Do you want to find someone guilty? Whom do you want to accuse?

The history of ostracism can be traced to Athenian democracy. The word ostracism comes from the Greek ostraka (from ὄστρακον), or potsherds. Pieces of broken pottery served as scraps (like paper) on which to vote. Every year Athenians had the chance to cast someone out of society for up to ten years. But instead of finding fault with someone and thus casting the penalty on them, citizens were first asked; Do you wish to find someone guilty? [Read more…]