This paper addresses the question of the role of ostracism in democratic Athens. I argue that the frequent expulsion of aristocrats by rival aristocrats in the predemocratic polis is the key to understanding the function of ostracism in the democratic polis. I show that aristocratic "politics of exile" was a fundamental political problem in the archaic polis and that democratic political power, symbolized by the institution of ostracism, was the polis' solution to the problem. In the archaic polis, the expulsion of aristocrats often led to an endless cycle of exiles and returns and consequent political instability. In 508/7, the Athenian demos usurped the power over decisions of exile by banishing Isagoras and recalling Cleisthenes from exile. By taking control of decisions of exile, the Athenian demos took over political power insofar as power over decisions of exile had become synonymous with political power. The creation of the institution of ostracism, whereby the people decided collectively whether to banish a single citizen for ten years, provided not only a mechanism for the symbolic expression of democratic power, but also a means for the practical and ideological distinction between oligarchic and democratic rule. While aristocrats had banished their opponents without limit in numbers and duration of exile, the Athenian democracy decided each year whether to banish a single individual for a limited time period. In most years, the Athenian demos chose not to exercise the power of exile. Nevertheless, the annual question in the assembly served to remind aristocrats that the demos held the fundamental political power, and hence deterred aristocrats from attempting to overthrow the democracy. The limited nature of ostracism further deterred exiled aristocrats from attempting to return by force. Finally, the infrequent and moderate use of exile as a means of resolving political conflict helps to explain the extraordinary stability of the Athenian democracy.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Rhodes CAP = Rhodes, P. J., A Com- mentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia (Oxford, 1981, with addenda, 1991)
CAH = The Cambridge Ancient History, 2nd ed. (Cambridge [various editors and dates, see bibliography]).
Lang 1990
Willemson 1991
Willemson and Brenne 1991
Mattingly 1991
Brenne 1994.
2
Kagan 1961
Ostwald 1988: 334-46
Stanton 1970
Rhodes 1994
Petzold 1990: 163-73.
Martin 1989.
3
Meier 1990: 3, 29, 41
Eder 1988: 474.
Humphreys 1991: 35
Holkeskamp 1992: 90-92
4
Raafiaub 1997: 67
Draco and Solon (1993: 68-70).
6
CAH vol. III
7
Drews 1983
Snodgrass 1993
Morris 1987.
8
Manville 1990: 55-123.
Plut. GQ 57
Thuc. 8.21.
Geomoroi (Hdt. 7.155.2)
n. 10
9
Thucydides (1.126.7)
Wade-Gery 1958: 144-45
10
Manville 1990: 93-123
Starr 1988.
11
Figueira and Nagy 1985
Stein-Hölkeskamp 1989: 57-138
Starr 1977: 121-28 and 169-93
12
Manville 1990
Starr 1977: 169-93.
13
n. 22.
14
Andrewes 1956
Berve 1967
McGlew 1993
Cawkwell 1995.
15
Seibert 1979
16
Hdt. 3.44-47, 54-59
Cartledge 1982
Herman 1987.
17
Starn 1982
18
Page 1955: 152-53, 159.
Page suggests (151)
19
Rösler 1980: 33-56
Nagy 1985
20
Page 1955: 151-81.
21
Page 1955: 169-75.
Peisistratus' marriage into the family of Megacles, Hdt. 1.60.2.
22
Brumfiel 1994: 3-13.
23
D.L. 1.75
Strabo 617
Plut. Sol. 14.7.
24
Page 1955: 238
Rosler 1980: 30
Romer 1982.
25
Il. 5.98, 12.443, 15.312
Od. 3.165
Od. 4.448
Il. 9.89
Od. 3.412
26
Romer 1982.
27
D.L. 1.75
Strabo 617.
28
D.L. 1.74-81.
30
Cylon, who was backed by Megarean forces, from seizing power (1.126).
31
Page 1955: 177.
32
Andrewes 1982.
33
Ath.Pol. 16.10
Eder 1986
Gruen 1991
35
Ath.Pol. 8.5
Plut. Sol. 20.1
Moralia 823 F, 550 B-C
Gell. 2.12.
36
von Fritz 1977
Lysias' failure (in Against Philon 27-28)
Hignett 1952: 26-27
Sealey 1983: 103-105
David
1984: 133-38
Gabba 1994: 109ff.
Goldstein 1972
Bers 1975
Develin 1977b
Manville 1980
1990.
37
Ath.Pol. 6-8
Keaney 1981
Theophrastus' Nomoi.
Plutarch Mor. 550C, 823F
Solon made such a law (2.12).
38
Solon by D.L. 1.56
Charondas by Diod. 12.15.1.
39
Ath.Pol. 8.5.
40
Grote 1870: 144 45
Glotz 1904: 370-71
Lavagnini 1946: 23-24
Piccirilli 1976: 759
Eder 1986: 293.
41
Ath.Pol. 13
42
Hdt. 1.61.2
Anderson 1999
43
Hdt. 1.59-64
Ath.Pol. 13-15.
Hero- dotus at 1.59.3
Ath.Pol. 13
Sealey 1967
Ath.Pol. 13
Cawkwell 1995
44
Thomas 1989: 4
n. 4
Evans 1991
Cobet 1988.
Stahl 1987: 6-53
Lavelle 1993
Gould 1989
Immerwahr 1966
Lateiner 1989
45
Vansina 1985
Thomas 1989
1992
Ungern-Sternberg and Reinau 1988.
46
Lavelle 1993
47
Hdt. 1.59.4-6.
Ath.Pol. 14.1
Plut. Sol. 30.1-4.
48
Lavelle 1991
1993.
Troy (Od. 4.244-46)
Babylon (Hdt. 3.154).
49
Hdt. 1.60.2-5.
Ath.Pol. 14.4.
51
Connor 1987: 40-50.
52
Hdt. 1.61.3-64.3.
Ath.Pol. 15.1-5.
55
Hdt. 1.60.4 and 1.63.2.
Arist. Pol. 1305a7ff.
Ath.Pol. 15.3-5
56
Thuc. 6.54.6.
57
Hdt. 5.62.2; 6.123.1
Meiggs and Lewis 1988: 6
Thomas 1989: 139-54.
58
Ath.Pol. 16.9.
59
Hdt. 5.62.2-3
Thuc. 6.59.2
Ath.Pol. 19.
Bicknell 1970
60
Hdt. 5.63.1-65.5
Ath.Pol. 19.4-6.
61
Hdt. 5.66.1
Ath.Pol. 20.1.
Lang 1990: 102
62
Ober 1998
Raaflaub 1998a
1998b.
63
Hdt. 5.66.1.
Hdt. 5.69.2.
64
Ath.Pol. 20.1.
65
Hdt. 5.66.2
66
Andrewes 1977: 246-47
Rhodes CAP 244
Meier 1990: 64
Ober 1993: 218
1998: 72
Raaflaub 1997: 39.
67
Andrewes 1977: 246
Ober 1993: 218, 220-21, etc.
1998: 72
Rhodes CAP 249 and 262-64
68
Ober 1998
Raaflaub 1998a
1998b
69
Herodotus (e.g., 1.82.3)
70
Hdt. 1.59.4
Ath.Pol. 14.1.
Hdt. 5.66.1
Ath.Pol. 20.4.
71
Hdt. 5.69.2
Ath.Pol. 20.2.
72
Hdt. 5.70.1-72.1
Ath.Pol. 20.2-3.
73
Meier 1990: 64.
Hdt. 3.54.1
Hdt. 3.45.3
75
Rhodes CAP 246).
Rhodes CAP 153-54
Doenges 1996.
76
Hdt. 5.72.2
Ath.Pol. 20.3.
77
Leveque and Vidal-Naquet 1996
Raaflaub 1998a
1998b, especially pages 88 and 91.
78
Ober 1993
Meier's 1990: 64ff.
79
note 75 above.
80
Ober 1993: 221-22.
81
Eder 1988: 466
Meier 1990: 65
Ober 1993.
82
Hdt. 5.72.2
Ath.Pol. 20.3.
Aristoph. Lys. 274-82.
Isagoras' escape with the Spartans: Hdt. 5.74.1.
83
Hdt. 5.73.1
Ath.Pol. 20.3.
84
Keaney 1970
Thomsen 1972
Ath.Pol. 22. 1
Diod. 55. 1
Philochorus FGH 328 F30
FGH 324 F6
Keaney 1970
Keaney and Raubitschek 1972
Develin 1977a
1985
Suidas s.v. [Unrepresented Characters]
Aesch. 1.111-12
85
Roberts 1994: 90.
86
Petzold 1990: 163-73
87
Schreiner 1976
Burstein 1971.
Rhodes CAP 276
Siewert 1991
1999
Xen. Hell. 1.7.22
[Plut.] Life of Antiphon 834a-b
Gorgias 11a D-K
Thuc. 8.68.2
Lycur. Leoc. 111-22.
Thuc. 1.135.3
Plut. Them. 23
Carawan 1987: 196.
88
Ath.Pol. 22.3-4 and 6
Androtion FGH 324 F6
Philochorus FGH 328 F30
Carcopino 1909: 108
Bonner and Smith 1930: 193-95
Ehrenberg 1950: 544
Grasmuck 1978: 24
Busolt 1920: 2.884ff.
Rhodes CAP 270
Hall 1989: 93-95
Ostwald 1988: 338, 341.
Ath.Pol. 16.10
Plut. Sol. 19.4
Ostwald 1955.
89
Ath.Pol. 43.5
Philochorus FGH 328 F30
Errington 1994.
90
Ath.Pol. 43.5.
91
Rosivach 1987: 163
Christ 1992.
92
Hopkins 1991
Hopkins claims (490)
Vernant and Vidal-Naquet 1973
Hall 1989
Mirhady 1997.
93
Grote 1870: 146.
Glotz 1904: 370-71
Lavagnini 1946: 30.
94
Ath.Pol. 25.5
Plut. Per 10.7, 10.8
Antiph. 5.68
Diod. 11.77.6.
96
Badian 1971: 1
Badian 1971
Knight 1970
Karavites 1971.
97
Ath.Pol. 22.5.
Badian 1971
Forrest and Stockton 1987
98
Badian 1971
99
Mattingly 1991: 11-12
101
Wallace 1998
103
Perusek 1994

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