Why did Pericles made the Acropolis and other public works in Ancient Athens?

#1
In her "Dictionary of Greek Civilization" book, french helenist Claude Mossé claims that, contrary to popular belief (probably because of the biography written by Plutarch), Pericles did not made the public works in the Acropolis to create jobs for the people, in a "Keynesian" style (quotes for anachronism here), since most of the workers were slaves and foreigners.

Also in her "Athens: history of a democracy", Mossé says that creating an Athens that the citizens would be proud of made it easy for him to get consensus of the assembly.

That being the case, what was the real motives of Pericles works on the Acropolis?
 
Jan 2015
2,864
MD, USA
#2
Oh, I didn't know there was a popular theory that it was for economic reasons! It always seemed to me that it was assumed that it was nominally for the glory of Athens (and it was!), but also for his own reputation. And you have to admit, it worked in both regards!

Big flashy public works projects were very common way for a man to stir up popular support for himself, and to tie himself to the community. People like things that make their city more impressive.

Matthew
 
Likes: Olleus

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