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10 - Early Expatriates: Displacement and Exile in Archaic Poetry ()

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2021

Ewen Bowie
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

The English term ‘exile’ and the romance languages’ ‘exil’, ‘esilio’, etc., all derive from the Latin word exilium. This Latin term, however, does not share the assumption of these modern terms that the individual who moves out of a community (the exul) does so involuntarily, and that in more cases than not this departure is required or sanctioned by the community’s authorities or legal system. Ancient Greek terminology also observes different boundaries. The verb φεύγω, ‘I go into exile’, also has the meaning ‘I flee’ and ‘I run away from’, and in both senses the group or individual who φεύγει may do so voluntarily or unwillingly, and the thing or person which prompts evasive or fugitive action need have no legal or authoritative backing. Hence, the ancient Greek discourse on exile cannot be considered in isolation from the similar discourses on other forms of displacement such as fleeing, migrating and engaging (less than willingly) in travel.1

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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