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Pericles was born into the best families of Athens, both on his father's and mother's side. He received a good education from his teachers, including the philosopher Zeno. So adept was Zeno at sophistry that it was said Zeno could prove any proposition to be false. Pericles learned most from Anaxagoras, who imparted to young Pericles the majesty and gravity he had in all his sayings and doings, superior to all arts of popularity. Anaxagoras …

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…vicious enemies, but he also had the good judgment to realize that he deserved praise for not allowing himself to be carried away by feelings of hate or anger. Like Mount Olympus, the home of the immortals,10 which towers above the storm clouds and is always bright with sunshine, so Pericles was superior to the petty emotions of greed, anger, envy, and revenge. His godlike dignity and demeanor earned him the nickname of "The Olympian."