The Periclean Citizenship Law of 451/0 B.C.

The Periclean Citizenship Law of 451/0 B.C.

By Paul Waring

Published Online (2007)

Abstract: This paper will explore the effects of the citizenship law enacted by Pericles in 451/0 B.C. on the resident of Attica during the second half of the fifth century. I will begin by providing a brief historical account of the situation of Athenian citizenship before 451/0 BC and the relevant events leading up to the enactment of Pericles’ law, as well as a short bibliographical account of Perciles’ relevant political life up to this point. I will then examine a variety of reason why Pericles may have chosen to implement this measure and why it might have been accepted by the existing citizenship body, as well as considering the various objectives that the law may have intended to achieve. In concluding I will examine the events following the enactment of the law and evaluate whether or not the law achieved any of its previously discussed objectives.

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