Ostracism Essay

Question 3. Ostraka

Banishment was a procedure instituted as one of the Kleisthenic reforms of 508/7BC as a consequence of the non-elite intercession in the struggle with the Spartan backed Isagoras, although there is no grounds for its existent usage before 487BC ( Forsdyke 2005: 144 ) . Lasting for a period of 70 old ages it was a symbolic reminder of democratic power as opposed to elite regulation every bit good as a matter-of-fact device for commanding the aspirations of potentially powerful treasonists, or taking figures, without destabilising the political system ( Forsdyke 2005: 143 ) . It required a lower limit of 6,000 male citizens to take portion in an one-year secret ballot by scratching the name of their preferable campaigner on a potsherd ( ostrakon plural ostraka ) and the individual who polled the most ballots on a simple bulk footing was exiled from Athens and Attica for a period of 10 old ages ( Easterling and Handley 2001: 26 ) with the belongings and rights of the expatriate being protected by jurisprudence during their exclusion.

Ostrakon A.

The letterings on this ostrakon ( Fig. 1 ) can be transcribed, transliterated and translated as follows: –

& A ; Pi ; & A ; Epsilon ; & A ; Rho ; & A ; Iota ; & A ; Kappa ; & A ; Lambda ; & A ; Epsilon ; & A ; Sigma ; & A ; Chi ; & A ; Sigma ; & A ; Alpha ; & A ; Nu ; & A ; Theta ; & A ; Iota ; & A ; Pi ; & A ; Pi ; & A ; Omicron ;

Perikles Xsanthippo

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Pericles ( boy ) of Xanthippos

Pericles was an blue politician who became a democratic leader and this text shows his name inscribed alongside the possessive patronymic ( the name of his male parent ) . A member of the Alkmaeonid household his female parent was the niece of Kleisthenes and his male parent had been exiled in 484BC but recalled as a general during the Persian war. In 463/2BC he was elected as a prosecuting officer of Cimon who had been accused of having payoff from Alexander of Macedon and this resistance to Cimon brought a alliance with Ephialtes in 462BC to assail and reform the Areopagus ( Hornblower and Spawforth 2003: 1139 ) . When Ephialtes died and Cimon was ostracised Pericles became one of the most influential work forces in Athens, being elected as strategos ( general ) for 10 back-to-back old ages from 443BC, and was an unopposed swayer who had an ambitious foreign policy of westbound enlargement that saw Athens go prevailing in Greece ( Bowder 1982: 157 ) .

The extended public edifice programme instituted by Pericles, which included the re-building of the Parthenon ( Bowder 1982: 156 ) , was intended to do Athens an illustration to all Greece ( Thucydides 2.41 ) . An active military leader he put down a rebellion in Euboea in 446BC and reviewed Athens ‘ grain supply during an expedition to the Black Sea ( Hornblower and Spawforth 2003: 1139 ) . Having one time proposed a fusion of all Greek provinces that had fought Persia, which Sparta opposed, his scheme, based upon the advice of Themistocles ( Thucydides 1.93.16-17 ) , as Athenian leader in the Peloponnesian war was to avoid contending in the unfastened, remain behind their munitions and let their sea power to predominate. Unfortunately the Athenians did non follow this policy which resulted in licking ( Davies 1993: 118-20 ) . Pericles besides made likely the most celebrated address on Athenian democracy as a funeral oration for those who fell contending Sparta in the first twelvemonth of the Peloponnesian war where he commends the Athenian theoretical account to their neighbors as authorities by the many as opposed to an elect few ( Barrow 1999: 29-30, Thucydides 2.35-46 ) .

Ostrakon B.

The text on this ostrakon ( Fig. 2 ) can be transcribed, transliterated and translated as follows: –

& A ; Sigma ; & A ; Omicron ; & A ; Kappa ; & A ; Rho ; & A ; Alpha ; & A ; Tau ; & A ; Epsilon ; & A ; Sigma ; : & A ; Alpha ; & A ; Nu ; & A ; Alpha ; & A ; Gamma ; & A ; Upsilon ; & A ; Rho ; & A ; Alpha ; & A ; Sigma ; & A ; Iota ; & A ; Omicron ; & A ; Sigma ;

Sokrates: Anagyrasios

Socrates ( of the deme ) of Anagyrous

The Socrates named here is non the celebrated philosopher but a general, one of the 10 strategos elected yearly one from each of the 10 folks ( Barrow 1999: 20 ) . The text gives the Demotic adjective in the nominative instance instead than the more usual possessive patronymic and from this deme name we can associate Socrates to the Erechtheis folk ( Whitehead 1986: 369 ) . Anagyrous was a garrison deme, perchance portion of the signalling web ( Whitehead 1986: 401 ) and as this ostrakon relates to 440BC ( Easterling and Handley 2001: 28 ) we can presume Socrates was elected as strategos by his folk in 441/440BC and given bid of the Anagyrous fort. We know nil else of him so can merely think at why he was nominated for banishment.

Inscriptions C ( Easterling and Handley 2001: p29 ) .

These letterings can be transliterated and translated as: –

Themisthokles Neokleos

Themistocles ( boy ) of Neocles

Themisthokles Neokleosito

Themistocles ( boy ) of Neocles Get Out

Although these ostraka have the more normal signifier demoing the possessive instance patronymic two points are of note. First, the dual usage of theta in Themistocles ‘ name and secondly the usage of ito ( Get out ) which underlines the deepness of experiencing against him ( Easterling and Handley 2001: 29 ) which is an interesting position given his repute as male parent of the Athenian naval forces and the fact that he had implemented banishment in 487BC ( Bowder 1982: 198 ) . There is grounds that the lasting ostraka on which Themistocles name is inscribed were written by merely 14 people and this may reflect either the hapless degree of literacy at the clip ( ostraka being pre-prepared or written by a Scribe ) or some signifier of ballot tackle ( Murray 1993: 285 ) .

Themistocles was an Athenian politician, a member of the Lycomid household, a extremist Democrat who attempted to destruct the nobility and considered to be one of the greatest work forces of his coevals ( Bowder 1982: 199 ) . When he was archonhe had developed Piraeus as the seaport of Athens ( Thucydides 1.93.11-12 ) and argued that end product from the Laurium Ag mines be spent on increasing the size of the Athenian navy, apparently for the war against Aigina but in world for usage against Persia, which culminated in the triumph at Salamis in 480BC ( Herodotus 7.144.1-5 ) . Although he had avoided being ostracised in the 480s he was sent into expatriate in 470/1BC after colliding with Cimon over accusals of negociating with Persia ( Bowder 1982: 198 ) but when accused by Sparta of going Persian he was recalled, fled and in his absence was condemned to decease for lese majesty. Arriving in Persia he was made governor of Magnesia where he remained until his decease ( Hornblower and Spawforth 2003: 1497 ) .

Banishment fell into disrepair after 416BC when Alcibiades and Phiax manipulated its usage to unite their forces and have their political challenger Hyperbolus exiled. Corruptness had ever been present but this clip it had been so blazing and seeable that it wholly discredited the procedure and its usage was abandoned ( Easterling and Handley 2001: 29 ) .


Ancient Beginnings

Herodotus: The Histories. trans. A. De Selincourt ( Penguin Classics ) . Middlesex. Penguin Books. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1986.

Thucydides: The History of the Peloponnesian War. trans. R. Livingstone ( The World ‘s Classics ) . Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1973.

Modern Beginnings

Barrow, R. 1999: Athenian Democracy. ( Inside the Ancient World ) . London. Bristol Classical Press.

Bowder, D. ( ed. ) 1982: Who was who in the Grecian universe. Oxford. Phaidon Press.

Davies, J.K. 1993: Democracy and Classical Greece. 2nd Edition ( Fontana History of the Ancient World ) . London. Harper Collins.

Forsdyke, S.L. 2005: Exile, Ostracism and Democracy: the Politicss of Expulsion in Ancient Greece. Princeton. Princeton University Press.

Hornblower, S and Spawforth, A ( explosive detection systems ) . 2003: The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 3rd Edition Revised. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Murray, O. 1993: Early Greece. 2nd Edition ( Fontana History of the Ancient World ) . London. Harper Collins.

Whitehead, D. 1986: The Demes of Attica 508/7- 250BC. London. Princeton University Press.


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