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

Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy

The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece

Hardcover Published: 30th October 2005
ISBN: 9780691119755
Number Of Pages: 376

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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.

Industry Reviews

"The style is clear and straightforward. Forsdyke repeats her main points; she makes good use of theories of poetry, anthropology, religion, and social science. This is an important work which upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and historians will profitably use. It demands much of its reader; it will open eyes and challenge assumptions."--Daniel B. Levine, Classical Outlook

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Chronologyp. xi
Abbreviations and Conventionsp. xiii
Introduction: Problems, Methods, Conceptsp. 1
Setting the Stage: Intra-elite Conflict and the Early Greek Polisp. 15
Continuity and Change: Social Diversity in Dark Age Greecep. 17
The Eighth Century and the Rise of the Polisp. 18
Conclusionp. 28
The Politics of Exile and the Crisis of the Archaic Polis: Four Case Studies: Mytilene, Megara, Samos, and Corinthp. 30
Archaic Poetry and History: A Methodological Introductionp. 32
Mytilenep. 36
Megarap. 48
Samosp. 59
Corinthp. 69
Conclusionp. 77
From Exile to Ostracism: The Origins of Democracy in Athens, circa 636-508/7p. 79
The Politics of Exile in Archaic Athens: Cylon, Draco, and the Trial of the Alcmenidaep. 80
The Beginnings of Change: Solonp. 90
A New Type of Politics: Pisistratus and Sonsp. 101
An End to the Politics of Exile: Cleisthenes and the Democratic Revolutionp. 133
Conclusionp. 142
Ostracism and Exile in Democratic Athensp. 144
The Procedure of Ostracismp. 146
Ostracism as a Symbolic Institutionp. 149
Ostracisms in Fifth-Century Athensp. 165
Other Forms of Exile under the Athenian Democracyp. 178
Exile and the Oligarchic Revolutions of 411 and 404p. 181
Conclusionp. 204
Exile and Empire: Expulsion in Inter-State Politicsp. 205
Athenian Control and Limitation of Exile: The Erythrae Decreep. 207
Further Regulation of Exile: The Chalcis Decreep. 210
A Judicial Decree?p. 223
Thucydides, Isocrates, and the Legitimacy of Athenian Powerp. 226
Exile and the Tyrant City: A Critique of Athenian Powerp. 232
Exile and the Mythical Past: The Defense of Athenian Powerp. 234
Conclusionp. 239
Exile in the Greek Mythical and Historical Imaginationp. 240
Myth, History, and Social Memory: Approaching the Greek Historical Imaginationp. 242
Exile in the Democratic Traditionp. 244
Exile in the Anti-Democratic Traditionp. 267
Conclusionp. 276
Conclusionp. 278
The Date of the Athenian Law of Ostracismp. 281
Ostracism outside Athensp. 285
Exile in Spartan Myth and Historyp. 289
Bibliographyp. 301
Index Locorump. 327
General Indexp. 334
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691119755
ISBN-10: 0691119759
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 376
Published: 30th October 2005
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.72