Definitions for ostraconˈɒs trəˌkɒn; -kə
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ostracon
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
os•tra•conˈɒs trəˌkɒn; -kə(n.)(pl.)-ca or -ka
(in ancient Greece) a potsherd, esp. one used as a ballot on which the name of a person voted to be ostracized was inscribed.
Category: Ancient History, Archaeology
Origin of ostracon:
1880–85; < Gk óstrakon; see ostracize
A piece of pottery or stone, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel.
An ostracon is a piece of pottery, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In archaeology, ostraca may contain scratched-in words or other forms of writing which may give clues as to the time when the piece was in use. In Athens, the voting public would write or scratch the name of a person in the shard of pottery. When the decision at hand was to banish or exile a certain member of society, citizen peers would cast their vote by writing the name of the person on the piece of pottery; the vote was counted and if unfavorable the person was exiled for a period of ten years from the city, thus giving rise to the term ostracism.
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