Aristides the Just

Athens had a practice known as ostracism, where the citizens could banish someone for ten years if they were thought to be harmful to the city.  At one of the votes, an illiterate citizen approached Aristides, known as the Just, and asked him whether he could write down a name for him upon his shard (for that was how they voted.)  Aristides agreed to do so, and asked the man for the name.

“Aristides,” replied the citizen, not recognizing to whom he spoke.

“How has Aristides wronged you, that you desire him exiled?” asked Aristides, having no memory of harming the man.

“Not at all,” replied the man, “but I am sick of always hearing him called the Just.”

Aristides said nothing, but wrote down his own name upon the citizen’s potsherd, proving his appellation.

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