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Download e-book for kindle: Ambitiosa Mors: Suicide and the Self in Roman Thought and by Timothy David Hill

By Timothy David Hill

ISBN-10: 0415970970

ISBN-13: 9780415970976

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Extra info for Ambitiosa Mors: Suicide and the Self in Roman Thought and Literature (Studies in Classics)

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130, for instance, notes that the Stoics considered self-killing to be an appropriate act if this would save the life of a friend, be of benefit to one’s country, or allow one to escape a painful and incurable illness. 13 Such advice, according as it does with both the tenets of a variety of other ancient 14 15 philosophies and with Roman cultural practice, would presumably have appeared unremarkable to its original audience. No fundamental epistemological problem, then, should be perceived in Cato’s summary.

It will also be necessary, however, to investigate the extent to which the practice and depiction of suicide in Roman thought and literature serve progressively to modify elite understandings of the nature of the aristocratic persona and its moral foundations. The second implication of this discourse through suicide is that there will be very little focus on statistics in this study. While writers such as Valerius Maximus, Tacitus, and Seneca furnish us with data on an immense number of Roman suicides, these deaths are generally described in a highly stereotyped fashion and are usually cited to illustrate a very limited range of moral and rhetorical points.

Against this objection it is only possible to note the alternatives proved either impossibly awkward or conspicuously odd in effect. 1 INTRODUCTION Any attempt to view the numerous individual instances of suicide recorded in our Latin sources as a coherent whole must begin with an analysis of the treatment of suicide and self-killing in the philosophical works of Cicero. In part this is simply an accident of transmission: Cicero is by far the best and most complete source of information we have on the tenets of the various Hellenistic philosophical schools, the original Greek writings of which are now largely lost.

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Ambitiosa Mors: Suicide and the Self in Roman Thought and Literature (Studies in Classics) by Timothy David Hill


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