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
     
 

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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.

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.

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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