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

ISBN-10: 0691119759
ISBN-13: 9780691119755
Edition: 2006
Authors: Sara Forsdyke
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 10/30/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 376
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

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.

Acknowledgments
Chronology
Abbreviations and Conventions
Introduction: Problems, Methods, Concepts
Setting the Stage: Intra-elite Conflict and the Early Greek Polis
Continuity and Change: Social Diversity in Dark Age Greece
The Eighth Century and the Rise of the Polis
Conclusion
The Politics of Exile and the Crisis of the Archaic Polis: Four Case Studies: Mytilene, Megara, Samos, and Corinth
Archaic Poetry and History: A Methodological Introduction
Mytilene
Megara
Samos
Corinth
Conclusion
From Exile to Ostracism: The Origins of Democracy in Athens, circa 636-508/7
The Politics of Exile in Archaic Athens: Cylon, Draco, and the Trial of the Alcmenidae
The Beginnings of Change: Solon
A New Type of Politics: Pisistratus and Sons
An End to the Politics of Exile: Cleisthenes and the Democratic Revolution
Conclusion
Ostracism and Exile in Democratic Athens
The Procedure of Ostracism
Ostracism as a Symbolic Institution
Ostracisms in Fifth-Century Athens
Other Forms of Exile under the Athenian Democracy
Exile and the Oligarchic Revolutions of 411 and 404
Conclusion
Exile and Empire: Expulsion in Inter-State Politics
Athenian Control and Limitation of Exile: The Erythrae Decree
Further Regulation of Exile: The Chalcis Decree
A Judicial Decree?
Thucydides, Isocrates, and the Legitimacy of Athenian Power
Exile and the Tyrant City: A Critique of Athenian Power
Exile and the Mythical Past: The Defense of Athenian Power
Conclusion
Exile in the Greek Mythical and Historical Imagination
Myth, History, and Social Memory: Approaching the Greek Historical Imagination
Exile in the Democratic Tradition
Exile in the Anti-Democratic Tradition
Conclusion
Conclusion
The Date of the Athenian Law of Ostracism
Ostracism outside Athens
Exile in Spartan Myth and History
Bibliography
Index Locorum
General Index

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