461 - 429 BCE- A prominent figure in Athenian politics during a time when Athenian power was at its height. This time is known as The Age of Pericles and is marked by powerful democratic influences in Athens. One of the most important government bodies was a democratic institution known as the assembly, which consisted of only male citizens over eighteen years of age. The assembly passed all laws and made all decisions on foreign policy. Pericles helped the democracy by increasing the availability of governmental positions to the poor and lower classes. Changes included offering pay for officeholders, which allowed the poor to serve, and allowing lower-class citizens to hold government positions.