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 be a threat to the state or potential tyrant. It has been called an "honourable exile" by scholar P. J. Rhodes.[1] The word "ostracism" continues to be used for various cases of social shunning.


The name is derived from the ostraka (singular ostrakon, ὄστρακον), referring to the pottery shards that were used as voting tokens. Broken pottery, abundant and virtually free, served as a kind of scrap paper (in contrast to papyrus, which was imported from Egypt as a high-quality writing surface, and was thus too costly to be disposable).

Each year the Athenians were asked in the assembly whether they wished to hold an ostracism. The question was put in the sixth of the ten months used for state business under the democracy (January or February in the modern Gregorian Calendar). If they voted "yes", then an ostracism would be held two months later. In a section of the agora set off and suitably barriered,[2] citizens gave the name of those they wished to be ostracised to a scribe, as many of them were illiterate, and they then scratched the name on pottery shards, and deposited them in urns. The presiding officials counted the ostraka submitted and sorted the names into separate piles. The person whose pile contained the most ostraka would be banished, provided that an additional criterion of a quorum was met, about which there are two principal sources:

  • According to Plutarch,[3] the ostracism was considered valid if the total number of votes cast was at least 6000.
  • According to a fragment of Philochorus,[4] the "winner" of the ostracism must have obtained at least 6000 votes.

Plutarch's evidence for a quorum of 6000, 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.[5][6][7][8]

The person nominated had ten days to leave the city. If he attempted to return, the penalty was death. Notably, the property of the man banished was not confiscated and there was no loss of status. After the ten years, he was allowed to return without stigma. It was possible for the assembly to recall an ostracised person ahead of time; before the Persian invasion of 479 BC, an amnesty was declared under which at least two ostracised leaders—Pericles' father Xanthippus and Aristides 'the Just'—are known to have returned. Similarly, Cimon, ostracised in 461 BC, was recalled during an emergency.[9]

Distinction from other Athenian democratic processes

Ostracism was crucially different from Athenian law at the time; there was no charge, and no defence could be mounted by the person expelled. The two stages of the procedure ran in the reverse order from that used under almost any trial system—here it is as if a jury are first asked "Do you want to find someone guilty?", and subsequently asked "Whom do you wish to accuse?". Equally out of place in a judicial framework is perhaps the institution's most peculiar feature: that it can take place at most once a year, and only for one person. In this it resembles the Greek pharmakos or scapegoat—though in contrast, pharmakos generally ejected a lowly member of the community.

A further distinction between these two modes (and one not obvious from a modern perspective) is that ostracism was an automatic procedure that required no initiative from any individual, with the vote simply occurring on the wish of the electorate—a diffuse exercise of power. By contrast, an Athenian trial needed the initiative of a particular citizen-prosecutor. While prosecution often led to a counterattack (or was a counterattack itself), no such response was possible in the case of ostracism as responsibility lay with the polity as a whole. In contrast to a trial, ostracism generally reduced political tension rather than increased it.

Although ten years of exile would have been difficult for an Athenian to face, it was relatively mild in comparison to the kind of sentences inflicted by courts; when dealing with politicians held to be acting against the interests of the people, Athenian juries could inflict very severe penalties such as death, unpayably large fines, confiscation of property, permanent exile and loss of citizens' rights through atimia. Further, the elite Athenians who suffered ostracism were rich or noble men who had connections or xenoi in the wider Greek world and who, unlike genuine exiles, were able to access their income in Attica from abroad. In Plutarch, following 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. However, ten years of exile usually resolved whatever had prompted the expulsion. Ostracism was simply a pragmatic measure; the concept of serving out the full sentence did not apply as it was a preventative measure, not a punitive one.

One curious window on the practicalities of ostracism comes from the cache of 190 ostraka discovered dumped in a well next to the acropolis.[10] From the handwriting, they appear to have been written by fourteen individuals and bear the name of Themistocles, ostracised before 471 BC and were evidently meant for distribution to voters. This was not necessarily evidence of electoral fraud (being no worse than modern voting instruction cards), but their being dumped in the well may suggest that their creators wished to hide them. If so, these ostraka provide an example of organized groups attempting to influence the outcome of ostracisms. The two-month gap between the first and second phases would have easily allowed for such a campaign.

There is another interpretation, however, according to which these ostraka were prepared beforehand by enterprising businessmen who offered them for sale to citizens who could not easily inscribe the desired names for themselves or who simply wished to save time.[11]

The two-month gap is a key feature in the institution, much as in elections under modern liberal democracies. It first prevented the candidate for expulsion being chosen out of immediate anger, although an Athenian general such as Cimon would have not wanted to lose a battle the week before such a second vote.[9] Secondly, it opened up a period for discussion (or perhaps agitation), whether informally in daily talk or public speeches before the Athenian assembly or Athenian courts.* In this process a consensus, or rival consensuses, might emerge. Further, in that time of waiting, ordinary Athenian citizens must have felt a certain power over the greatest members of their city; conversely, the most prominent citizens had an incentive to worry how their social inferiors regarded them.

Period of operation

Ostracism was not in use throughout the whole period of Athenian democracy (circa 506–322 BC), but only occurred in the fifth century BC. The standard account, found in Aristotle's Constitution of the Athenians 22.3,[12] attributes the establishment to Cleisthenes, a pivotal reformer in the creation of the democracy. In that case, ostracism would have been in place from around 506 BC. The first victim of the practice, however, was not expelled until 487 BC—nearly 20 years later. Over the course of the next 60 years some 12 or more individuals followed him. The list may not be complete, but there is good reason to believe the Athenians did not feel the need to eject someone in this way every year. The list of known ostracisms runs as follows:

Athen Stoa Ostrakismos 2
Ostraca from 482 BC

Around 12,000 political ostraka have been excavated in the Athenian agora and in the Kerameikos. The second victim, Cleisthenes' nephew Megacles, is named by 4647 of these, but for a second undated ostracism not listed above. The known ostracisms seem to fall into three distinct phases: the 480s BC, mid-century 461–443 BC and finally the years 417–415: this matches fairly well with the clustering of known expulsions, although Themistocles before 471 may count as an exception. This suggests that ostracism fell in and out of fashion.[14]

The last known ostracism was that of Hyperbolus in circa 417 BC. There is no sign of its use after the Peloponnesian War, when democracy was restored after the oligarchic coup of the Thirty had collapsed in 403 BC. However, while ostracism was not an active feature of the fourth-century version of democracy, it remained; the question was put to the assembly each year, but they did not wish to hold one.


Because ostracism was carried out by thousands of people over many decades of an evolving political situation and culture, it did not serve a single monolithic purpose. Observations can be made about the outcomes, as well as the initial purpose for which it was created.

The first rash of people ostracised in the decade after the defeat of the first Persian invasion at Marathon in 490 BC were all related or connected to the tyrant Peisistratos, who had controlled Athens for 36 years up to 527 BC. After his son Hippias was deposed with Spartan help in 510 BC, the family sought refuge with the Persians, and nearly twenty years later Hippias landed with their invasion force at Marathon. Tyranny and Persian aggression were paired threats facing the new democratic regime at Athens, and ostracism was used against both.

Tyranny and democracy had arisen at Athens out of clashes between regional and factional groups organised around politicians, including Cleisthenes. As a reaction, in many of its features the democracy strove to reduce the role of factions as the focus of citizen loyalties. Ostracism, too, may have been intended to work in the same direction: by temporarily decapitating a faction, it could help to defuse confrontations that threatened the order of the State.

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. For instance, in 443 BC Thucydides, son of Melesias (not to be confused with the historian of the same name) was ostracised. He led an aristocratic opposition to Athenian imperialism and in particular to Pericles' building program on the acropolis, which was funded by taxes created for the wars against the Achaemenid Empire. By expelling Thucydides the Athenian people sent a clear message about the direction of Athenian policy.[15] Similar but more controversial claims have been made about the ostracism of Cimon in 461 BC.

The motives of individual voting citizens cannot, of course, be known. Many of the surviving ostraka name people otherwise unattested. They may well be just someone the submitter disliked, and voted for in moment of private spite. As such, it may be seen as a secular, civic variant of Athenian curse tablets, studied 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.

In one anecdote about Aristides, known as "the Just", who was ostracised in 482, an illiterate citizen, not recognising him, came up to ask him to write the name Aristides on his ostrakon. When Aristides asked why, the man replied it was because he was sick of hearing him being called "the Just".[16] Perhaps merely the sense that someone had become too arrogant or prominent was enough to get someone's name onto an ostrakon. Ostracism rituals could have also been an attempt to dissuade people from covertly committing murder or assassination for intolerable or emerging individuals of power so as to create an open arena or outlet for those harboring primal frustrations and urges or political motivations. The solution for murder, in Gregory H. Padowitz's theory, would then be "ostracism" which would ultimately be beneficial for all parties—the unfortunate individual would live and get a second chance and society would be spared the ugliness of feuds, civil war, political jams and murder.

Fall into disuse

The last ostracism, that of Hyperbolos in or near 417 BC, is elaborately narrated by Plutarch in three separate lives: Hyperbolos is pictured urging the people to expel one of his rivals, but they, Nicias and Alcibiades, laying aside their own hostility for a moment, use their combined influence to have him ostracised instead. According to Plutarch, the people then become disgusted with ostracism and abandoned the procedure forever.

In part ostracism lapsed as a procedure at the end of the fifth century because it was replaced by the graphe paranomon, a regular court action under which a much larger number of politicians might be targeted, instead of just one a year as with ostracism, and with greater severity. 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. The threat to the democratic system in the late fifth century came not from tyranny but from oligarchic coups, threats of which became prominent after two brief seizures of power, in 411 BC by "the Four Hundred" and in 404 BC by "the Thirty", which were not dependent on single powerful individuals. Ostracism was not an effective defence against the oligarchic threat and it was not so used.


Other cities are known to have set up forms of ostracism on the Athenian model, namely Megara, Miletos, Argos and Syracuse, Sicily. In the last of these it was referred to as petalismos, because the names were written on olive leaves. Little is known about these institutions. Furthermore, pottery shards identified as ostraka have been found in Chersonesos Taurica, leading historians to the conclusion that a similar institution existed there as well, in spite of the silence of the ancient records on that count.[17]

A similar modern practice is the recall election, in which the electoral body removes its representation from an elected officer. Unlike under modern voting procedures, the Athenians did not have to adhere to a strict format for the inscribing of ostraka. Many extant ostraka show that it was possible to write expletives, short epigrams or cryptic injunctions beside the name of the candidate without invalidating the vote.[18] For example:

  • Kallixenes, son of Aristonimos, "the traitor"
  • Archen, "lover of foreigners"
  • Agasias, "the donkey"
  • Megacles, "the adulterer"

Modern usage

The social psychologist Kipling Williams has written extensively on ostracism as a modern phenomenon. Williams defines ostracism as "any act or acts of ignoring and excluding of an individual or groups by an individual or a group".[19] Williams suggests that the most common form of ostracism in a modern context is refusing to communicate with a person. By refusing to communicate with a person, that person is effectively ignored and excluded.[20] The advent of the internet has made ostracism much easier to engage in, and conversely much more difficult to detect, with Williams and others describing this online ostracism as "cyberostracism". In email communication, in particular, it is relatively easy for a person or organization to ignore and exclude a specific person, through simply refusing to communicate with the person. Karen Douglas thus describes "unanswered emails" as constituting a form of cyberostracism,[21] and similarly Eric Wesselmann and Kipling Williams describe "ignored emails" as a form of cyberostracism.[22]

Williams and his colleagues have charted responses to ostracism in some five thousand cases, and found two distinctive patterns of response. The first is increased group-conformity, in a quest for re-admittance; the second is to become more provocative and hostile to the group, seeking attention rather than acceptance.[23]

As it researched as well by many social psychologists, (Williams, 2007) research has demonstrated that being rejected from groups can have profound effects on a person (Smith, E. R., Macki, D. M., & Claypool, H. M., (2014) social psychoogy. Psychology Press. p. 409)


Research suggests that ostracism is a common reprisal strategy used by organizations in response to whistleblowing. Kipling Williams, in a survey on US whistleblowers, found that 100 percent reported post-whistleblowing ostracism.[24] Alexander Brown similarly found that post-whistleblowing ostracism is a common response, and indeed describes ostracism as form of "covert" reprisal, as it is normally so difficult to identify and investigate.[25]

Qahr and ashti

Qahr and ashti is a culture-specific Iranian form of personal shunning, most frequently of another family member in Iran.[26] Qahr and ashti are described by Dr. Kambiz Behzadi[27] as:

Qahr (to not be on speaking terms with someone) and ashti (to make up) represent a complex culture-specific fusion of emotional dynamics, cognitive evaluations, and behavioral tendencies, which codes both negative and 'distancing' emotions and initiates a set of social actions and gestures that lead to amelioration of that emotional state.[28]

While modern Western concepts of ostracism are based upon enforcing conformity within a societally-recognized group,[29] qahr is a private (batin), family-oriented affair of conflict or display of anger[30] that is never disclosed to the public at large, as to do would be a breach of social etiquette.[31]

In Iran, the husband has the right to show qahr towards his wife, but the wife does not have the right to show qahr towards her husband,[32] as the husband's family rank is that of Head of Household while the wife has a much lower family ranking.[33] She may practice qahr only towards others of equal or lower status.

Qahr is avoidance of a lower-ranking family member who has committed a perceived insult. It is one of several ritualized social customs of Iranian culture.[34]

Gozasht means 'tolerance, understanding and a desire or willingness to forgive'[35] and is an essential componant of Qahr and Ashti[35] for both psychological needs of closure and cognition, as well as a culturally accepted source for practicing necessary religious requirements of tawbah (repentance, see Koran 2:222)[36] and du'a (supplication).[37]

See also


^ Oration IV of Andocides purports itself to be speech urging the ostracism of Alcibiades in 415 BC, but it is probably not authentic.

^ The second ostracisms of Megacles and of Alcibiades son of Kleinias are reported only by Lysias in the quoted passage—no other ancient author refers to them. Thus, Lysias's report is regarded as probably spurious by many modern historians.


  1. ^ Editor, Iris Online. "Words". irisonline.org.uk. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  2. ^ According to some sources, part of the agora was roped-off, according to others it was temporarily immured with wooden planks.
  3. ^ [1] Life of Aristides 7.5
  4. ^ [2] See n. 30
  5. ^ Sinclair, R. K. (1988). Democracy and Participation in Athens. Cambridge University Press. pp. 114–19. ISBN 0-521-42389-9.
  6. ^ Staveley, E. S. (1972). Greek and Roman Voting and Elections. Thames and Hudson. pp. 89ff.
  7. ^ Stockton, David (1990). The Classical Athenian Democracy. Oxford University Press. pp. 33ff. ISBN 0-19-814697-3.
  8. ^ Ober, Josiah (1988). Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens. Princeton University Press. p. 74. ISBN 0-691-02864-8.
  9. ^ a b Plutarch, Life of Cimon 17.2–6.
  10. ^ Broneer, Oscar. "Excavations on the North Slope of the Acropolis, 1937". Hesperia, 1938. pp. 228–243.
  11. ^ See Surikov, pp. 284–294
  12. ^ "Aristotle, Athenian Constitution, chapter 22". www.perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  13. ^ a b Lysias 14.39
  14. ^ Mabel Lang, (1990). Ostraka: 3–6, Athens.
  15. ^ Plutarch, Life of Pericles 1112, 14.
  16. ^ Plutarch, Life of Aristides 7.7
  17. ^ see Surikov, pp. 121–122.
  18. ^ see Surikov, pp. 73–80, and references therein.
  19. ^ Williams, K. (2001). Ostracism: The Power of Silence. New York: Guilford Press. p. ix
  20. ^ Williams, K. (2001).Ostracism: The Power of Silence. New York: Guilford Press. pp. 2–18.
  21. ^ Douglas, K. 2008. 'Antisocial Communication on Electronic Mail and the Internet'. In: A. Konjin, M. Tanis, S. Utz, and S Barnes (eds.) Mediated Interpersonal Communication. (200–214). New York: Routledge. p. 203.
  22. ^ Wesselmann, E. and Williams, K. 2013. 'Ostracism and Stages of Coping'. In: C. Dewall (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Social Exclusion. (20–30). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 21.
  23. ^ J. Rose, The Literary Churchill (Yale 2015) p. 233
  24. ^ Williams, K. 2001. Ostracism: The Power of Silence. New York: Guilford Press. p. 195.
  25. ^ Brown, A. J. (ed) 2008. Whistling While They Work. Canberra: ANU Press. p. 129.
  26. ^ Limbert, John W. (22 July 2016). "Iran: At War With History". Routledge. Retrieved 25 March 2018 – via Google Books.
  27. ^ U.S. News Health Care, Dr. Kambiz Behzadi, MD http://health.usnews.com/doctors/kambiz-behzadi-1166
  28. ^ Behzadi KG (1994). "Interpersonal conflict and emotions in an Iranian cultural practice: qahr and ashti". Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. 18 (3): 321–59. PMID 7956304.
  29. ^ J. Rose, The Literary Churchill (Yale 2015) p. 233
  30. ^ BRODY, Leslie (30 June 2009). "Gender, Emotion, and the Family". Harvard University Press. Retrieved 25 March 2018 – via Google Books.
  31. ^ "Page Not Found". www.commisceo-global.com. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  32. ^ Gender Relationships in Iran http://www.cultureofiran.com/gender_relations_in_iran.html
  33. ^ Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq) https://www.al-islam.org/treatise-rights-risalat-al-huquq-imam-zain-ul-abideen
  34. ^ Iran: At War with History, by John Limbert, 1987 pp. 37–38 https://books.google.com/books?id=rXS3DAAAQBAJ&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=qahr+iranian+behavior&source=bl&ots=oT1PRsnIAA&sig=givEDjpjh1QgCDLtP2-FzTZPrcg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwinzO_lorfPAhXH7SYKHWADBAIQ6AEIJzAD#v=onepage&q=qahr%20iranian%20behavior&f=false
  35. ^ a b Iran: At War with History, by John Limbert, 1987 pp. 37–38
  36. ^ Repentance http://sunnahonline.com/library/purification-of-the-soul/175-repentance
  37. ^ "What is Dua? - islam.ru". islam.ru. Retrieved 25 March 2018.

Additional ancient

From Aristotle Constitution of the Athenians:

From Philochorus, Atthis

From Plutarch's 'Lives':

Note that the ancient sources on ostracism are mostly fourth century or much later and often limited to brief descriptions such as notes by lexicographers. Most of the narrative and analytical passages of any length come from Plutarch writing five centuries later and with little sympathy for democratic practices. There are no contemporary accounts that can take one into the experiences of participants: a dense account of Athenian democracy can only be made on the basis of the much fuller sources available in the fourth century, especially the Attic orators, after ostracism had fallen into disuse. Most of such references are a fourth-century memory of the institution.

Additional modern

  • (1996). "Ostracism". Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd edition. Oxford. ISBN 0-19-860165-4.
  • Mabel Lang, (1990). Ostraka, Athens. ISBN 0-87661-225-7.
  • Eugene Vanderpool, (1970). Ostracism at Athens, Cincinnati. ISBN 3-11-006637-8
  • Rudi Thomsen, (1972). The Origins of Ostracism, A Synthesis, Copenhagen.
  • P.J. Rhodes, (1994). "The Ostracism of Hyberbolus", Ritual, Finance, Politics: Athenian Democratic Accounts presented to David Lewis pp. 85–99, editors. Robin Osborne, Simon Hornblower, (Oxford). ISBN 0-19-814992-1.
  • Mogens Herman Hansen, (1987). The Athenian Democracy in the age of Demosthenes, Oxford. ISBN 0-8061-3143-8.
  • Josiah Ober, (1989), "Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens: Rhetoric", Ideology and the Power of the People, Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02864-8.
  • Igor E. Surikov, (2006), "Остракизм в Афинах", Языки Славянских Культур. ISBN 5-9551-0136-5 (Russian, with English summary)

External links


Cimon (; c. 510 – 450 BC) or Kimon (; Greek: Κίμων, Kimōn) was an Athenian statesman and general in mid-5th century BC Greece. He was the son of Miltiades, the victor of the Battle of Marathon. Cimon played a key role in creating the powerful Athenian maritime empire following the failure of the Persian invasion of Greece by Xerxes I in 480–479 BC. Cimon became a celebrated military hero and was elevated to the rank of admiral after fighting in the Battle of Salamis.

One of Cimon's greatest exploits was his destruction of a Persian fleet and army at the Battle of the Eurymedon river in 466 BC. In 462 BC, he led an unsuccessful expedition to support the Spartans during the helot uprisings. As a result, he was dismissed and ostracized from Athens in 461 BC; however, he was recalled from his exile before the end of his ten-year ostracism to broker a five-year peace treaty in 451 BC between Sparta and Athens. For this participation in pro-Spartan policy, he has often been called a laconist. Cimon also led the Athenian aristocratic party against Pericles and opposed the democratic revolution of Ephialtes seeking to retain aristocratic party control over Athenian institutions.


Cleisthenes (; Greek: Κλεισθένης, Kleisthénēs) was an ancient Athenian lawgiver credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a democratic footing in 508 BCE. For these accomplishments, historians refer to him as "the father of Athenian democracy." He was a member of the aristocratic Alcmaeonid clan. He was the younger son of Megacles and Aragiste making him the maternal grandson of the tyrant Cleisthenes of Sicyon. He was also credited with increasing the power of the Athenian citizens' assembly and for reducing the power of the nobility over Athenian politics.In 510 BCE, Spartan troops helped the Athenians overthrow their king, the tyrant Hippias, son of Peisistratos. Cleomenes I, king of Sparta, put in place a pro-Spartan oligarchy headed by Isagoras. But his rival Cleisthenes, with the support of the middle class and aided by democrats, took over. Cleomenes intervened in 508 and 506 BCE, but could not stop Cleisthenes, now supported by the Athenians. Through Cleisthenes' reforms, the people of Athens endowed their city with isonomic institutions—equal rights for all citizens (though only men were citizens)—and established ostracism.

Conspiracy of silence (expression)

A conspiracy of silence, or culture of silence, describes the behavior of a group of people of some size, as large as an entire national group or profession or as small as a group of colleagues, that by unspoken consensus does not mention, discuss, or acknowledge a given subject. The practice may be motivated by positive interest in group solidarity or by such negative impulses as fear of political repercussion or social ostracism. It differs from avoiding a taboo subject in that the term is applied to more limited social and political contexts rather than to an entire culture. As a descriptor, conspiracy of silence implies dishonesty, sometimes cowardice, sometimes privileging loyalty to one social group over another. As a social practice, it is rather more extensive than the use of euphemisms to avoid addressing a topic directly.

Some instances of such a practice are sufficiently well-known or enduring to become known by their own specific terms, including Code of silence for the refusal of law enforcement officers to speak out against crimes committed by fellow officers and omertà, cultural code of organized crime in Sicily.

Ek Doctor Ki Maut

Ek Doctor Ki Maut (Hindi: एक डॉकटर की मौत, English: Death of a Doctor) is a 1990 award-winning film by noted Bengali director Tapan Sinha, which depicts the ostracism, bureaucratic negligence, reprimand and insult of a doctor and his research, instead of recognition. The film is based on the story "Abhimanyu" by Ramapada Chowdhury. This movie is loosely based on the life of Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay, an Indian Physician who pioneered the In vitro fertilisation treatment just around the same time when another leading scientist Dr. Robert Edwards was conducting separate experiments in England.


Hyperbolus (Greek: Ὑπέρβολος, Hyperbolos; died 411 BC) was an Athenian politician active during the first half of the Peloponnesian war, coming to particular prominence after the death of Cleon. In 416 or 415 he was the last Athenian to be ostracised.

Kipling Williams

Kipling D. Williams is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from The Ohio State University. He is most noted for his research on ostracism and has developed unique methods to study the processes and consequences.

Williams has conducted research in several areas, including aggression, group processes and close relationships. However, he has specific research topics that include ostracism, social loafing and social compensation, internet research, stealing thunder, which is a specific tactic used to deflate any negative impact of changing a person’s testimony, law and psychology.

Williams has a primary interest in social influence. In addition, he has contributed to publications in both the field of psychology and in the field of law, which deal with issues of different realms of social influence. Some of these realms of social influence concern eyewitness memory and testimony, biasing judges’ instructions, and most recently, on influencing jurors to scrutinize confidence inflation in court cases. However, Williams’ interests mostly include group processes and social influence. While some people regard this as simple group research, he regards it as a phenomenon of very basic social influence. He believes that an individual’s emotions, subsequent social susceptibility, and motivations are all impacted when that person is ostracized.

Williams believes that “social influence is of great importance to his self-definition and to his interest in social psychology.” Simply put, he believes that “the heart of social psychology is social influence.”He was an associate editor of both the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice. He is currently the editor of Social Influence.

No More Hiroshima

No More Hiroshima is a 1984 National Film Board of Canada documentary about two survivors of the 1945 atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima, who are among a small group of Japanese who risk ostracism in their country by identifying themselves as hibakusha: survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The 26-minute documentary by Martin Duckworth follows the survivors on their mission to New York City as part of the Japanese peace movement at the second United Nations Special Session on Disarmament held in June, 1982. This 26 minute film received the Genie Award for Best Short Documentary at the 7th Genie Awards.The idea for the film was originally suggested by Duckworth's father-in-law, an historian and activist who was in touch with the peace movement in Japan.


An ostracon (Greek: ὄστρακον ostrakon, plural ὄστρακα ostraka) is a piece of pottery, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In an archaeological or epigraphical context, ostraca refer to sherds or even small pieces of stone that have writing scratched into them. Usually these are considered to have been broken off before the writing was added; ancient people used the cheap, plentiful and durable broken pieces of pottery around them as convenient places to place writing for a wide variety of purposes, mostly very short inscriptions, but in some cases surprisingly long.

Outcast (person)

An outcast is someone who is rejected or 'cast out', as from home or society, or in some way excluded, looked down upon, or ignored. In common English speech an outcast may be anyone who does not fit in with normal society, which can contribute to a sense of isolation.

Pansexual pride flag

The pansexual pride flag was designed as a symbol for the pansexual community to use. The pansexual pride flag has been found on various internet sites since mid-2010. It is similar to the LGBT flag, which is used as a symbol for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and anyone else in the community. The pansexual pride flag is used to increase visibility and recognition for the pansexual community, and to distinguish it from bisexuality. It is used to indicate that pansexuals have sexual attractions and relationships with people of different genders and sexualities. The theory of pansexuality aims to challenge existing prejudices, which can cause judgment, ostracism, and serious disorders within society.

Sabar people

The Sabar people (also Shabar and Saora) are one of the Adivasi of Munda ethnic group tribe who live mainly in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. During the British Raj, they were classed as one of the 'criminal tribes' under Criminal Tribes Act 1871, and still suffer from social stigma and ostracism in modern times.Also known as Saora, the Sabar tribe finds mention in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, while in some parts of East Singhbhum district mainly in Musabani, they are known as in Kariya. Noted writer and activist Mahasweta Devi is known for working with these forest tribals.This reclusive tribe is found primarily in East Singhbhum district in Jharkhand and in Midnapore District of West Bengal.

The traditionally forest-dwelling tribe lack experience in agriculture, and rely on the forests for their livelihood. In recent years, with the spread of the Naxalite rebellion in the area, the police often restrict their access to the forest. In 2004, five persons in the Sabar village of Amlasole, in Midnapore district, died after several months of starvation,

leading to a national media furore. Subsequently, Durbar Mahila Samanway Committee (DMSC) started a school in the area, funded partially by sex workers from Kolkata.In June 2008, the Sabar suffered severe flooding in many of their West Bengal villages, and then received large amounts of aid from Catholic missionaries.

Shingles for the Lord

"Shingles for the Lord" is a short story written by the American author William Faulkner, first published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1943. The story takes place in Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County focusing on Res Grier, a struggling farmer, as he joins his neighbors in roofing the old church house and is narrated by his son in colloquial language. The story is on the surface a comic diversion, developing a plot similar to that of a situation comedy in which the attempt of one character to outsmart the others leads him to a sort of banishment or ostracism from which he must recuperate himself in order to reclaim his place in the community.

Silent treatment

Silent treatment (often referred to as the silent treatment) is refusal to communicate verbally with someone who desires the communication. It may range from just sulking to malevolent abusive controlling behaviour. It may be a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence. Clinical psychologist Harriet Braiker identifies it as a form of manipulative punishment.

Social rejection

Social rejection occurs when an individual is deliberately excluded from a social relationship or social interaction. The topic includes interpersonal rejection (or peer rejection), romantic rejection and familial estrangement. A person can be rejected by individuals or an entire group of people. Furthermore, rejection can be either active, by bullying, teasing, or ridiculing, or passive, by ignoring a person, or giving the "silent treatment". The experience of being rejected is subjective for the recipient, and it can be perceived when it is not actually present. The word ostracism is often used for the process (in Ancient Greece ostracism was voting into temporary exile).Although humans are social beings, some level of rejection is an inevitable part of life. Nevertheless, rejection can become a problem when it is prolonged or consistent, when the relationship is important, or when the individual is highly sensitive to rejection. Rejection by an entire group of people can have especially negative effects, particularly when it results in social isolation.The experience of rejection can lead to a number of adverse psychological consequences such as loneliness, low self-esteem, aggression, and depression. It can also lead to feelings of insecurity and a heightened sensitivity to future rejection.

Spengler Cup

The Spengler Cup is an annual invitational ice hockey tournament held in Davos, Switzerland. First held in 1923, the Spengler Cup is often cited as the oldest invitational ice hockey tournament in the world. The event is hosted by the Swiss team HC Davos and played each year in Davos, Switzerland, from December 26 to 31 inclusively. Currently, all games are held at Vaillant Arena.

It was originally devised by Dr. Carl Spengler as a means to promote teams from German-speaking Europe, who might have suffered ostracism in the aftermath of World War I. Eventually, the tournament grew well beyond expectations. Many of Europe's most prestigious clubs and national programs have appeared, including Soviet, Czechoslovak, Swedish, German, and Finnish powerhouses. Through its history, club or national teams from 12 different countries have won the tournament, with host team HC Davos and Team Canada winning the most cups (15) while Switzerland and Czechoslovakia are tied as nations whose various teams have won the most cups (19 each).

Among non-European organizations, Team Canada, Team USA, nationally-ranked U.S. collegiate teams, reigning AHL Calder Cup and Ontario Hockey Association champions, and even Team Japan (in 1971, building international experience before playing as hosts of the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics) have competed for the Spengler Cup. Since at least 1990, Team Canada has been the only participant from North America, with the exception of the AHL's Rochester Americans in 1996 and 2013.

In the 2018 tournament, Finnish club team KalPa from the city of Kuopio defeated Team Canada 2–1 in the final. The game was decided in the 8th round of a shootout, the first series of game-winning shots in tournament history that determined the winner of the Spengler Cup.

Suffragette Memorial

The Suffragette Memorial is an outdoor bronze cast sculpture, commemorating the individuals who fought for Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom, and is located in the north-west corner of Christchurch Gardens, Victoria, London. The sculptor was Edwin Russell and the statue was unveiled in 1970.The memorial is in the shape of a scroll, created in fibreglass and cast in bronze, placed on a circular plinth. It features the badges of the Women's Social and Political Union and the Women's Freedom League. The text of the scroll reads:

This tribute is erected by the Suffragette Fellowship to commemorate the courage and perseverance of all those men and women who in the long struggle for votes for women selflessly braved derision, opposition and ostracism, many enduring physical violence and suffering.

An additional inscription notes that Caxton Hall, a nearby building on the corner of Caxton Street and Palmer Street, 'was historically associated with women's suffrage meetings and deputations to parliament'.The memorial was commissioned by the Suffragette Fellowship, and a number of surviving suffragettes attended the unveiling, including Grace Roe, then Fellowship president, Edith Clayton Pepper, Leonora Cohen and Lilian Lenton. At the unveiling Labour politician Edith Summerskill, Baroness Summerskill told the audience of the debt she felt towards the suffragettes, adding 'I will not fail to try to make some contribution to the women's cause'. Also in attendance, Labour politician, and Speaker of the House of Commons, Horace King, Baron Maybray-King, said that he believed 'sooner or later' there would be a woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The Ugly Duckling (1939 film)

The Ugly Duckling is an animated film from 1939 by Walt Disney, based on the fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling" by Hans Christian Andersen. The film was directed by Jack Cutting and Clyde Geronimi, and released in theaters on April 7, 1939. Music was composed by Albert Hay Malotte, who was uncredited for the film. The animated short was first distributed by RKO Radio Pictures.An earlier Silly Symphony animated short based on this fairy tale had been produced in black and white in 1931. The 1939 color film won the 1940 Oscar for Best Short Subject (Cartoons), and also happened to be the last entry in the Silly Symphony series, even though it was released as a special one-shot cartoon.

In the Andersen tale, a duckling is harassed because of his homeliness. To his delight, he matures into a swan, the most beautiful bird of all, and his troubles are over. In this version, the baby swan's sufferings are shortened, as he is found by his family, after only a few minutes of rejection and ostracism, instead of a whole year. This abbreviated version is read by Lilo to Stitch in the 2002 Disney film Lilo & Stitch. The story has a deep impact on Stitch, who sets out to look for his real family.

Virtuous Pedophiles

Virtuous Pedophiles is an Internet-based mutual support group for pedophiles who acknowledge having a sexual interest in children and do not act on their attraction. Members support each other in trying to lead normal lives without committing child sexual abuse. Members share the belief that sexual activity between adults and children is wrong and always will be. They also work against the stigma attached to pedophiles. The two founders of the group use the pseudonyms Ethan Edwards and Nick Devin. They do not reveal their true identity because they have to fear ostracism and hatred against their stigmatized psychological disorder. There are over 2000 users registered, including parents of children, parents of pedophiles, and a few sex researchers.


Xanthippus (; Greek: Ξάνθιππος, pronounced [ksán.tʰip.pos]; c. 525-475 BC) was a wealthy Athenian politician and general during the early part of the 5th century BC. His name means "Yellow Horse." He was the son of Ariphron and father of Pericles. He is often associated with the Alcmaeonid clan. Although not born to the Alcmaeonidae, he married into the family when he wed Cleisthenes' niece Agariste, and would come to represent their interests in government. He distinguished himself in the Athenian political arena, championing the aristocratic party. His rivalry with Themistocles led to his ostracism, only to be recalled from exile when the Persians invaded Greece. He distinguished himself during the Greco-Persian Wars making a significant contribution to the victory of the Greeks and the subsequent ascendancy of the Athenian Empire.

Group pressures
Conforming oneself

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