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Now among the Athenians each citizen was required to write on a potsherd (ostracon) the name of the man who, in his opinion, was most able through his influence to tyrannize over his fellow citizens; but among the Syracusans the name of the most influential citizen had to be written on an olive leaf, and when the leaves were counted, the man who received the largest number of leaves had to go into exile for five years.

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