Ostracism in athenian democracy

By so strongly validating one role, that of the male citizen, it has been argued that democracy compromised the status of those who did not share it. And when ignoble men of the baser sort came to be subjected to this penalty it ceased to be inflicted at all, and Hyperbolos was the last to be thus ostracized.

Biography[ edit ] Historians estimate that Cleisthenes was born around BC.

Ancient Greek Democracy

Plutarch's evidence for a quorum of 6, on a priori grounds a necessity for ostracism also per the account of Philochorus, accords with the number required for grants of citizenship in the following century and is generally preferred. One way was to make all allotted and elected officials formally responsible, that is, subject to regular accounting for their actions in office to some public body or other, at the limit to the Athenian People in Assembly as such.

Plutarch describes the final ostracism and the abandonment of the procedure in B. Archon and Areopagus Just before the reforms of Solon in the 7th century BC, Athens was governed by a few archons three rising to nine and the council of the Areopagus " appointed by the powerful noble families from their own members ".

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The second victim, Cleisthenes' nephew Megacles, is named by of these, but for a second undated ostracism not listed above. Indeed, it was a sort of reverse election, what one might be tempted to call a de-selection, except that the persons so affected might not actually be holding any office at the time, whether elective or allotted.

As such, it may be seen as a secular, civic variant of Athenian curse tabletsstudied in scholarly literature under the Latin name defixiones, where small dolls were wrapped in lead sheets written with curses and then buried, sometimes stuck through with nails for good measure.

It appears that Aeschylus "is trying to preserve the dignity of a severely battered institution. Over the course of the next sixty years some twelve or more individuals followed him. The close connection between political power and the power of expulsion explains why ostracism was a central part of the democratic reforms.

This principle extended down to the secretaries and undersecretaries who served as assistants to magistrates such as the archons.

Ancient Greek Democracy

If the assembly broke the law, the only thing that might happen is that it would punish those who had made the proposal that it had agreed to. But it may already have come to seem like an anachronism as factional alliances organised around important men became increasingly less significant in the later period, and power was more specifically located in the interaction of the individual speaker with the power of the assembly and the courts.

Josiah Ober notes that "Thucydides cites examples of two errors regarding Sparta: He was opposed to Perikles and especially to his building program. As the system evolved, the last function was shifted to the law courts. The first rash of people ostracised in the decade after the defeat of the first Persian invasion at Marathon in BC were all related or connected to the tyrant Peisistratoswho had controlled Athens for 36 years up to BC.

It is one of several ritualized social customs of Iranian culture. The boule coordinated the activities of the various boards and magistrates that carried out the administrative functions of Athens and provided from its own membership randomly selected boards of ten responsible for areas ranging from naval affairs to religious observances.

Executive Summary Ancient Greek democracy had a number of practices which made it very different from modern democratic systems. The standard format was that of speakers making speeches for and against a position followed by a general vote usually by show of hands of yes or no.

Plateans in BC and Samians in BC but, by the 4th century, only to individuals and by a special vote with a quorum of Democracy tends to blur the distinction between nature and political culture, thereby blinding elites to their own best interests and luring them into immorality.

Payment for jurors was introduced around BC and is ascribed to Periclesa feature described by Aristotle as fundamental to radical democracy Politics a But from BC they were set sharply apart.

By expelling Thucydides the Athenian people sent a clear message about the direction of Athenian policy. Competence does not seem to have been the main issue, but rather, at least in the 4th century BC, whether they were loyal democrats or had oligarchic tendencies.

He commissioned a bronze memorial from the sculptor Antenor in honor of the lovers and tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogeitonwhom Hippias had executed. They were elected, and even foreigners such as Domitian and Hadrian held the office as a mark of honour.

In ostracism seemed to offer the only viable way of resolving the deep differences between the two men, and their policies, and clearing the air without resorting to civil violence. These took place once a year, in public assembly, and votes were registered by the raising of the right hand and were counted by designated tellers.

In later decades when the threat of tyranny was remote, ostracism seems to have been used as a way to decide between radically opposed policies. Most of the annual magistracies at Athens could only be held once in a lifetime.

In Plutarchfollowing as he does the anti-democratic line common in elite sources, the fact that people might be recalled early appears to be another example of the inconsistency of majoritarianism that was characteristic of Athenian democracy.

But even that degree of formal control was not always by itself enough, as the career of Alcibiades himself so blatantly demonstrated: They administered rather than governed. There was also a tendency for the four meetings to be aggregated toward the end of each state month. In these chapters we saw that the Athenian democracy’s moderate use of exile both internally (as symbolized in the institution of ostracism) and externally (as represented in imperial decrees) was key both to Athens’ internal stability and to the maintenance of its empire.

For intellectual critics of the Athenian democratic system as such, though, ostracism remained a prime instance of democracy's inherent weaknesses and indeed immoralities. One such intellectual critic was Aristotle. Ostracism, "the judgment of the potsherds": Athenian juridical practice in which a potentially dangerous person would be exiled from the city without loss of property or civil rights.

Ostracism (Greek: ὀστρακισμός, ostrakismos) was a procedure under the Athenian democracy in which any citizen could be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years. While some instances clearly expressed popular anger at the citizen, ostracism was often used preemptively.

It was used as a way of neutralizing someone thought to. For intellectual critics of the Athenian democratic system as such, though, ostracism remained a prime instance of democracy's inherent weaknesses and indeed immoralities.

One. His ostracism left Perikles as the uncontested political leader of the Athenian state. Useless immediately after the counting, the actual ostraka were simply discarded in .

Ostracism in athenian democracy
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Ancient Greek Democracy - HISTORY