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Presiding over the Golden Age of Athens, a period where Athenian intellectual thought and democracy reached its peak, Pericles shouldered the burden of defending the city against Sparta when war between the two Hellenic powers erupted. Rather than facing them in direct battle, however, he had the military turtle within the city, much to the chagrin of its anxious populace.
His strategy owed to his stoic and calculating nature, but his pragmatism was perceived by the besieged Athenians as apathetic. At the very root of his defensive policy, however, was his love for his hetaera Aspasia, and his desire to protect her and the city at all costs.
In 429 BCE, Athens had devolved into a state of panic. With the war with Sparta increasing tension and a lethal plague spreading throughout the streets. Pericles felt his grasp of the city weakening, and this worried him greatly. With his own health declining, he realized his death was on the horizon and began to worry as his rival who was ready for war had the best opportunity for power with his death. After a brief meeting with Kassandra, he was kidnapped and murdered by of the Cult of Kosmos' enforcer, Deimos.