Pericles was born into an aristocratic family in 494 B.C. He was a statesman and general of Athens. Pericles determined to complete democratic reforms, giving full political power to the general assembly. In addition, he instituted for public service and jury duty. The pay was not great, but it compared to an average worker’s wage. By introducing pay, all people, even the poor, could participate in the Athenian government.
Pericles is also famous for the rebuilding of the Acropolis. Athens was the head of a league of city-states from which it collected money that was placed into a central treasury. Athens enjoyed a number of years without a war, which allowed them to build a large money reserve. Pericles convinced the general assembly to rebuild the Acropolis, which had been destroyed by the Persians thirty years earlier. This rebuilding brought fame to the Parthenon and other structures, which are still objects of marvel today.