In 431 BCE, the Peloponnesian War broke out between Athens' Delian League and Sparta's Peloponnesian League. As the Peloponnesian League had won number of battles and began drawing near Athens, the Athenian statesman Perikles became worried for the safety of his friends and colleagues, including Anaxagoras and the sculptor Phidias. As such, he resorted to using various ways to ensure their safety, one of which was to ostracize Anaxagoras.
Knowing that Anaxagoras was innocent and the vote to ostracize him would fail, Perikles arranged the misthios Kassandra to meet with an official under him, tampering with the vote results. As a result, the vote was successful and Anaxagoras was forced to leave Athens in. The philosopher Sokrates also considered him as one of his mentors.
- Anaxagoras (Ἀναξαγόρας) is an Ancient Greek name meaning "lord of the assembly".