Exile can be a form of punishment.[1] It means to be away from one's home (i.e. city, state or country) while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened by prison or death upon return.

It is common to distinguish between internal exile, i.e., forced resettlement within the country of residence, and external exile, deportation outside the country of residence.

Exile can also be a self-imposed departure from one's homeland. Self-exile is often practiced as form of protest or to avoid persecution.


Exile was known in ancient Rome, where the Roman Senate had the power to exile individuals, entire families or countries (which amounted to a declaration of war).

The towns of ancient Greece, as well used exile both as a legal punishment and in Athens as a social punishment. In Athens during the time of democracy, the process of ostracism was devised in which citizens could vote someone who was considered a nuisance or a threat into banishment from the city without prejudice for ten years, after which he was allowed to return. Among famous recipients of this punishment were Themistocles, Cimon and Aristides the Just. Further, Solon the lawgiver voluntarily exiled himself from Athens after drafting the city's constitution, to prevent being pressed to change it.

In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth a court of law could sentence a noble to exile (banicja). As long as the exile (banita) remained in the Commonwealth he had a price on his head and lost the privileges and protection granted to him as a noble. Even killing a banita was not considered a crime although there was no reward for his death. Special forms of exile were accompanied by wyświecenie (a declaration of the sentence in churches) or by issuance of a separate declaration to townfolk and peasantry (all of them increased the knowledge of the exile and thus made his capture more likely).

A more severe penalty than exile was infamy (infamia) - 'a loss of honor and respect' (utrata czci i wiary). A noble who has been infamed not only suffered from the same penalties as an exiled one, but in addition, an exiled noble (banita) who killed an infamed one (infamis) could expect his exile sentence to be revoked. In addition anybody killing an infamed noble could expect a monetary reward from the state (usually a starosta of given region), and sheltering or supporting an infamed noble were also punishable offences. Both exile and infamy could be revoked if the person had done a great service to the state. As the law system in the Commonwealth was fairly inefficient, many exiles actually stayed within the country, often employed and protected by some magnates. One of the most famous exiles of the Commonwealth was Samuel Łaszcz.

Personal exile

Exile was used particularly for political opponents of those in power. The use of exile for political purposes can sometimes be useful for the government because it prevents the exilee from organizing in their native land or from becoming a martyr. People feared being exiled and banishment so much because it effectively meant that they were going to die. In European history, at a time prior to Roman invasion, people lived completely codependtly in farm towns where everyone had a function.

Exile represented a severe punishment, particularly for those, like Ovid or Du Fu, exiled to strange or backward regions, cut off from all of the possibilities of life as well as their families and associates. Dante describes the pain of exile in The Divine Comedy:

«. . . Tu lascerai ogne cosa diletta
più caramente; e questo è quello strale
che l'arco de lo essilio pria saetta.
Tu proverai sì come sa di sale
lo pane altrui, e come è duro calle
lo scendere e 'l salir per l'altrui scale . . .»

". . . You will leave everything you love most:
this is the arrow that the bow of exile
shoots first. You will know how salty
another's bread tastes and how hard it
is to ascend and descend
another's stairs . . ."

Paradiso XVII: 55-60

Exile has been softened, to some extent, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as exiles have received welcome in other countries and have either created new communities within those countries or, less frequently, returned to their homelands following the demise of the regime that exiled them.

Government in exile

Main article: Government in exile

During a foreign occupation or after a coup d'etat, a government in exile of a such afflicted country may be established abroad. One of the most well-known instances of this is the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a government in exile led by the Dalai Lama in India, claiming to be the legitimate ruler of the historical Tibet‎.

Nation in exile

Main articles: Diaspora and Refugee

When large groups, or occasionally a whole people or nation is exiled, it can be said that this nation is in exile, or Diaspora. Nations that have been in exile for substantial periods include the Jews, who were deported by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon in 597 BC and again in the years following the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem in the year AD 70.

After the partitions of Poland in the late 18th century, and following the uprisings (like Kosciuszko Uprising, November Uprising and January Uprising) against the partitioning powers (Russian Empire, Prussia and Austro-Hungary), many Poles have chosen - or been forced - into exile, forming large diasporas (known as Polonia), especially in France and the United States.

The entire population of Crimean Tatars (200,000) that remained in their homeland Crimea was exiled on 18 May 1944 to Central Asia as a form of ethnic cleansing and collective punishment on false accusations.

At Diego Garcia, between 1967 and 1973 the British Government forcibly removed some 2,000 Chagossian resident islanders to make way for a military base today jointly operated by the US and UK.

Tax exile

Main article: Tax exile
A wealthy citizen who departs from a former abode for a lower tax jurisdiction (a "tax haven") in order to reduce his/her tax burden is termed a tax exile.

Notable people who have been in exile

Fictional people who have been in exile

See also


1. ^ Hobbes, Thomas (1886). Leviathan; Or, The Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil. George Routledge and Sons, Page 145. 

Exile is to be away from one's home while being explicitly refused permission to return.

Exile, exiled, or exiles may also refer to:


  • Exile (Last Exile

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Punishment is the practice of imposing something unpleasant or aversive on a person or animal in response to an unwanted, disobedient or morally wrong behavior.

Word history

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city is an urban settlement with a particularly important status which differentiates it from a town.

City is primarily used to designate an urban settlement with a large population. However, city may also indicate a special administrative, legal, or historical status.
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A state is a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area. It usually includes the set of institutions that claim the authority to make the rules that govern the people of the society in that territory, though its status as a state often depends in part on
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In political geography and international politics, a country is a political division of a geographical entity, a sovereign territory, most commonly associated with the notions of state or nation and government.
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prison, penitentiary, or correctional facility is a place in which individuals are physically confined or interned and usually deprived of a range of personal freedoms.
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Capital punishment, also called the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences.
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In political geography and international politics, a country is a political division of a geographical entity, a sovereign territory, most commonly associated with the notions of state or nation and government.
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The term residence may refer to:
  • House
  • Nursing home.
  • Residence in English family law, pertaining to where children should live in the case of disputes
  • Habitual residence, a civil law term dealing with the status of refugees, and child abduction

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Deportation, not to be confused with extradition, generally means the expulsion of someone from a country. In general, the term now refers exclusively to the expulsion of foreigners (the expulsion of natives is usually called banishment, exile, or transportation).
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Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea.
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The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. Although the West Roman Empire ended in the 5th century (in 476), the Roman Senate continued to meet until the latter part of the 6th
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declaration of war is a formal declaration issued by a national government indicating that a state of war exists between that nation, and one or more others.


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The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. 750 BC[1] (the archaic period) to 146 BC (the Roman conquest). It is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of Western Civilization.
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Coordinates Coordinates:
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (min-max): 70 - 338 m (0 - 0 ft)
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Democracy describes small number of related forms of government. The fundamental feature is competitive elections. Competitive elections are usually seen to require freedom of speech (especially in political affairs), freedom of the press, and some degree of rule of law.
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Ostracism (Greek ὀστρακισμός ostrakismos) was a procedure under the Athenian democracy in which a prominent citizen could be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years.
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Themistocles (Greek: Θεμιστοκλῆς; c. 524–459 BC[1]) was a leader in the Athenian democracy during the Persian Wars.
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Cimon (Greek Κίμων, Kimōn) (510, Athens-450 BC, Salamis), was an Athenian statesman and general (strategos), and a major political figure of the 470s and 460s BC in the ancient city-state (polis) of Athens.
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Aristides or Aristeides (Greek Ἀριστείδης, 530–468 BC) was an Athenian soldier and statesman.
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Solon (Greek: Σόλων, c. 638 BC–558 BC) was a famous Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and Lyric poet. The travel writer, Pausanias, listed Solon among the Seven Sages of the ancient world.
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Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, also known as the First Polish Republic or Republic (Commonwealth) of the Two (Both) Nations (Peoples), (Polish: Pierwsza Rzeczpospolita or Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów
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Bourgeoisie (RP /ˌbɔː.ʒwɑːˈzi/, GA /ˌbu.
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peasant, derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, the countryside or region, which itself derives from the Latin pagus
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Please [improve the article] or discuss this issue on the talk page. This article has been tagged since January 2007.
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Starost(a) (Cyrillic: Старост/а) is a title for an official or unofficial position of leadership that has been used in various contexts through most of Slavic history. It can be translated as 'elder'.
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Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus
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martyr (Greek μάρτυς "witness") initially signified a witness in the forensic sense, a person called to bear witness in legal proceedings. With this meaning it was used in the secular sphere as well as in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of
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Ovid as imagined in the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493.
Born: March 20, 43 BC
Died: 17 AD
Occupation: Poet
Influences: Dante Alighieri, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Milton, William Shakespeare

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Du Fu (杜甫)

There are no contemporaneous portraits of Du Fu; this is a later artist's impression
Born: 712

Died: 770

Occupation: Poet
Influenced: Bai Juyi, Su Shi, Lu You, Huang Tingjian

Du Fu
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