strike the shephered and sheep will disperse

Near the end of the sixth century B.C., the city-state of Athens overthrew
the series of petty tyrants who had dominated its politics for decades. It established instead a democracy that was to last over a century, a democracy that became the source of its power and its proudest achievement.
But as the democracy evolved, so did a problem the Athenians had never
faced: How to deal with those who did not concern themselves with the
cohesion of a small city surrounded by enemies, who did not work for its
greater glory, but thought of only themselves and their own ambitions and
petty intrigues? 

The Athenians understood that these people, if left alone,
would sow dissension, divide the city into factions, and stir up anxieties,
all of which could lead to the ruin of their democracy.
Violent punishment no longer suited the new, civilized order that
Athens had created. Instead the citizens found another, more satisfying,
and less brutal way to deal with the chronically selfish: Every year they
would gather in the marketplace and write on a piece of earthenware, an
ostrakon, the name of an individual they wanted to see banished from the
city for ten years. If a particular name appeared on six thousand ballots,
that person would instantly be exiled. If no one received six thousand
votes, the person with the most ostraka recording his name would suffer
the ten-year "ostracism."

 This ritual expulsion became a kind of festivalwhat a joy to be able to banish those irritating, anxiety-inducing individuals who wanted to rise above the group they should have served.
In 490 B.C., Aristides, one of the great generals of Athenian history,
helped defeat the Persians at the battle of Marathon. Meanwhile, off the
battlefield, his fairness as a judge had eamed hirn the nickname "The
Just." But as the years went by the Athenians came to dislike hirn. He
made such a show of his righteousness, and this, they believed, disguised
his feelings of superiority and scorn for the common folk. His omnipresence in Athenian politics became obnoxious; the citizens grew tired of
hearing hirn called "The Just." They feared that this was just the type of
man-judgmental, haughty-who would eventually stir up fierce divisions among them. In 482 B.C., despite Aristides' invaluable expertise in
the continuing war with the Persians, they collected the ostraka and had
hirn banished.
After Aristides' ostracism, the great general Themistoeles emerged as
the city's premier leader. But his many honors and victories went to his
head, and he too became arrogant and overbearing, constantly reminding
the Athenians of his triumphs in battle, the temples he had built, the dangers he had fended off. He seemed to be saying that without hirn the city
would come to ruin. And so, in 472 B.C., Themistoeles' name was filled in
on the ostraka and the city was rid of his poisonous presence.
The greatest political figure in fifth-century Athens was undoubtedly

 Although several times threatened with ostracism, he avoided
that fate by maintaining elose ties with the people. Perhaps he had leamed
a lesson as a child from his favorite tutor, the incomparable Damon, who
TlIE ( :()\\HII'�ST OF 1'1,: 111
The struggle now
became fiercer than
ever around the royal
litter [of Atahualpa,
king of the Incan
empire), It reeled more
and more, ami at
length, several of the
nobles who supported
it having been slain, it
was overtumed, and
the Indian prince
would have come with
violence to the ground,
had not his fall been
broken by the efforts of
Pizarro and some other
of the cavaliers, who
caught him in their

The imperial
borla was instantly
snatched from his
temples by a soldier,
and the unhappy
monarch, strongly
secured, was removed
to a neighboring building where he was carefully guarded,
A ll attempt at resistance now ceased, The
fate of the Inca
[Atahualpaj so on
spread over town and
country, The charm
that might have held
the Peruvians together
was dissolved. Every
man thought only of
his own safety. Even
the [IncanJ soldiery
encamped on the adjacent fields took the
alarm, and, leaming the
fatal tidings, were seen
jiying in every direction
before their pursuers, 

who in the heat of
triumph showed no
touch ofmercy. At
length night, more pitiful than man, threw her
friendly mantle over
the fugitives, and the
LAW 42 359
scallered traops of
Pizarro rallied on ce
more at the sound of
the trumpet in
the bloody square of
Cajamarca ....
{Atahualpa] was re verenced as more than a
human. He was not
merely the head of the
state, but the point to
which all its institutions
con verged as to a
common center-the
keystone of the political fabric which must
fall to pieces by its own
weight when that was
withdrawn. So it fared
on the {execution] of
Atahualpa. His death
not only left the throne
vacant, without an y
certain successor, but
the manner 0 f it
announced to the
Peruvian people that
a hand stranger than
that of their [ncas had
now seized the scepter,
and that the dynasty
of the Children of the
Sun had passed
away forever.
1 847
360 LAW 42
excelled above all other Athenians in his intelligence, his musical skills,
and his rhetorical abilities. It was Damon who had trained Pericles in the
arts of ruling. But he, too, suffered ostracism, for his superior airs and his
insulting manner toward the commoners stirred up too much resentment.
Toward the end of the century there lived a man named Hyperbolus.
Most writers of the time describe hirn as the city's most worthless citizen:
He did not care what anyone thought of hirn, and slandered whomever he
disliked. He amused some, but irritated many more. In 417 B.C., Hyperbolus saw an opportunity to stir up anger against the two leading politicians
of the time, Alcibiades and Nicias. He hoped that one of the two would be
ostracized and that he would rise in that man's place. His campaign
seemed likely to succeed: The Athenians disliked Alcibiades' flamboyant
and carefree lifestyle, and were wary of Nicias' wealth and aloofness.
They seemed certain to ostracize one or the other. But Alcibiades and
Nicias, aIthough they were otherwise enemies, pooled their resources and
managed to turn the ostracism on Hyperbolus instead. His obnoxiousness, they argued, could only be terminated by banishment.
Earlier sufferers of ostracism had been formidable, powernIl men.
Hyperbolus, however, was a low buffo on, and with his banishment the
Athenians feit that ostracism had been degraded. And so they ended the
practice that for nearly a hundred years had been one of the keys to keeping the peace within Athens.
The ancient Athenians had social instincts unknown today-the passage
of centuries has blunted them. Citizens in the true sense of the word, the
Athenians sensed the dangers posed by asocial behavior, and saw how
such behavior often disguises itself in other forms: the holier-than-thou attitude that silently seeks to impose its standards on others; overweening
ambition at the expense of the common good; the flaunting of superiority;
quiet scheming; terminal obnoxiousness. Some of these behaviors would
eat away at the city's cohesion by creating factions and sowing dissension,
others would ruin the democratic spirit by making the common citizen
feel inferior and envious. 

The Athenians did not try to reeducate people
who acted in these ways, or to absorb them somehow into the group, or to
impose a violent punishment that would only create other problems. The
solution was quick and effective: Get rid of them.
Within any group, trouble can most often be traced to a single source,
the unhappy, chronically dissatisfied one who will always stir up dissension and infect the group with his or her ill ease. Before you know what hit
you the dissatisfaction spreads. Act before it becomes impossible to disentangle one strand of misery from another, or to see how the whole thing
started. First, recognize troublemakers by their overbearing presence, or
by their complaining nature. Once you spot them do not try to reform
them or appease them-that will only make things worse. Do not attack
them, whether directly or indirectly, for they are poisonous in nature and
will work underground to destroy you. Do as the Athenians did: Banish
them before it is too late. Separate them from the group before they become the eye of a whirlpool. 

Do not give them time to stir up anxieties
and sow discontent; do not give them room to move. Let one person suffer so that the rest can live in peace.
When the tree falls, the monkeys scatter.
Chinese saying
In 1296 the cardinals of the Catholic Church met in Rome to select a new
pope. They chose Cardinal Gaetani, for he was incomparably shrewd;
such a man would make the Vatican a great power. Taking the name Boniface VIII, Gaetani so on proved he deserved the cardinals' high opinion of
hirn: He plotted his moves carefully in advance, and stopped at nothing to
get his way. Once in power, Boniface quickly crushed his rivals and unified the Papal States. The European powers began to fear hirn, and sent
delegates to negotiate with hirn. The German King Albrecht of Austria
even yielded some territory to Boniface. All was proceeding according to
the pope's plan.
One piece did not fall into place, however, and that was Tuscany, the
richest part of Italy. If Boniface could conquer Florence, Tuscany's most
powerful city, the region would be his. But Florence was a proud republic,
and would be hard to defeat. The pope had to play his cards skillfully.
Florence was divided by two riyal factions, the Blacks and the Whites.
The Whites were the merchant families that had recently and quickly
risen to power and wealth; the Blacks were the older money. Because of
their popularity with the people, the Whites retained control of the city, to
the Blacks' increasing resentment. The feud between the two grew steadily
more bitter.
Here Boniface saw his chance: He would plot to help the Blacks take
over the city, and Florence would be in his pocket. And as he studied the
situation he began to focus on one man, Dante Alighieri, the celebrated
writer, poet, and ardent supporter of the Whites. Dante had always been
interested in politics. He believed passionately in the republic, and often
chastised his fellow citizens for their lack of spine. He also happened to be
the city's most eloquent public speaker. In 1300, the year Boniface began
plotting to take over Tuscany, Dante's fellow citizens had voted him in to
Florence's highest elected position, making hirn one of the city's six priors. During his six-month term in the post, he had stood firmly against the
Blacks and against all of the pope's attempts to sow disorder.
By 1301, however, Boniface had a new plan: He called in Charles de
Valois, powerful brother of the king of France,

 to help bring order to Tuscany. As Charles marched through northern Italy, and Florence seethed
with anxiety and fear, Dante quickly emerged as the man who could rally
On ce upon a time, the
wolves sent an embassy
to the sheep, desiring
that there might be
peace between them for
the time to come.
" Why, " said they,
"should we be for ever
waging this deadly
strife? Those wicked
dogs are the cause of
all; they are incessantly
barking at us, and
provoking uso Send
them away, and there
will be no longer any
obstacle to our eternal
friendship and peace. "
The silly sheep listened,
the dogs were
dismissed, and the
flock, thus deprived of
their best protectors, 

became an easy prey to
their treacherous
LAW 42 361
1'1 1 F \1 ISTO( ; I ,ES
[Themistocles:vl fellow
citizens reached the
point at which their
jealousy made them
listen to any slander at
his expense, and so
[hel was forced to
remind the assembly of
his achievements until
they could bear this no
longer. He once said to
those who were
complaining of him:
" Why are you tired of
receiving beneftts So
often from the same
men?" Besides this he
gave offense to the
people when he built
the temple of Artemis,
for not only did he
style the goddess
A rtemis A ristoboule, or
A rtemis wisest in counsel-with the hint that
it was he who had
given the best counsel
to the A thenians and
the Creeks-but he
chose a site for it near
his own house at
Mehte .... So at last the
Athenians banished
him. They made use of
the ostracism to
humble his great reputation and his authority, as indeed was their
habit with any whose
power they regarded as
oppressive, or who had
risen to an eminen ce
which they considered
out of keeping with (he
equality of a
c. A.D. 46-120
362 LAW 42
the people, arguing vehemently against appeasement and working desperately to arm the citizens and to organize resistance against the pope and
his puppet French prince. By hook or by crook, Boniface had to neutralize
Dante. And so, even as on the one hand he threatened Florence with
Charles de Valois, on the other he held out the olive branch, the possibility of negotiations, hoping Dante would take the bait. And indeed the Florentines decided to send a delegation to Rome and try to negotiate a
peace. To head the mission, predictably, they chose Dante.
So me wamed the poet that the wily pope was setting up a trap to lure
hirn away, but Dante went to Rome anyway, arriving as the French army
stood before the gates of Florence. He feIt sure that his eloquence and reason would win the pope over and save the city. Yet when the pope met the
poet and the Florentine delegates, he instantly intimidated them, as he did
so many. "Fall on your knees before me!" he bellowed at their first meeting. "Submit to met I tell you that in all truth I have nothing in my heart
but to promote your peace." Succumbing to his powerful presence, the
Florentines listened as the pope promised to look after their interests. He
then advised them to return horne, leaving one of their members behind
to continue the talks. Boniface signaled that the man to stay was to be

He spoke with the utmost politeness, but in essence it was an order.
And so Dante remained in Rome. And while he and the pope continued their dialogue, Florence fell apart. With no one to rally the Whites,
and with Charles de Valois using the pope's money to bribe and sow dissension, the Whites disintegrated, some arguing for negotiations, others
switching sides. Facing an enemy now divided and unsure of itself, the
Blacks easily destroyed them within weeks, exacting violent revenge on
them. And once the Blacks stood firmly in power, the pope finally dismissed Dante from Rome.
The Blacks ordered Dante to return horne to face accusations and
stand trial. When the poet refused, the Blacks condemned hirn to be
burned to death if he ever set foot in Florence again. And so Dante began
a miserable life of exile, wandering through Italy, disgraced in the city that
he loved, never to return to Florence, even after his death.

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