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"Banishment" redirects here. For the 2007 Russian film, see The Banishment.
"Banish" redirects here. For the village in Iran, see Banish, Iran.
For other uses, see Exile (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Exhile.
The First Night in Exile-This painting comes from a celebrated series illustrating one of Hinduism’s great epics, the Ramayana. It tells the story of the prince Rama, who is wrongly exiled from his father’s kingdom, accompanied only by his wife and brother.
Dante in Exile.

Exile 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 with imprisonment or death upon return. It can be a form of punishment and solitude.[1]

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.[2] Although most commonly used to describe an individual situation, the term is also used for groups (especially ethnic or national groups), or for an entire government. Terms such as diaspora and refugee describe group exile, both voluntary and forced, and government in exile describes a government of a country that has been forced to relocate and argue its legitimacy from outside that country.

Exile can also be a self-imposed departure from one's homeland. Self-exile is often depicted as a form of protest by the person that claims it, to avoid persecution or legal matters (such as tax or criminal allegations), an act of shame or repentance, or isolating oneself to be able to devote time to a particular thing.

Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."

For individuals[edit]

Exiled heads of state[edit]

In some cases the deposed head of state is allowed to go into exile following a coup or other change of government, allowing a more peaceful transition to take place or to escape justice. Examples include:[3]

Name Ex-state Term of government Exiled to
Napoleon France 1804–1815 Saint Helena
Bahadur Shah II Mughal Empire 1837–1857 Burma
Nicholas II of Russia Russia 1894–1917 Internal exile to Siberia
King Zog Albania 1926–1939 United Kingdom
Rezā Shāh Iran 1925-1941 1) Mauritius
2) South Africa
Jean-Bédel Bokassa Central African Republic 1966–1976 1) Côte d'Ivoire
2) France
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Iran 1941-1979 1) Mexico
2) United States
3) Egypt
Pol Pot Cambodia 1976–1979 Internal exile (Cambodia)
Idi Amin Uganda 1971–1979 1) Libya
2) Saudi Arabia
Jean-Claude Duvalier Haiti 1971–1986 France
Ferdinand Marcos Philippines 1965–1986 Hawaii
Alfredo Stroessner Paraguay 1954–1989 Brazil
Alan García Peru 1985–1990 and 2006–2011 France from 1992 to 2001
Alberto Fujimori Peru 1990–2000 Japan
Erich Honecker German Democratic Republic
(East Germany)
1971–1990 1) USSR
2) Chile
Mengistu Haile Mariam Ethiopia 1987–1991 Zimbabwe
Mobutu Sese Seko Democratic Republic of the Congo 1965–1997 Morocco
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Tunisia 1987–2011 Saudi Arabia
Kurmanbek Bakiyev Kyrgyzstan 2000–2010 Belarus
François Bozizé Central African Republic 2003–2013 1) Cameroon,
2) Benin (requested)
Umberto II Italy 1946 1) Portugal

Avoiding tax or legal matters[edit]

Main articles: Tax exile and Fugitive

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. Creative people such as authors and musicians who achieve sudden wealth sometimes find themselves among this group. Examples include the British-Canadian writer Arthur Hailey, who moved to the Bahamas to avoid taxes following the runaway success of his novels Hotel and Airport,[4] and the English rock band the Rolling Stones who, in the spring of 1971 owed more in taxes than they could pay and left Britain before the government could seize their assets. Members of the band all moved to France for a period of time where they recorded music for the album that came to be called Exile on Main Street, the Main Street of the title referring the French Riviera.[5] In 2012, Eduardo Saverin, one of the founders of Facebook, made headlines by renouncing his U.S. Citizenship before his company's IPO.[6] The dual Brazilian/U.S. citizen's decision to move to Singapore and renounce his citizenship spurred a bill in the U.S. Senate, the Ex-PATRIOT Act, which would have forced such wealthy "tax exiles" to pay a special tax in order to re-enter the United States.[7]

In some cases a person voluntarily lives in exile to avoid legal issues, such as litigation or criminal prosecution. An example of this was Asil Nadir, who fled to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for 17 years rather than face prosecution in connection with the failed £1.7 bn company Polly Peck in the United Kingdom.

Avoiding violence or persecution, or in the aftermath of war[edit]

Examples include:

  • Nazis after 1945 fleeing persecution for war crimes, for example Joseph Mengele.[11]

For groups, nations and governments[edit]

Nation in exile[edit]

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 Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II in 586 BCE and again following the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem in the year AD 70. Many Jewish prayers include a yearning to return to Jerusalem and the Jewish homeland.

After the partitions of Poland in the late 18th century, and following the uprisings (like Kościuszko Uprising, November Uprising and January Uprising) against the partitioning powers (Russian Empire, Prussia and Austro-Hungary), many Poles have chosen – or been forced – to go 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.

Since the Cuban Revolution over one million Cubans have left Cuba. Most of these self-identify as exiles as their motivation for leaving the island is political in nature. It is to be noted that at the time of the Cuban Revolution, Cuba only had a population of 6.5 million, and was not a country that had a history of significant emigration, it being the sixth largest recipient of immigrants in the world as of 1958. Most of the exiles' children also consider themselves to be Cuban exiles. It is to be noted that under Cuban law, children of Cubans born abroad are considered Cuban Citizens.

Government in exile[edit]

Main article: Government in exile
The journey of a modern hero, to the island of Elba (1814), showing Napoleon I, sword broken, being exiled to Elba at the close of the War of the Sixth Coalition

During a foreign occupation or after a coup d'état, a government in exile of a such afflicted country may be established abroad. One of the most well-known instances of this is the Polish government-in-exile, a government in exile that commanded Polish armed forces operating outside Poland after German occupation during World War II. Other examples include the Free French Forces government of Charles De Gaulle of the same time, and the Central Tibetan Administration, commonly known as the Tibetan government-in-exile, and headed by the 14th Dalai Lama.

Exile in drama, literature, and the arts[edit]

In Greek tragedy[edit]

To wander away from the city-state (the home) is to be exposed without the protection of government (laws), friends and family. In the ancient Greek world, this was seen as a fate worse than death. EuripedesMedea–because of her actions (both in Iolcus and Corinth)-made herself and her family (including Jason) exiles in Corinth. She talks of her exiled state in Corinth: 'I, a desolate woman without a city... no relative at all'. Jason justifies his marriage, to a Corinth royal family member, as an attempt to better this situation: 'When I moved here from the land of Iolkos... what happier godsend could I have found than to marry the king's daughter, poor exile that I was... that I should bring up our children in a manner worthy of my house, and producing brothers to my children by you, I should place them all on level footing'.

Euripides likens all women's position to exile; in their having to leave home to serve their husbands. So Medea was doubly in exile, both in the ordinary sense, as a non-Greek foreigner, and as a woman. In the same speech, Medea talks of her status as 'a foreigner [falling] in the city['s ways]' and, on being married, 'we come to new behaviour, new customs'.

The theme of exile also appears in Euripedes The Bacchae when Dionysus sends Agave and her sisters into exile. Dionysus: 'With your sisters you shall live in exile' and later Agave laments: 'Farewell my city...show us the way Asian women, show us the way to bitter exile'.

From the Bacchae:

Dionysus: All foreign lands now dance to his [Dionysus's] drum.
Pentheus: That is why they are foreign and we're not.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hobbes, Thomas (1886). Leviathan; Or, The Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil. George Routledge and Sons. p. 145. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Geoghegan, Tom (2011-04-14). "BBC News - What happens to deposed leaders?". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  4. ^ Stevie Cameron, Blue Trust: The Author, The Lawyer, His Wife, And Her Money, 1998
  5. ^ Robert Greenfield, Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones, 2008.
  6. ^ Kucera, Danielle. "Facebook Co-Founder Saverin Gives Up U.S. Citizenship Before IPO". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Drawbaugh, Kevin (May 17, 2012). "Facebook's Saverin fires back at tax-dodge critics". Reuters. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Mills, Andrew (2009-06-23). "Iraq Appeals Anew to Exiled Academics to Return Home". Reuters via chronicle.com. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  9. ^ Rocker, Simon (2011-03-10). "Libyan exile plan for UK's frozen assets". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  10. ^ Fisher, Dan (1990-01-20). "For Exiled Nuns, It's Too Late : Banished by the Communist regime, Czechoslovakia's sisters of Bila Voda were symbols of persecution. Now most are too old or weak to benefit from the revolution". articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  11. ^ See Odessa

External links[edit]

  • Without a Country Varied experiences of American and British exiles in the 20th century.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exile — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:56:15 -0700

... with their classmates at standard-size tables. Each piece was built to the precise dimensions required for the child by Adaptive Design, a tiny, life-changing nonprofit. A series of before-and-after pictures tracked the journeys out of the exile of ...
The American Conservative
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:37:22 -0700

We live in a time of exile. At least those of us do who hold to traditional Christian beliefs. The strident rhetoric of scientism has made belief in the supernatural look ridiculous. The Pill, no-fault divorce, and now gay marriage have made ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:00:14 -0700

The story of ISIS plowing through Mosul, where it has destroyed the shrines of both Christians and their peaceful Muslim neighbors and allowed the Christians to choose exile, subjugation, conversion or death, is a story that is haunting me, as you ...
First Things
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:03:45 -0700

Elizabeth Scalia puts herself in the place of an Iraqi Christian writing a letter to her former neighbors –Ed. My Dear Friends,. To be ripped from our neighborhood, the ancient land we have shared, so companionably for so long, is a tragedy that must ...
Pittsburg Morning Sun
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:07:30 -0700

Man was created to take care of the Garden and Woman was created to be his helper. They were given one rule: Don't eat this one particular fruit. Woman, arguably because she believed she was helping, took the fruit to Man. Man ate it. For that they ...
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Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:52:30 -0700

On July 17, the County Commission approved, by a vote of 8-3, the resolution that asks Mayor Carlos Giménez to negotiate an agreement with the Cuban Exile History Museum in order to develop Parcel B into a four-acre urban public waterfront park. After ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 05:22:30 -0700

BANGKOK—Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she won't use an overseas vacation as an opportunity to go into exile and vowed to defend her handling of a controversial rice subsidy after an anticorruption panel recommended legal action ...

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