After the defeat of the Persians, Athens led by Pericles began a program of rebuilding. The architectural projects reflected a larger civic confidence. The confidence was manifested not only in buildings but also in institutions. Most important of all was the building of a large true democratic state at the center of the great Greek world community. The Golden Age extends from 460 BC when the Greeks defeat on of the many Persian invasions to 431 BC when trouble among the Greek alliance leads to the Peloponnesian War.
Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind,
W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (June 16, 2014),
Pericles Of Athens And The Birth Of Democracy,
Free Press (October 1, 1998),
"Kagan is well known for his four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War (The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, LJ 1/5/70; The Archidamian War, 1974; The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition, 1981; The Fall of the Athenian Empire, 1987, all Cornell University Press). His latest work is the first genuine biography of Pericles in English since A.R. Burn's Pericles and Athens (1949) and the most spirited defense of the Athenian democracy since W.G. Forrest's The Emergence of Greek Democracy (1966). The book is a lively and thoughtful chronicle of the years leading up to and into the great war between the Athenians and Spartans. Pericles is cast as the tragic hero whose flaw is the very rationality with which he so skillfully guided the Athenians and forged an empire. Contrary to the charges of both ancient and modern critics, Kagan argues that the democracy was a rational, deliberate, and moderate regime, and Pericles is portrayed as the consummate visionary political leader whose great mistake was to expect everyone to think and behave as rationally as he did. This learned and passionate book is sure to cause controversy and is recommended to both academic and public libraries." ―V. Bradley Lewis, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
The First Clash: The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization,