ostracism


ostracism
/os"treuh siz'euhm/, n.
1. exclusion, by general consent, from social acceptance, privileges, friendship, etc.
2. (in ancient Greece) temporary banishment of a citizen, decided upon by popular vote.
[1570-80; < NL ostracismus < Gk ostrakismós banishment, equiv. to ostrak(ízein) to OSTRACIZE + -ismos -ISM]

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▪ ancient Greek politics
      political practice in ancient Athens whereby a prominent citizen who threatened the stability of the state could be banished without bringing any charge against him. (A similar device existed at various times in Argos, Miletus, Syracuse, and Megara.) At a fixed meeting in midwinter, the people decided, without debate, whether they would hold a vote on ostracism (ostrakophoria) some weeks later. Any citizen entitled to vote in the assembly could write another citizen's name down, and, when a sufficiently large number wrote the same name, the ostracized man had to leave Attica within 10 days and stay away for 10 years. He remained owner of his property. Ostracism must be carefully distinguished from exile in the Roman sense, which involved loss of property and status and was for an indefinite period (generally for life).

      Ostracism is said by Aristotle, in his Constitution of Athens, to have been introduced by Cleisthenes (Cleisthenes Of Athens) in his reform of the Athenian constitution after the expulsion of Hippias (c. 508 BC), but the first use of it seems to have been made in 488–487 BC, when Hipparchus, son of Charmus of Collytus, was ostracized. After Hipparchus, four more men, the last of them being Aristides, were ostracized before the amnesty in 481, preceding the invasion of Xerxes I. The institution was invoked less frequently after the Persian Wars, falling into disuse after it was used ineffectively, probably in 417, to resolve the political impasse caused by the rivalry of Nicias and Alcibiades. Compare exile and banishment.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • ostracism — OSTRACÍSM s.n. 1. Formă de judecată a adunării poporului, în vechea Atena, prin care un cetăţean, considerat primejdios pentru libertatea şi securitatea regimului, era exilat temporar. 2. Persecuţie, ostracizare. – Din fr. ostracisme. Trimis de… …   Dicționar Român

  • ostracism — os tra*cism, n. [Gr. ostrakismo s, fr. ostraki zein to ostracize. See {Ostracize}.] 1. (Gr. Antiq.) Banishment by popular vote, a means adopted at Athens to rid the city of a person whose talent and influence gave umbrage. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ostracism — I noun avoidance, ban, banishment, blackball, blacklist, blame, blockade, censure, condemnation, Coventry, criticism, decrial, deportation, disbarment, dislodgment, dismissal, displacement, dissociability, distance, ejection, elimination,… …   Law dictionary

  • ostracism — (n.) 1580s, a method of 10 year banishment in ancient Athens, by which the citizens gathered and wrote the names of men they deemed dangerous to the state on potsherds or tiles, and a man whose name turned up often enough was sent away. From Gk.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ostracism — [n] banishment avoidance, blackballing, boycott, cold shouldering, exclusion, excommunication, exile, expulsion, isolation, rejection, shunning; concepts 25,130 …   New thesaurus

  • ostracism — [äs′trə siz΄əm] n. [Gr ostrakismos < ostrakizein: see OSTRACIZE] 1. in ancient Greece, the temporary banishment of a citizen by popular vote 2. a rejection or exclusion by general consent, as from a group or from acceptance by society …   English World dictionary

  • Ostracism — For ostracized in interpersonal relationships, see Social rejection. Pieces of broken pottery as voting tokens. The persons nominated are Pericles, Cimon and Aristides, each with his patronymic (top to bottom). Ostracism (Greek: έξω ο …   Wikipedia

  • ostracism — [[t]ɒ̱strəsɪzəm[/t]] N UNCOUNT Ostracism is the state of being ostracized or the act of ostracizing someone. [FORMAL] ...those who have decided to risk social ostracism and stay on the wrong side of town. ...denunciation, tougher sanctions and… …   English dictionary

  • ostracism — [16] In ancient Greece, when it was proposed that a particular person should be sent into exile for a period, because he was becoming a danger to the state, a democratic vote was taken on the matter. The method of registering one’s vote was to… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • ostracism — /ˈɒstrəsɪzəm/ (say ostruhsizuhm) noun 1. the act of ostracising. 2. the fact or state of being ostracised: *Men and women … live together, more or less publicly, without being married and also without fear of ostracism –frank crowley and lorna… …   Australian English dictionary


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