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Book Cover for: HISTORY OF SUICIDE Tome II - Voluntary Death among Greeks and Romans: Part I - From Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages", Alexandre H. Reis

HISTORY OF SUICIDE Tome II - Voluntary Death among Greeks and Romans: Part I - From Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages"

Alexandre H. Reis

The extensive work História do Suicídio by Professor Alexandre H. Reis, Ph.D., from the Federal University of Pelotas, offers a fundamental understanding of this complex phenomenon, which was only termed suicide in modern times. The first part of the work comprises his studies that demonstrated how Saint Augustine represents a turning point in the history of how the West understood voluntary death. This First Part is divided into three volumes: Volume 1 - How voluntary death became suicide; Volume 2 - Voluntary Death among Greeks and Romans, and Volume 3 - Christianity and the Place of the Ancients in the History of Voluntary Death.
In Volume 1, the reader can understand how Augustine, by condemning Lucretia to the fires of hell, equated voluntary death with the crime of homicide, basing his thesis on the sixth commandment of the Mosaic law, "Thou shalt not kill." Alexandre Reis's analysis of Augustine's argument extended to the ecclesial documents that followed the City of God, revealing a genealogy of the criminalization of voluntary death. But how was voluntary death understood before Augustine? We know that after him, voluntary death will be universally condemned in the Middle Ages and modernity.
It is in Volume 2, which the reader holds in hands, that Alexandre Reis examines ancient literature, from Homer to the classical Romans, to demonstrate that voluntary death was understood from a perspectivist standpoint. It could be praised by the Stoics or the Romans as a rational exit, or condemned by Plato, or discouraged by Aristotle. But not even Plato, who advises beating corpses, is harsh enough to not forgive voluntary death in various circumstances, such as facing an incurable illness, or a public shame that makes life difficult to live, etc. Several poets wrote about this subject, from Sappho to Lucretius; Alexandre Reis examines their verses and reveals to the reader a fundamental wealth that, instead of advising suicide, ends up presenting interesting paths of meaning creation. We also find in classical antiquity philosophers who died voluntarily. But instead of giving easy consent to the reports, Alexandre Reis confronts the sources, and in critically taking the history, nothing will be easy to determine. Did Socrates die voluntarily? Did Pythagoras surrender to his executioner to avoid stepping on a bean field, considering this vegetable sacred? Did Empedocles really throw himself into Mount Etna? Did Democritus and Epicurus voluntarily surrender to death? The answers will not be easily given, but the reader will find a rigorous study of the ancient sources, and in the author's critical position, there will be space for the reader to draw their own conclusions or simply suspend judgment.
in this Volume 2, which the reader holds, is the opening of a Pandora's box that presents a plural and rich view that broadens the way we understand the reasons of the other. Criticizing our own dogmatism can allow us to listen to those who end up surrendering to voluntary death because we do not give them space to speak.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Publish Date: May 18th, 2024
  • Pages: 228
  • Language: English
  • Edition: undefined - undefined
  • Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 0.48in - 0.68lb
  • EAN: 9798326007483
  • Categories: General