An available and authoritative review taking pictures the energy and variety of scholarship that exists at the transformative period of time referred to as past due antiquity.
•Provides a necessary assessment of present scholarship on past due antiquity -- from among the accession of Diocletian in advert 284 and the tip of Roman rule within the Mediterranean
•Comprises 39 essays from the various world's most efficient students of the period
•Presents this once-neglected interval as an age of robust transformation that formed the trendy global
•Emphasizes the critical value of faith and its reference to fiscal, social, and political life
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Additional info for A Companion to Late Antiquity (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World)
In the 13 FROM AUTOTHANASIA TO SUICIDE same respect the well documented self-burning of Heracles is a valuable track in the history of ancient suicide. Therefore it is impossible to put hard figures between brackets behind the numbers for the section ‘myth-epic’. The extent of the file reflects the fact that myth is the domain where the ancient world comes to grips with essential problems like suicide: in numbers only the historical periods of Late Republic and Early Empire surpass the mythical ‘era’.
Among the instruments which ancient people had at their disposal for executing a decision to commit suicide, drastic methods are in the majority. Therefore on those grounds alone, modern sociological approaches which regard ‘successful’ attempts of suicide as failed cries for help have little significance for the ancient world: soporifics which enable modern people to gamble with death—in Taylor’s view to be regarded as the equivalent of an ordeal2—were not available. Until recently, coal-gas was another means the use of which often meant a calculated intervention—for instance by an intimate friend who had been phoned shortly before the deed.
Some 16 CASUS MORIENDI reluctant fighters of Germanic origin preferred an exit from life above a triumphal ‘Einzug der Gladiatoren’. Seneca often chooses extreme situations to explore the scope of the Stoic attitude to life29. A beastfighter furnishes him with an example of a common man who behaved audaciously. For a moment he retired to a closet; it was the only chance for privacy offered to him. He took the stick with the sponge attached to it which was in collective use for cleaning the anus, and thrust it down his throat.