Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy: The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece

Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy: The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece

by Sara Forsdyke
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691119759

ISBN-13: 9780691119755

Pub. Date: 10/10/2005

Publisher: Princeton University Press

This book explores the cultural and political significance of ostracism in democratic Athens. In contrast to previous interpretations, Sara Forsdyke argues that ostracism was primarily a symbolic institution whose meaning for the Athenians was determined both by past experiences of exile and by its role as a context for the ongoing negotiation of democratic values.

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Overview

This book explores the cultural and political significance of ostracism in democratic Athens. In contrast to previous interpretations, Sara Forsdyke argues that ostracism was primarily a symbolic institution whose meaning for the Athenians was determined both by past experiences of exile and by its role as a context for the ongoing negotiation of democratic values.

The first part of the book demonstrates the strong connection between exile and political power in archaic Greece. In Athens and elsewhere, elites seized power by expelling their rivals. Violent intra-elite conflict of this sort was a highly unstable form of "politics that was only temporarily checked by various attempts at elite self-regulation. A lasting solution to the problem of exile was found only in the late sixth century during a particularly intense series of violent expulsions. At this time, the Athenian people rose up and seized simultaneously control over decisions of exile and political power. The close connection between political power and the power of expulsion explains why ostracism was a central part of the democratic reforms.

Forsdyke shows how ostracism functioned both as a symbol of democratic power and as a key term in the ideological justification of democratic rule. Crucial to the author's interpretation is the recognition that ostracism was both a remarkably mild form of exile and one that was infrequently used. By analyzing the representation of exile in Athenian imperial decrees, in the works of Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, and in tragedy and oratory, Forsdyke shows how exile served as an important term in the debate about the best form of rule.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691119755
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/10/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Chronology xi

Abbreviations and Conventions xiii

Introduction: Problems, Methods, Concepts 1

Chapter One: Setting the Stage Intra-elite Conflict and the Early Greek Polis 15

Continuity and Change: Social Diversity in Dark Age Greece 17

The Eighth Century and the Rise of the Polis 18

Conclusion 28

Chapter Two: The Politics of Exile and the Crisis of the Archaic Polis Four Case Studies: Mytilene, Megara, Samos, and Corinth 30

Archaic Poetry and History: A Methodological Introduction 32

Mytilene 36

Megara 48

Samos 59

Corinth 69

Conclusion 77

Chapter Three: From Exile to Ostracism The Origins of Democracy in Athens, circa 636-508/7 79

The Politics of Exile in Archaic Athens: Cylon, Draco, and the Trial of the Alcmeonidae 80

The Beginnings of Change: Solon 90

A New Type of Politics: Pisistratus and Sons 101

An End to the Politics of Exile: Cleisthenes and the Democratic Revolution 133

Conclusion 142

Chapter Four: Ostracism and Exile in Democratic Athens 144

The Procedure of Ostracism 146

Ostracism as a Symbolic Institution 149

Ostracisms in Fifth-Century Athens 165

Other Forms of Exile under the Athenian Democracy 178

Exile and the Oligarchic Revolutions of 411 and 404 181

Conclusion 204

Chapter Five: Exile and Empire Expulsion in Inter-State Politics 205

Athenian Control and Limitation of Exile: The Erythrae Decree 207

Further Regulation of Exile: The Chalcis Decree 210

A Judicial Decree? 223

Thucydides, Isocrates, and the Legitimacy of Athenian Power 226

Exile and the Tyrant City: A Critique of Athenian Power 232

Exile and the Mythical Past: The Defense of Athenian Power 234

Conclusion 239

Chapter Six: Exile in the Greek Mythical and Historical Imagination 240

Myth, History, and Social Memory: Approaching the Greek Historical Imagination 242

Exile in the Democratic Tradition 244

Exile in the Anti-Democratic Tradition 267

Conclusion 276

Conclusion 278

Appendix One: The Date of the Athenian Law of Ostracism 281

Appendix Two: Ostracism outside Athens 285

Appendix Three: Exile in Spartan Myth and History 289

Bibliography 301

Index Locorum 327

General Index 334

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