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L’ostracismo di Santippo, figlio di Arrifrone, «il più colpevole tra i pritani sacrileghi». Alcune riflessioni alla luce di recenti scoperte archeologiche

Martina Zerbinati


The institution of ostracism has been considered a central practice of the Athenian democracy during the fifth century B.C.: the purpose of its establishment was to prevent tyranny. Anyway, according to Athenaion Politeia (22, 6), from Xanthippos’ ostracism (484) Athenians started to use the practice to remove from Athens any person who seemed to be too great, even if unconnected with tyranny. Among the ostraka against Xanthippos found during the Agora Excavations, one seems to be remarkable because it contains an elegiac couplet which stated why the father of Perikles should be ostracized. Interpretations of the text differ in details, but the general sense is that Xanthippos should be condemned because he did most wrong of all the leaders. Analyzing the inscription and the events of the Aeginetan War (Her. VI 88-93), this paper supposes that the ostracism of Xanthippos could have been caused by the rising figure of Themistokles, who condemned the Alkmeonid associate for his failed attack against Aegina. In fact, this defeat elicited a sacrilege against one of Nikodromos’ supporter. As the word ἀλειτερο῀ ν, inscribed on the ostrakon, seems to suggest, this event could have been related to the Cylonian curse.


Atene; Egina; ostracismo; pritani dei naucrari; sacrilegio ciloniano; Santippo; Temistocle; Aegina; Athens; Cylonian curse; naukraroi; ostracism; Temistokles; Xanthippos

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/erga-2018-002-zerb

Copyright (©) 2018 Martina Zerbinati – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


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