Navigation – Plan du site


Texte intégral

  • 1 For a critical introduction to Lemkin’s work see Jacobs, 2012.
  • 2 For Balogh’s biographical portrait see Hamza, 2008.

1To Elemer Balogh, a Hungarian scholar of comparative and international law, and to Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer from a Polish Jewish family, we owe two works that are different in many respects, but basically similar in the idea that inspired them. For what concerns Lemkin, he left Poland following the Nazi occupation in 1939, living as a refugee in Sweden before the international community took care to define the refugee status. On 5 November 1943 he composed the preface to his fundamental work, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. Laws of Occupation, which was published in Washington the following year. In that work the term genocide was used for the first time to indicate a clear infringement of international law.1 On 28 August 1942 Balogh completed his preface to Political Refugees in Ancient Greece from the Period of the Tyrants to Alexander the Great, published in Johannesburg in 1943. As regards Balogh, who had been teaching in Berlin since 1932, he had to leave Germany because of the National Socialist Machtergreifung in April 1933. After a short stay in France, he reached South Africa where he stayed continuously until 1947.2 Like Lemkin, Balogh also experienced the condition of exile: the political climate and their personal experiences meaningfully conditioned their research interests.

  • 3 Balogh, 1943, p. xi.
  • 4 Balogh, 1943, p. 5-8.

2In his foreword to the book on ancient political refugees, Balogh refers to two elements that make similar his approach to that of Lemkin. First, they have in common the project to compose a work on refugees in three parts, in which matter followed their history in three periods, the Classical period, the Middle Ages and the contemporary era.3 A similar historical and comparative approach also characterizes Lemkin’s book on genocide. Second, they share the idea that the historical appearance of the phenomenon they were studying anticipated the formalisation of the concept: Lemkin found the origin of the concept of genocide in ancient Greece as well as Balogh believed that the Cilonians constituted the first historical example of refugees.4 Nevertheless, Lemkin’s premature death did not allow him to carry out his project, so that there is no discussion of the Greek origins of genocide. On the contrary, Balogh could only fulfil the section about Classical Greece, renouncing to provide a discussion about this phenomenon in its longue durée.

  • 5 For an in-depth examination of the legal issues see Usteri, 1903 and Paoli, 1930, p. 328-334, espec (...)
  • 6 Treves, 1943, p. 132-133.
  • 7 Wolff, 1945, p. 204.
  • 8 Balogh hoped for the solutions the Greek poleis adopted to face the problem of refugees to be put f (...)

3Balogh’s belief in the ancient origins of the political refugee is basically correct. The history of ancient Greece is dotted with individuals and groups of exiles in search of refuge, whose influence on the events of their poleis and on international politics is proved to be remarkable and constant. Despite this, Balogh’s work, as appreciable as it is as the first systematic attempt to put the issue to the scientific community, is inadequate for the modern reader, who can appreciate it as a historiographical product of his time.5 In fact, already the first reviewers, even though evaluating this study as timely, highlighted the limits of the treatment. Treves, for example, rebuked the lack of a precise definition of the concept of refugee and of an adequate framework of the question from a legal point of view; he also disagreed with the view that only Alexander would remedy the problem of the proliferation of refugees in the Greek cities, a view that did not take into account the substantial ineffectiveness of the Exiles Decree.6 Similarly, Wolff assessed Balogh’s attempt to illustrate the refugees history as unsatisfactory: in his opinion, the author was unable to provide an account of the historical development of this phenomenon and to highlight the psychological factors related to refugee status.7 In the same way, a law scholar like Wolff could not help but notice Balogh’s oversimplification in defining the different conditions that originated the refugee status. A certain tendency to anachronism that Wolff reproached the author for, however, is well explained by the understandable difficulty of detaching himself from the contemporary situation, dramatically present in the early forties of the twentieth century. The very conclusions, which Balogh drew from his confrontation with the ways in which the Greek world faced the problem of refugees, appear problematic and affected by his own experience.8

4In the Einleitung to his volume Die politischen Flüchtlinge und Verbannten in der griechischen Geschichte, published in Darmstadt in 1979, Jakob Seibert justified his work as a necessary completion of Balogh’s volume, where the point of arrival of the treatment coincided with Alexander’s decree on the return of exiles. The arrest in the year 324 BC gave the false impression that this decree represented a caesura in the history of the exiles, as if the end of the poleis’ independence concurred to reduce the employ of exile for political reasons. On the contrary, the Hellenistic world continued to face a refugee problem similar to the previous period. Even the Atheno-centric perspective that characterized Balogh’s work, while it seems justified by the fact that most of the available documentation concerns Athens, it does not fully take account of the proliferation of the phenomenon outside Attica and of its pan-Hellenic character.

5On these assumptions Seibert wrote a systematic history of refugees and displaced persons without renouncing to identify principles of conduct, tendencies, attitudes of the refugees during exile. Probably the most useful part of the volume is the section dedicated to the analysis of the structures of the exile, with particular regard to the attitudes of Greek cities towards exile, to the conduct of exiles abroad, to their relationship with their countries of origin, and to the issue of returning home.

  • 9 After Seibert’s work, several studies have addressed specific issues concerning exile. The best tre (...)

6A history of exile, therefore, already exists9. When in 2017 I organized a two-day conference on political refugees at the Maison Méditerranéenne des sciences de l’homme in Aix-en-Provence, I did not intend to propose again a history of political refugees, as Seibert’s work still represents a point of reference for scholars today, albeit with some limitations. Rather, I preferred to give space to contributions on specific themes, which Seibert understandably could not develop in an adequate way, in view of his descriptive approach.

7This is a collection of 16 essays dealing with specific aspects of both the political exile and the subsequent refugee status. The order of publication of the articles tries to follow the chronological order of the matter. The peculiarity of this collection concerns its interdisciplinary nature, which looks at the issue of refugees from a literary, historical and philosophical point of view, in the belief that this approach can ensure a deeper understanding of the refugee condition in the ancient Greek world. The essays by Chiara Militello, Etienne Helmer and William O. Stephens focus on issues interesting from a philosophical point of view. Chiara Militello examines the sources concerning those Pythagorean philosophers who ruled some cities in southern Italy and who fled into exile because of the action of their political opponents. Despite the plurality of reasons that led these philosophers into exile, Militello finds a common element to all these cases in the Pythagorean elitism, while stressing that the reasons for hostility to the Pythagoreans were attributable to different origins. If Militello reconstructs the reasons for the exclusion of the Pythagoreans, Etienne Helmer studies the meaning of the inclusion and reception of refugees in Aeschylus’ Suppliants, placing the reflection of the dramatist in an ideal dialogue with the point of view of philosophers such as Arendt and Agamben. After clarifying that the Suppliants are not simply a “tragedy of immigration” and that the condition of the Danaids in the play reproduces not so much that of ordinary immigrants as that of refugee women, Helmer goes so far as to argue that Aeschylus does not limit himself to representing on stage the political and legal policies implemented in Athens in favour of the phygades; he rather uses the Danaids as a tool for reflecting about the concept of otherness and its ambivalence. In particular, Helmer focuses on a line that Pelasgos, the King of Argos, addresses to the messenger of the Egyptians, according to which there is a specific wisdom of the foreigner that the messenger proves to ignore. The ambiguity evoked by Helmer implies that the dimension of the otherness in the tragedy is sometimes absolute, since it corresponds to the ignorance of the condition of foreigner; sometimes it is latent, being confused with the proximity, especially when a foreigner is expected to be aware of his condition and behave accordingly. Through the reconstruction of this preliminary conceptual framework, Helmer illustrates the three different ways of thinking about otherness: the full reception as an antidote to violence without measure and a refusal of the traditional borders of otherness; the impossible reception, according to which otherness coincides with an insurmountable cultural difference; and following the point of view of those who request reception, an attitude of caution with respect to the real limits of reception.

8William O. Stephens investigates Stoic thought about exile and the ways in which the Stoics, who often were victims of exile and refugees themselves, applied their ideas to the issue of refugees. After illustrating the arguments that Musonius Rufus, Epictetus and Seneca use to argue that exile is not a bad condition in itself for the human being, but it can even favour the pursuit of virtue, Stephens goes on to analyse the Stoic attitude towards friends who find themselves experiencing the condition of refugees, arguing that sharing the burden of exile is what is expected in situations of this kind. The author then discusses the Stoics’ attitude towards refugees in general, concluding that their ethics required refugees to be received, helped and protected in the communities in which they chose to live. In particular, the Stoic cosmopolitanism represents the key to understand the Stoics’ relationship with refugees: it is their conception of oikeiosis that justifies the idea that exiles are fellow citizens of our cosmopolis and, by virtue of this, brothers and neighbours, whose condition we have the duty to improve. Xenophobia, on the other hand, constitutes in the eyes of the Stoical sage a form of self-inflicted mental disease.

9While intellectuals have considered binary themes such as inclusion/exclusion, proximity/otherness, brotherhood/extraneousness to the community of citizens, the literary representation of exile and refugees seems quite articulated and irreducible to a single definition. This is one of the conclusions of the essay by Amandine Gouttefarde, which opens this dossier on political refugees. Through an overview of the literary sources with the aim of investigating the typology of exiles as literary characters, Gouttefarde identifies three different prototypes of phygades, which seem to occur more often in a specific literary tradition, being inevitably conditioned by the rules of the genre to which they belong. Thus, the exile persecuted by fate, often represented as an individual torn apart by the uncertainty of being able to find a place that welcomes him, or persecuted by those who drove him out of the country, living a miserable life, always in need of everything, is recurrent in tragedy. So, the characters in myth weep on the scene, complained about their condition, were compared to domestic animals, defenseless and querulous, such as birds, to indicate weakness, or to wild beasts, whose ferocity, which needs to be tamed, justified their enslavement.

10Nevertheless, this representation mostly concerns the heroes of the myth. Instead, the historical exiles are characterized by recklessness and activism. Acting frequently in groups, the conduct of the fellow exiles is qualified as violent and destructive in historiographical sources: sometimes assimilated to mercenaries, these exiles represented a problem for the cities of origin, but their ambivalence allowed Plato to define them as heroes. Although far less frequent, the typology of the exile thinker, who chose exile as a form of protest against the political line of his home country that he judged to be unworthy and corrupt, appears above all in philosophical reflection. This form of exile, however, did not correspond to a definitive severing of the ties with his country of origin, but it consists in choosing a privileged condition for the intellectual to reflect on the limits of politics.

11Some essays focus on the request to return home by refugees. This is the case of Pindar’s fourth Pythian Ode, of which Dennis Alley offers a new historical reading. The poem, which develops the request for the repatriation from the political exile Demophilus, who was removed from Arcesilaus IV, the King of Cyrene, resorts to myth to represent the strategies used to ensure his return home. Through the analysis of Jason’s conduct, Alley maintains that the hero, avoiding resorting to violence to gain his kathodos, made it clear that his intention was not to bring down the kingdom of Pelias, but to obtain repatriation by negotiating it with his interlocutor.

12Moving between history and literature, Benjamin Gray offers a substantial contribution to the studies on refugees’ political agency, applying to the Greek world interpretative paradigms employed in the analysis of the activism of the twentieth century’s refugees. The author considers refugees’ recourse to collective memory and shared historical traditions as an important means of overcoming the obstacles to the agency due to the exile. Ancient refugees did not limit themselves to resorting to the past, but they shaped past traditions to strengthen their own prerogatives, in a way that could be defined as an example of “intentional history”. This strategy was aimed both at preserving their identity and cohesion even in exile and at building connections with other interlocutors, so claiming a specific role for them within a wider pan-Hellenic network. This theoretical framework is applied to concrete cases, belonging to a wide time span and to different geographical contexts, relating both to the period of exile and to its commemoration after returning home. In most cases, refugees recurred to the past in order to continue having a voice even in exile.

13This is surely true of the so-called famous refugees, leading figures of their poleis of origin, who, for various reasons, were forced to flee into exile, where they continued to live as protagonists of the political scene. This applies to the Alcmeonid genos, when they experienced the status of refugees in Delphoi between 514 and 511 BC. Francesco Mari attempts to reconstruct the history of their exile, paying great attention to the tradition about Pythia’s corruption by Cleisthenes. He argues that such an accusation against the Alcmeonids was arisen in Delphoi after the Thessalians gained control of the Amphyctionic council. Hence, the desire to free Apollo from the blame to support the cause of these Athenian refugees could have given rise to the issue of corruption making it necessary to place all responsibility on a single person, the Pythia. In any case, one should point out how the Alcmeonids were able to preserve their prestige even as refugees, resorting to a broad range of contacts that was useful also for the purposes of their return home.

14Something similar can be said of those Athenian generals, Themistocles and Cimon, whose Gabriella Vanotti has studied the cross destinies. Vanotti analyses the direct and indirect relations between these two figures with particular attention to the original collaboration on the eve of the battle of Salamina and the comparative analysis of their exiles. Their destinies as refugees appear to be quite different: while Themistocles was destined to die in Asia, the Athenians recalled Cimon from his exile, maybe encouraged to do it by the memory of his prominence. If Themistokles, once he left Athens, was welcomed with great honour in Persia, there were many Persian citizens who made the opposite journey, moving to Greece in search of refuge. Paolo A. Tuci has collected the evidence relating to these Persian citizens, whose presence in Greece is attested in a wide period from the Persian wars to the reign of Philip II, trying to verify if they were refugees or ordinary immigrants. After illustrating all the cases according to the destination of the exile - Athens, Peloponnese, Macedonia - the author tries to explain the choice of destination, the reasons behind their forced exile or voluntary departure from Persia, the social extraction of refugees, their involvement in the international political scene. In any case, the reception of Persian individuals in the Greek social structure was not a choice free from political consequences and repercussions for the host communities: hence, Tuci attributes the presence of some resistance to their reception to these difficulties, although the general trend was to support them.

15The framework outlined so far shows a real possibility for refugees to find reception and protection in the host countries. It is precisely for this reason that the attitude of the Spartan king Agesilaus towards some vulnerable groups, such as the children and the elderly, who would have been made homeless and forced into refugee status by defeat in war, is therefore striking. Hans van Wees proposes a new interpretation of a well-known passage from Xenophon’s Agesilaus concerning his campaign in Phrygia, in which the sovereign is praised for his humane treatment of the most defenceless prisoners of war, but, in fact, he does not show any humanitarian concern towards these persons. On the contrary, when he ordered the soldiers of his army to take prisoners, but not to resort to killings, he encouraged a certain trend among the slave traders, who had no qualms about leaving behind the elderly and children, as their sale was not profitable. Agesilaus did not try to put a stop to this phenomenon, which in fact place these prisoners in the condition of new refugees, but he limited himself advising that the older persons took care of the younger ones. Yet, considering the brutality of war in the ancient societies, even a minor gesture such as this could be the object of praise.

16On the other hand, there were places, structures and procedures to which every refugee could have recourse in order to hope for inviolability and, therefore, for reception. Significantly, Nicholas D. Cross, developing an approach typical of modern cultural anthropology, studies the role of the hearth in the practices of asylum applications of aspiring refugees, underlining their multivocality and marked symbolic character. The author first reconstructs the hearth’s practical, social, religious and political functions, then analyses the benefits that could derive from addressing a legal petition in this place. The association of the hearth with the idea of refuge goes back mainly to the fact that the suppliant could hope to come into contact there with influential people or those with authority to whom he addressed his supplication; the high probability that the asylum applications were accepted, if presented in front of the hearth, helped to raise it to a symbol of welcome and integration. Having a somewhat similar approach, Suvi Kuokkanen offers us an original reading of the procedure of Athenian ostracism, which seeks to trace the point of view of the ostracised citizens rather than that of the community who expelled them. Through the analysis of the allegations that motivated the ostracism as they are recorded on a part of the ostraka, the author argues that such allegations, mostly of an ethical or religious nature, can be used to reconstruct the opinion shared by society on the victims of ostracism. The aim of the ostrakophoriai was to identify those who transgressed socially shared norms and to remove them from the community – this virtually was an aspect strictly correlated with the need to purify the community -, in the belief that a limited period of exile could produce a deep change in the individual ostracised, a kind of an inner repentance, such as to make it consistent with the model of the good citizen in a democratic constitution. In consideration of these assumptions, Kuokkanen considers ostracism as a tool for understanding the collective mind of the fifth-century Athenians.

17The essays by Bearzot, Poddighe, Harris and Loddo, which are characterized by a more markedly historical approach, complete the picture. Cinzia Bearzot comes back to a topic that she has already analysed in the past, namely that of the political exiles under the Thirty Tyrants, this time focusing on sources about the Sparta’s summary arrest order and the consequent extradition request of the Athenian refugees to the Greek poleis who welcomed them. After assessing the tradition on the large number of exiles provoked by the Thirty as substantially reliable, she points out that the requests of the Thirty, supported by Sparta, testify to the danger that the exiles represented for the regime in force in Athens, especially for their role as instigators against Sparta. In this sense, the removal of the dissidents from Athens was not considered as an effective measure to eradicate the danger they represented once and for all. This episode is indicative of the Sparta’s claim to recognition of its hegemonic role, but, given this request was unheard, it reveals the weakness of such claim and the non-recognition by the Greek cities.

18The case of those Athenians forced to leave Attica and to move to Thrace following the imposition of an oligarchic constitution to Athens by Antipater seems to be quite different. Elisabetta Poddighe discusses the modern hypothesis that the foundation of Ouranopolis by Alexarchus is to be related to the Athenian migration to Thrace in 322 BC. In view of historical and archaeological data, Poddighe dismisses this reconstruction and argues that numismatic evidence allows us to identify the year 316 as the terminus post quem for the foundation of Ouranopolis. More likely, Alexarchus’ choice to occupy this place is to be linked to the recovery of Sane, a previous urban settlement where Antipater settled the exiles. In any case, even after the reorganization of this site by Alexarchus, the site of Sane-Ouranopolis was a short-lived city and was abandoned at the beginning of the third century, so that its fate seems common to other new foundations hosting exiles.

19Jason R. Harris studies the ways in which those intellectuals, who worked under Dionysius I and Dionysius II, reacted to their expulsions and exploited their new status as refugees against their enemies, focusing on the cases of Timaeus, Philoxenus, Plato and Dion. If Timaeus did not succeed in weakening Agathocles’ position, rather limiting himself to make him the favourite target of his polemical works, Philoxenus, Plato and Dion were successful in their opposition to the tyrant, especially thanks to their high-level profile and to their international contacts, resulting as active responders not only in their literary works, but also as political antagonists. Paradoxically, the exile with which the tyrant thought of getting rid of thorns in his side, acted as a stimulus to activate those changes, which they had not been able to provoke, when they faced their enemies from within.

20Laura Loddo’s essay studies a formula, which we find in Attic inscriptions from the second half of the fourth century, attesting a temporary protection regime for refugees with the aim to understand its meaning for the Athenian attitude towards them. The author argues that such formula does not imply a change in the Athenian willingness to welcome refugees; rather, through the specification that the financial facilities for supporting refugees were granted only for the emergency phase, it reveals an economical concern. In a context of economic crisis as what struck Athens in the forties of the fourth century, the distrust of part of the population towards those individuals who pretended to be refugees and were able to gain some economical facilities like tax exemptions without having the right brought up the need to introduce some corrective measures. But if we look at the meaning of these changes we should conclude that they adequately considered the lawful aspiration of the political exiles to recover their home and cannot be seen as a sign of a real change of attitude towards them.

21This collection of essays shows how pervasive was the political exile in the Greek world in a time span comprised between the Archaic period and the Hellenistic age. While political exile concerned both individuals and groups and the rich and the poor, evidence is related mainly to individuals of high social extraction. This corresponds to a general tendency of ancient sources to give more space to the political narrative and their leaders and protagonists. Despite these limitations, which make it difficult to systematically investigate the refugee phenomenon, some broader considerations can be formulated. Although political exile may have been introduced as a tool to regulate political tensions and prevent the proliferation or the resumption of conflict in the poleis, the results of its systematic use were disastrous, especially for the communities of origin. Although there was no refugee emergency in the Greek world, except for the problematic years of the Peloponnese war or for the exodus of populations caused by Philip II from the conquered cities, it is undeniable that especially the larger cities took charge of the individuals forced into the condition of displaced persons, especially after wars.

22The cases of refugees considered here, however, point out to the persistence of a civic dimension by refugees even in exile: some sought refuge in friendly cities, where they could count on effective networks and concrete chances of support; others founded new settlements that apparently reproduced the civic structures of their polis of origin. It is clear, however, that long-term integration in the places of exile was not one of the primary objectives of political refugees, regardless of the host communities’ attitudes towards them. A life as a metic abroad would not have been preferable to the recovery of citizenship and the rights connected to the citizen status in the native country. The lawful aspiration to recover both the properties that had to be abandoned at the time of their flight and their original social standing, through the restoration of their social relations interrupted due to exile, could have played an important role in exiles’ choice to seek their kathodos. These factors made the situation of the refugees unstable. But political refugees were also a cause for concern for their communities of origin. Strategies such as orders of summary arrest and requests for extradition to the host countries were carried out in an attempt to neutralise the threat posed by the displaced. To this end, governments often used their system of alliances to make the experience of refugee exile more difficult, thus showing that they were aware of the dangerousness of this kind of exile.

23Some essays of this collection have dealt with the issue of integration and reception of refugees from different perspectives. It seems to be possible to conclude that, as far as political refugees are concerned, this integration was facilitated by the very choice of the states in which they intended to seek refuge: decisive were factors as the previous relations with the state chosen as place of refuge, the loyalty and cooperation shown in the past towards it, the personal ties with local citizens or factions in power. Nevertheless, it is difficult to speak of integration in absolute terms. In this regard, it would be more appropriate to emphasise that for refugees integration took place without forgetting their own otherness. This applies for both for the refugees and the host communities. There was no full assimilation even among subjects belonging to homologous cultures, as in the case of refugees from poleis belonging to the Hellenikon. This lack of assimilation, however, does not seem to be a sign of rejection of the foreigner, but rather the awareness of his peculiar identity.

Haut de page


Balogh, E., 1943, Political Refugees in Ancient Greece from the Period of the Tyrants to Alexander the Great, Johannesburg.

Berger, S., 1992, Revolution and Society in Greek Sicily and Southern Italy, Stuttgart.

Claassen, J.-M., 1999, Displaced Persons. The Literature of Exile from Cicero to Boethius, Wisconsin.

Doblhofer, S., 1987, Exil und Emigration. Zum Erlebnis der Heimatferne in der römischen Literatur, Darmstadt.

Forsdyke, S., 2005, Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy. The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece, Princeton.

Gaertner, J.F. (ed.), 2007, Writing Exile. The Discourse of Displacement in Greco-Roman Antiquity and beyond, Mnemosyne Suppl. 283, Leiden – Boston.

Garland, R., 2014, Wandering Greeks. The Ancient Greek Diaspora from the Age of Homer to the Death of Alexander the Great, Princeton – Oxford.

Gehrke, H.-J., 1985, Stasis. Untersuchungen zu den inneren Kriegen in den griechischen Staaten des 5. und 4. Jahrhunderts v. Chr., München.

Grasmück, E.L., 1978, Exilium: Untersuchungen zur Verbannung in der Antike, Paderborn.

Gray, B., 2015, Stasis and Stability: Exile, the Polis, and Political Thought, c. 404-146 BC, Oxford.

Hamza, G., 2008, The Elemér Balogh (1881-1955): The Forgotten Great Scholar of Roman Law and Comparative Law, Nordicum-Mediterraneum. Icelandic E-Journal of Nordic and Mediterranean Studies, 3.1, p. 1-6.

Isayev, E. and Jewell, E. (eds.), 2018, Displacement and Humanities: Manifestos from the Ancient to the Present, Special Issue of Humanities,

Jacobs, S.L., 2012, Lemkin on Genocide, Lanham.

Lécrivain, Ch., 1919, L’exil politique dans l’histoire grecque, Memoires de l’Académie des Sciences, VII, p. 317-371.

Lécrivain, Ch., 1940, Varia, REA, 42, p. 214-218.

Lonis, R., 1991, La réintégration des exilés politiques en Grèce: le problème des biens, in P. Goukowsky and Cl. Brixhe (eds.), Hellenika Symmikta: histoire, archéologie, épigraphie, Nancy, p. 91-109.

Lonis, R., 1993, La condition des réfugiés politiques en Grèce: statut et privilèges, in M.M. Mactoux and E. Geny (eds.), Mélanges Pierre Lévêque, vol. VII, Paris, p. 209-225.

Montiglio, S., 2005, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture, Chicago – London.

Murphy, C.T., Review of E. Balogh, Political Refugees in Ancient Greece from the Period of the Tyrants to Alexander the Great, AJA, 48.1, p. 110-111.

Paoli, U.E., 1930, Studi di diritto attico, Firenze.

Rubinstein, L., Immigration and Refugee Crises in Fourth-Century Greece: an Athenian Perspective, The European Legacy, DOI: 10.1080/10848770.2018.1423785

Seibert, J., 1979, Die politischen Flüchtlinge und Verbannten in der griechischen Geschichte, Darmstadt.

Treves, P., 1943, Review of E. Balogh, Political Refugees in Ancient Greece from the Period of the Tyrants to Alexander the Great, JHS, 63, p. 132-133.

Usteri, P., 1903, Ächtung und Verbannung im griechischen Recht, Berlin.

Wolff, H.J., Review of E. Balogh, Political Refugees in Ancient Greece from the Period of the Tyrants to Alexander the Great, AJPh, 66.2, p. 203-206.

Haut de page


1 For a critical introduction to Lemkin’s work see Jacobs, 2012.

2 For Balogh’s biographical portrait see Hamza, 2008.

3 Balogh, 1943, p. xi.

4 Balogh, 1943, p. 5-8.

5 For an in-depth examination of the legal issues see Usteri, 1903 and Paoli, 1930, p. 328-334, especially on the meaning of atimia. Lécrivain, 1919 is a collection of evidence about political exile. See also Lécrivain, 1940, p. 214-216, arguing that exile in the political trials was an alternative sanction to capital punishment.

6 Treves, 1943, p. 132-133.

7 Wolff, 1945, p. 204.

8 Balogh hoped for the solutions the Greek poleis adopted to face the problem of refugees to be put forward by the European countries. However, his conviction did not take into account the dangers that the imposition of unwanted individuals in the cities of origin could create, especially with regard to the resumption of conflict among the parties involved. For a criticism of Balogh’s position, see Murphy, 1944, p. 111.

9 After Seibert’s work, several studies have addressed specific issues concerning exile. The best treatment of stasis as one of the main causes of the proliferation of refugees is Gehrke, 1985, but, with regard to Sicily, one should add Berger, 1992. Doblhofer, 1987, focuses on Roman exile, but the first chapter includes some useful thoughts on Greek exile; something similar can be said about Grasmück, 1978. Equally important are Lonis’ several essays on exiles (see mainly Lonis, 1991 and Lonis, 1993). On ostracism and the politics of expulsion see Forsdyke, 2005. The issue of wandering is the object of Montiglio, 2005, especially from a philosophical point of view. For the discourse on displacement in antiquity the references are Claassen, 1999 and Gaertner, 2007. Garland, 2014 is a treatment of the different types of wanderers in Archaic and Classical Greece which also involves a reflection on refugees. Gray, 2015, adopts political exile as a key to interpret the Greek political cultural. See also the papers collected in Isayev – Jewell, 2018 and Rubinstein, 2018.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Laura Loddo, « Introduction »Pallas, 112 | 2020, 11-20.

Référence électronique

Laura Loddo, « Introduction »Pallas [En ligne], 112 | 2020, mis en ligne le 01 juillet 2022, consulté le 23 mai 2024. URL : ; DOI :

Haut de page


Laura Loddo

Università degli Studi di Calgiari

Ricercatore (Lecturer) in Ancient Greek History
Università degli Studi di Cagliari
Dipartimento di Lettere, Lingue e Beni culturali

Articles du même auteur

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur


Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search