The newest book by Thomas R. Martin, professor of classics, explores why Pericles became the most famous leader of the democracy of ancient Athens at the height of its power and influence. Pericles: A Biography in Context, was published in July 2016.
“I was inspired by my students in an advanced ancient Greek class on the ancient author and biographer Plutarch [who wrote about Pericles],” Martin says, when asked what drew him to this topic. “Pericles’ innovative education in natural science and philosophy made him the most persuasive politician of his time.”
In the book, he argues that traumatic events in the history of Pericles’ ancestors and in his own childhood led Pericles to adopt his famously hard-line policy against Sparta. Martin also serves as chair of the classics department and specializes in ancient Greek and Roman history. His other works on ancient Greece and Rome have been translated into Polish, Portuguese and Korean. This newest book is dedicated to his students at Holy Cross, who inspired the initial research. ■
—Maura Sullivan Hill