personally placed in charge of the project his friend Phidias for the
adornment of the temple with unique sculptures. In 431 BC, sensing jealousy and resentment from neighboring states he urged the assembly to declare war on Sparta. Citizens were advised to seek shelter within the safety of the city walls and fleets of ships were planned to bring in supplies. In 430 BC one year into the war he gave his famous ‘Epitaph “ speech for the dead soldiers: