In ancient Syracuse petalism was a form of banishment similar to ostracism in Athens. In a special vote, citizens wrote on leaves (Greek "petala", "leaves") the names of those they wished to banish from public life. In Athens, names were written on "ostraka", "shells, potsherds". A certain number of such votes could send the victim into exile. The Greek word "petalismos" is used by the historian who reports the practice Diodorus Siculus (Book 11.86).
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