USU 1320: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2013
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
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It's interesting to note that, because most Athenians in the Classical Age were illiterate—or at least found writing a serious challenge—party-workers in ancient Athens had to inscribe ostraca for them with the names of those to be ostracized in the assembly. Apparently some partisans working for a political faction opposed to Themistocles couldn't find as many supporters as they had ostraca inscribed with Themistocles' name on them and so dumped the extras down a well. These ostraca with Themistocles' name on them were later found by modern archaeologists digging in the well.

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