|"unknown title by Cleisthenes"
||Once a year the popular Assembly deliberated on whether any citizen should be required to go into exile for ten years on the grounds that his presence in Athens was a threat to the constitution. If the Assembly voted to hold an ostracism, a second vote was taken. Then, if six thousand citizens wrote the same name on an ostrakon, or potsherd, the man named must leave Athens for ten years. But he did not lose his citizenship, his goods were not confiscated, he did not even suffer disgrace. In fact, it was only the man of great ability who was likely to be ostracized, yet the possibility of ostracism was a constant deterrent to overweening political ambition.